We went on the market tour with the chef from the ship. It was a walking trip from the ship. Sadly it was raining, not hard, just consistent sprinkles the whole day. Found out it rains 280 days a year here. It's not a large market, but we did get to try whale meat. We did it in the form of whale sausage which was actually quite good. Whale looks and has a mouth feel like liver, which I don't like. Loads of fresh berries and fish. We then took the Funicular (bought our tickets on line ahead of time) and were able to immediately bypass the lineup and get on the Funicular. Pretty ride up to the top. There is a number of areas to view the city from including a glassed in observation deck that juts out. There is a playground for the kids, a lake to hike to, bicycles to rent. We opted to walk down to from the top to the city. There is a troll garden on the pathway down, just a short area from the top. It took us an hour to walk it and it was quite steep. My knee's were not thanking me. It's a beautiful walk, but if you have problems with your knee's not a smart thing to do as the incline is fairly steep. The city hall area is really pretty once we got back down. Tons of shopping. Free wifi at McDonald's...I stood just outside and was able to check my messages. Would loved to have had more time to explore the downtown area.
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We did the waterfall hike through the ship on this tour. I would rate it 4.5 out of 5. It took about an hour to get to the waterfall area. Our guide was very knowledgeable and spoke at length about Molde. I was a little disappointed that we were on such a tight schedule for the hike. We were given 30 minutes up and 30 minutes to get back. My husband and I are in pretty good shape and live in the mountains in the US and go hiking. We had no problems getting up to the landing, but would have loved to have been able to go a bit further or have spent a little more time. There were several people who didn't make it up all the way as it's got a good incline and I felt bad for them. We had a meal included and the restaurant was fabulous. Probably the best meatballs I have EVER eaten. It was run by a family and they were so friendly. It's right beside a lake with breathtaking views of the mountains. Our guide then spoke at length on the way back....I personally would have preferred some quiet on the way back. We did have some time to go into the town shopping when we got back from the tour. Pretty area with loads of flowers everywhere. Lots of stores with various selections for every budget.
We didn't book a tour. We walked over to the church, they were just getting ready for a service (it was Sunday) so we didn't go inside, but the outside is really pretty. Right across the street is the castle and Bishop's house. We paid the admission and went inside. We met a gentleman who was playing lawn bowling with a group and invited us to watch. So we followed him over just behind the castle and watched and visited for about 30 minutes. Very friendly people. We then walked around exploring and taking pictures, then followed our map back to downtown where the stores that opened were opening around noon. Went into a wonderful place run by 3 sisters called Hume Sweet Hume. Bought a gorgeous shawl handknit by the sister who was working that day. They also sell jewelry and clothing. Really nice store and super friendly staff. Also went into a shop selling Orkney tartans and the Princess Diana tartan (in the front window). Also another shop was the Orkney Arts & Crafts Association and they had local art, pottery, glassware etc. Wonderful shop with authentic items.
Perfection! Probably my favorite stop on the cruise. The morning started off with a Polar Plunge available to any passengers that wanted to. I think they were shocked as we had about 30 people decide to jump. They had them go off the back sports platform area 4-5 at a time. Warm water shower and towels were waiting for them when they got back on the ship. Great fun way to start the day! We lucked out with sunny blue skies and were the only ship in the port. It is like being in a fairytale, it's that pretty! We did the rib boat tour here and got up close and personal to the waterfalls the 7 Sisters and the Suitor. Our guide Neils was really great and shared a lot of stories and answered any questions we had. We wore a fairly heavy waterproof suit which was good as it was early morning when we left. We were out on the water about an hour, it was over too soon. We then walked around town and up the stairs to another waterfall. Stunning views of the port area. Great place to take pictures of the ship. Pretty little church, but we didn't go over to it. The shops in the downtown area by the dock are full of everything imaginable. The little chocolate shop has great handmade chocolate items.
We got into port early and had booked a car through our hotel, which was much cheaper than the cruiseline price. We stayed 2 days in Dublin and would loved to have stayed longer. We did a tour in the James Joyce House where the author wrote Ulysses. Then started walking around the city. Found a great fish and chip shop called Beshoff which has been there for 104 years. Really great place, ate there both days. Walked almost 11 miles around Dublin finding beautiful churches, graveyards, a beautiful park called St Stephen's Green and great places to shop. My husband bought 2 tweed jackets and a vest at a place called Kevin & Howlin. Wonderful staff who were SO helpful. Loads of tweeds to choose from. They have ready made and also you can design your own. Great prices and they ship to the US. Another great store is Kilkenny. Really beautiful range of items. Finally found the Celtic cross I was looking for here. The next day we had booked an early tour to see the Book of Kells with a tour company called Letzgo City Tours. They book smaller group tours. We had an amazing tour guide Neil who was amazing, Loads of great stories and information. It was a walking tour which also included the Dublin Castle. We had about 10 people the day we went. Learned a lot and had a wonderful time. If we had stayed another day, we would have booked with them to go to St Patrick's Cathedral. Great incentive to go back to Dublin.
We did the Cliffside Boat tour through the ship. This is a DON'T miss tour. We were on the bus a bit to get to our destination but our guide talked about a lot of the history etc which was interesting. It was a little overcast when we first got on the boat, but by the time we got out into the open water the sun came out. The cliffs are awe inspiring. Tons of green and loads of sheep...shocking as the incline is quite steep. You weave into a few passages and went into 2 caves....the color of the water is Caribbean blue. Definitely a great tour. A little store at the dock which had free wifi, bathrooms and pretty good shopping. My husband got a gorgeous handknit sweater.
Iceland is beautiful. This was where our cruise started and we went in 2 days early. We went to the Blue Lagoon just after we landed (we had booked it ahead along with the bus into Reykjavik. We stayed 3 hours and it was so relaxing! We also booked the Golden Circle Tour through GeoTours and it was incredible. Small group of 10, stopped and petted the horses, saw the Geyser, several beautiful waterfalls. The whole tour was about 8 hours. Iceland has terrific cell coverage, you rarely go below 3 bars.
We didn't do a tour here. We walked up to the observatory. The pathway starts in the park and goes up stairs 418 of them to the top. The view was gorgeous even though it was a bit overcast. We wandered down to the "old" section of town. Really pretty area. Then wandered around and found the most beautiful church and old graveyard, lanterns are inserted into the gravestones, I can only imagine how beautiful it is at night when they are lit up. We also found a fabulous antique store called Artifex Art & Antiques. The owner is very friendly and knowledgeable. We also found a very interesting store with yarn and handmade items called Home Arts & Crafts or Spøteriet. If you know someone who knits, they will love you if you pick something up here for them. Also a lot of clothing, slippers (seal skin) sheepskin items, jewelry etc. A really nice store to browse in and find authentic items.
We ordered popcorn every night from room service while we watched a dvd. They say it will take up to 30 minutes, it was always under 10 and always still warm.