Why I Decided to Cruise Norway's Coast With Hurtigruten


The above photo was taken from a scenic view while in Kirkenes, Norway.

In February 2017 I decided to cruise Norway with Hurtigruten.  The ship I was on is named the Finnmarken.  This was a 12 day round trip cruise this started in Bergen and ended back in Bergen after making many stops as far north as Honningsvåg and Kirkenes which is not far from the Russian border.

The first thing I should tell you about going on a cruise with Hurtigruten is that their ships are working ships.  That is why they make so many stops.  It is also more of a ferry.  New passengers get on and off the ship in various locations quite frequently.  People in Norway use these ships to get from one area the country to another.

I have been on 12 cruises in the past five years.  I have cruised with Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise lines, and Holland America.  Cruising with Hurtigruten was such a different experience.  Many people go on cruises for the entertainment and to party.  I know because I have done so in the past ;)  There was no entertainment such as singers, bands, and speakers and t is also very expensive to party as one glass of wine is 14 USD. 

In spite at the lack of entertainment on the ship, this was definitely one of the most fun adventures I have ever been on.  One of the best things about this cruise was the scenery.  The ship is never far from the shore and it makes frequent stops.  I also got to see the Aurora Borealis also known as the Northern Lights because of the time of year I went. 

I have written three posts about this cruise.  Here they are:

Visiting the Famous Snowhotel in Kirkenes Norway

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

Visiting the Top of the World: Honningsvåg, Norway

I will be writing more in the coming weeks.


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

 Nidaros Cathedral


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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The Spectacular Beaches of Cancun, Mexico

I loved my view in Cancun last week and not sure who wouldn't! 

I haven't posted any while because I was in Cancun with a friend from college and we were very busy visiting the sites and exploring the area.  I have been to Cancun for more than 10 times over the past 20 years or so.  I cannot believe how much it has grown since my first visit.  When I first visited back in college we got on a bus after exiting the airplane because there wasn't even an airport!  We could get a taxi anywhere for $2, bought pineapples for a quarter and a bottle of beer for a quarter as well.  Now it is very similar to visiting Orlando, Florida with similar prices.

 The beaches are still just as beautiful with their white powder air conditioned sand and turquoise water with very large waves to play in.  The weather is fabulous especially in February!   Sometimes it is recommended for people to not go in the water because the waves are so big!  Of all the times I have visited Cancun I have never been in February.  The weather was perfect for doing all the sightseeing I did as it was not terribly hot.  It was great looking out my window and seeing the ocean and listening to it at night even on the night it was really stormy!

You can see (and use for free) a lot more of my photos of Cancun on my Pixabay account here:  Mariamichelle's Pixabay account


 This pelican was so big I didn't think it was real when I saw it floating around in the water!


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Here I am practicing with my new remote control for my camera on my little balcony
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Untitled (1 of 1)-147Here I am with the windblown look and my friend from college at a public beach where there is a sign saying Cancun.  We had to wait in quite a long line to have it in our photo taken there.  I must say this is a beautiful beach for people staying and the city hotels that don't have their own beach.
Untitled (1 of 1)-147 What beach that you've visited is your favorite?

  Thank you so much for stopping by.  I hope to hear your questions or comments and I'm curious if you have visited Cancun or anywhere else in Mexico.  Have a great week!




"I don’t trust words. I trust pictures.” ~ Gilles Peress

I've always said that I believe very little of what I hear and only some of what I see.  The same goes for photographs as I know now that they can be edited and manipulated in many ways.  I still often get asked by many of my friends and people why I would want to visit some of the places I do - especially Antarctica and Tanzania in Africa

It's great to be able to punch a few buttons on my cell phone and pull up some images from my Instagram account and show people a few pictures of these places.  I can tell by the looks on their face that they understand why I would want to travel so far away into places that many perceive to be dangerous.   At least I can show them why I wanted to see certain places in person.

You can use any of my photos in a variety of sizes for free without worrying about getting in trouble as they are free of copyrights under Creative Commons CC0.  My profile on Pixabay is HERE

Blogg1Above is a photo of myself in Paradise Bay and below is Paradise Bay which I thought was the most beautiful part of Antarctica which is saying a lot.

Blogg111This ship seemed so small compared to the other ones I saw and compared to the glaciers surrounding it

Blogg111The sun would go down around 11:00Pm and come up around 3:00 AM
Blogg1The glaciers were so much bigger than I expected and it really was not as cold as I expected.  It was generally around 30 degrees Fahrenheit.
Blogg1This was the closest thing I saw to a sunset and it was almost midnight

Blog11111The following photos were taken on in Massai Land and on safari in Tanzania.


  These zebra kept running back and forth past these lions.  I was so scared they would get caught playing their "game".Zebras-278084_960_720

Thank you very much for stopping by my blog.  Please feel free to leave any comments or questions.  I really enjoy hearing from my readers.  I hope you are all having a wonderful week.   







Scenes from the Charming Town of Sirmione on Lake Garda, Italy


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I visited Italy for the second time in September 2015 I loved it the second time as much as I did the first time.  It really just made me want to visit a third time!  My first trip was to Florence, Venice, and Cinque Terre.  This last visit was to Lake Garda.  

To get to Lake Garda I flew into Verona and then went to my hotel in Sirmione.  I loved this little medieval town. I thought it was so charming and colorful with the flowers everywhere.  This was one of very few places that I have visited on my own that I felt safe going out at night alone. 

Lake Garda is very large and the only thing I would do differently visiting again, which I might do, is to spend time in other areas around the lake.  I will say that I am very happy to have stayed in Sirmione.  Everyone was very friendly and the food was excellent as always. I am also very happy to say that I didn't see any stray cats or dogs during my stay!

I was a little worried that visiting in September might be a little chilly, but it was actually quite warm during the day it was usually in the 80's (Fahrenheit).  At night it would get cool but not until very late.  There is a ferry that runs all around the lake which stops running at some point in October.  Otherwise I think October would be a fine time to visit Lake Garda as well.  

Wherever you walked in town the castle was usually in view:

Untitled (1 of 1)-49I loved the colorful flowers and architecture:

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 I found this pink villa when I walked off the beaten path that I thought was lovely!

Untitled (1 of 1)-49There were grapes, lemons and lime growing all over as soon as you got out of the town:



 A garden I found not too far from the beach which is just a short walk from the town


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 Here is the pathway beside the beach which makes for a nice walk:

I had heard that glass washes up on the shore of Lake Garda and I didn't believe it until I saw it for myself!
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As with most areas of Italy there are gelato and pastry shops on every corner:
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There were also many beautiful churches:
Untitled (1 of 1)-67There were many fun shops and restaurants around town.  The prices were very reasonable!
Untitled (1 of 1)-67The sunsets and sunrises were nice every night I was there as it only rained for a few hours during the ten days I was there:

Sunset-959168_640Thank you so much for visiting.   Please feel free to leave any comments or questions as I value all of them.  Have a great week everyone.