Visiting the Beautiful City of Trondheim, Norway and the Nidaros Cathedral

 Nidaros Cathedral

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As I mentioned in my previous post I recently went on a twelve day cruise up and down the Norway coast with Hurtigruten.  On our second day we stopped in a beautiful city with a population of close to 190,000 people named Trondheim.  We only had four hours at the stop which was actually one of our longer times to go on shore.  We were allowed to leave the boat at 8:00 AM and had to return by noon.  As you can see it was still dark but I got some great photos of the sunrise.

 

 

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Visiting the Famous Snowhotel in Kirkenes Norway

Hello from Norway!  I think I'm somewhere near the city Trondheim which is also referred to as the Paris of Northern Europe.  I decided to take a 12 day cruise beginning and ending in Bergen Norway with Hurtigruten Cruise lines

One of the tours I decided to do was halfway through the cruise at one of our northern most stops in Kirkenes which is only a few miles from the Russian border.  Many people on my ship took a tour bus to see the Russian border.  There was only time to do one chore and I chose this one I'm so glad that I did and spite of being colder then I think I've ever been in my life.  I grew up in the state of Vermont but have lived in Florida for nearly a decade and it just isn't as easy to travel to cold-weather places. 

I took a lot of photos at the Snowhotel because it was so interesting and I haven't ever seen anything like it.  People pay as much as $600 and more of a night to stay there.  There is a bar and a restaurant.  There are also reindeer on the property and dog sledding is available. 

I have mixed feelings about dog sledding. This was my second such excursion. When I was in Alaska I wanted to try it and especially see if the dogs were treated well. You can read my account here:

Dog Sledding in June on the Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska

 

DSC03248-1_ppOne of the things I like most about going dog sledding is playing with the dogs.  They just love attention and are so well behaved! 
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A Charlie Brown Christmas at the Gaylord Palms ICE! Exhibit 2016

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It has become a tradition in my family to visit the Gaylord Palms in Orlando, Florida to see the ICE! Exhibit as well as the acrobat and light shows.  We love the festive atmosphere as well as the variety of restaurants available at this resort.  The 2016 exhibit is over but the atrium view rooms where you can see the shows start to book up several months in advance.  This year's theme was  "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and was one of my favorite so far and I wanted to share my photos.

 

 

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Wandering and Searching Yogi Offers a Few Balancing Tips

 

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 I hope you like the new name of my blog!  I didn't want to change my domain but thought the island girl part of my blog name needed to go.  I'm not saying I will never visit another island again, but the type of travel I will be doing is likely to change at least for a while.  You can read my previous post to see why I have become disillusioned with visiting tropical islands especially if the UV rays are very high which most are.  I live in Florida as it is so I get more than enough UV rays already! 

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Why I Might Be Renaming my Blog...

 

 I haven't written any new posts on my blog for quite a while.  I have at least 100 excuses why and I'm afraid only a couple of them are good ones.  I haven't felt really well in the past couple of weeks which has made writing and editing photos difficult.  I've also had some health issues which I have written about previously.  The main problem I am having has to do with a precancerous skin condition.  The skin condition is called Actinic Keratosis which I am likely to continue having from time to time throughout the rest of my life.

Here is the post I wrote about my first scare with a precancerous skin condition: 

Island Girl's PSA: Tanning is OUT and Your Skin is IN!!!

460881_4208426543007_1838610959_oThe above photo was taken in Kauai at an area called Queen's Bath

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Exploring Croatia's Coast Aboard the Norwegian Jade

"It is not that life ashore is distasteful to me. But life at sea is better."

Sir Francis Drake, Sea Captain George

I do love cruises!  I really like seeing the coast line when I arrive at different destinations.  I also like exploring different areas that I'm unsure if I would like to visit for a week or two versus just a day trip.  During my seven day Mediterranean cruise we visited two cities in Croatia including Dubrovnik and Split.

I had thought that immediately going on a cruise after a 12 1/2 hour overnight flight from Florida to Italy would be a good idea.  I was really jet lagged during the majority of my seven-day Mediterranean cruise.  One would think that with how much I travel that I am good at dealing with jet lag.  That is not the case!  I know that it is not a good idea to take a nap immediately after arriving in Europe where the time is six hours ahead but I just can't seem to stop myself.

I learned that going on a cruise immediately after arriving in Europe after a long overnight flight is not the best idea - at least for me.  There are too many opportunities to nap and eat too much which makes me want to sleep even more.  Upon reflection, I would spend a couple of days near the port before boarding the ship and do my best to acclimate to the new time zone.

Here are a few snaps I took of Dubrovnik Croatia from the balcony of my cruise ship.  Thank goodness I splurged on a balcony which really wasn't that much more sailing with Norwegian.  I flew into Venice and went directly to the port to board my ship.  Luckily I was escorted to my room soon after arriving at the port and was able to take a nap - I am a BIG baby when it comes to long flights and dealing with jet lag!

 

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