August 22nd - Tromso - disembark

At breakfast time we watched as Queen Mary 2 came in to dock next to Prince Albert II, making us feel very small indeed.

We had breakfast with Doug and Pat from New Jersey and then said our various goodbyes. We went back to our cabin before disembarking and saying goodbye to some of the crew.

We went by taxi to the centre of Tromso and left our bags at our hotel, the Clarion Bryggen which is located on the waterfront.

We checked in to the hotel and paid an extra 300 Kroner for a room that overlooked the waterfront. We had to wait while the room was prepared, so we took a taxi over the bridge to the cable-car as quickly as we could, as we wanted to be ahead of the two and a half thousand passengers on the Queen Mary. As we boarded the cable-car, Jasmine and her group from Hong Kong arrived with a local guide and squashed in with us. We met a few QM2 passengers, but only the more independent ones, the others having a tour planned for 1pm.

It was quite clear up at the top, although not as warm and sunny as yesterday. We climbed quite a way uphill, meeting many local families having a Sunday outing. The views were impressive and we watched the Prince Albert leaving her mooring next to the QM2 and moving closer to the town centre.

We met up with Jasmine and her group and I took a photo of them high above Tromso.

We came down in the cable-car and caught a No. 26 bus back to the hotel.

The bus took us back over the bridge and close to the hotel. Our room was now ready, room number 301, a suite with a balcony overlooking the waterfront. We had our own view of the bridge, the Arctic Cathedral and even the very top of Prince Albert II ! We met a very pleasant young Englishman, James, who had recently married a local girl. He is the hotel conference manager. He was extremely helpful and brought a map up to our room with suggestions of places to visit tomorrow when we rent a car. He even gave us his personal phone number in case we had any problems travelling around the area!

We had lunch at Yonas Pizzeria where we had a very good "tako" pizza with minced beef and cabbage. Then we walked around Tromso sightseeing and taking photos. We found one shop open and bought presents for the grandchildren - mostly polar bears!

We went to have a final look at Prince Albert II before she left on her next voyage.

We had champagne on our balcony with the Archers who were leaving the next day, then went next door to Fiskekompaniet with them and Kathryn and Jeremy for dinner. We all had excellent food, including monkfish, accompanied by a very good Chablis. George, Carole, Juan and Debra were at an adjoining table. It was a very pleasant evening.

The bridge at night with the roof of the Arctic Cathedral lit up on the far side of the fjord.

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