Northern Europe / British Isles

Apr 1st, 2012, 06:59 AM
  #1  
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Northern Europe / British Isles

I have been longing to visit the British Isles and Norway for a long while. I toyed with a land trip and posted here awhile back. I loved the input.

I ended up booking a cruise with a great mix....lots of places I have been wanting to visit. I don´t want to post on the cruise forum , as I want advice from peolpe really familiar with the region.

Background: 3 kids , will be 16 , 13 and 9 at the time of the trip ( July 2013 , I plan early). The kids are very well traveled and enjoy history , the outdoors...well , practically anything that is beautful or interesting!

Our itinerary:

Copenhagen ( 4 days)

Oslo

Bergen

Skjolden ( followed by cruising the Sognefjord)

Alesund

Lerwick ( Shetland Islands)

Greenock ( Scotland)

Dublin

Waterford (Ireland)

Amsterdam ( 3 days on land)

I am extremely excited about the Shetland Islands...I´ve always dreamed of visiting them!

My questions:

Greenock: We could opt for a Glasgow visit , but I really want to do a Loch/ Castle combo , to get a taste of the Scotland of dreams. We can rent a car or hire a driver ( we do this on most of our trips) , but I need some direction.

Shetland Islands...torn between seeing the bird colonies or a land visit to the historic sites , ponies , cliffs etc.....

Waterford- ??? not really sure what to do

Dublin- I think the city looks fun and vibrant , any recommendations for our family of 5?

Any recommendations about Norway are very welcome too!

We´ve been to Copenhagen and Amsterdam , have a pretty good idea of what we will do , but open to input!

Thanks so much. I am so excited about this trip.

Kim
vbrasil is offline  
Apr 1st, 2012, 08:05 AM
  #2  
 
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If time in Oslo is limited, just visit the outdoor museum, the Viking ship museum and the Kon-Tiki museum. They are all within walking distance of each other. Next to the last is also a museum containing one of the ships used for exploring the Arctic.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mksfca/...ith/4214128813
Michael is offline  
Apr 1st, 2012, 08:23 AM
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If your cruise offers the option of a guided walk in Alesund then take it - you will get much more out of this lovely little town on a guided walk than just wandering around on your own, though it is quite possible to do that of course.
hetismij2 is offline  
Apr 1st, 2012, 10:50 AM
  #4  
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I´d already decide to just that in Oslo! Good to confirm ...do you think adding the Vigeland Park would be possible in a day?

We visited Skansen outdoor musuem in Stockholm , is the outdoor museum in Oslo too similar? I was thinking of the Viking Museum , a picnic in the park maybe and if possible a visit to the Munch Museum....

Alesund looks fantastic. are the guided walks long? The kids love long walks to an extent...we visited the Galapagos and the long walks with the naturalists were huge hits. Do you think the walk in Alesund is good for kids?

Thanks!
vbrasil is offline  
Apr 1st, 2012, 10:51 AM
  #5  
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Any recommendations for hotels in Amsterdam or Copenhagen?
vbrasil is offline  
Apr 1st, 2012, 12:03 PM
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Alesund walks take a couple of hours but are fascinating and even your kids should enjoy it.

Alternatively there is a salt water aquarium in Alesund. http://www.atlanterhavsparken.no/english.php
hetismij2 is offline  
Apr 1st, 2012, 04:13 PM
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There are differences between the two outdoor museums. For one, the stave church is particular to Norway. It also contains an apartment building that covers its existence in period styles from the 1860s to the 1970s. I would not skip it.

I would not skip the Kon Tiki museum either. The idea of crossing the Pacific on a large raft and the Atlantic on a reed boat should appeal to the children. Some of them might want to read the Heyerdahl book about the Pacific crossing.
Michael is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2012, 12:36 AM
  #8  
 
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You don't say how long you'll be in Greenock. If you only have one day you could hire a car and visit the Trossachs, stunning scenery and lochs, then carry on to Stirling and the castle. You then return to Greenock using the M80 and M8 motorways via Glasgow.
CaptainChas is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2012, 05:03 AM
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No need to head for the Trossachs. Greenock is 15 mins on a ferry from Dunoon (other side of the firth of Clyde), you can get immediately into the Western Highlands from there.
zippo is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2012, 07:08 AM
  #10  
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We will only be in Greenock for the day.

I really want to make the most of it.....I really want to get that " picturebook" feel of Scotland. We are comfortable renting a car if the navigation isn´t too complicated.
We will arrive in port at 8 , need to be back at 4:30.

Michael , the museums sound lovely , will put them on our list!
Thanks

any advice on Waterford?
We paln to do Dublin as a "city " visit. Thinking of using Waterford to do a Irish landscape/scenery visit .
vbrasil is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2012, 07:23 PM
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County Waterford or Waterford City? Waterford City is not at all visually appealing to me.
From Dublin you could do worse than to motor south to Glendalough and the Vale of Avoca. Not sure of your time frame but you can certainly do this in a day (or if you don't want to rent a car there are tours to Glendalough from Dublin). If there's time you might check out Powerscourt on the way.
jaja is offline  
Apr 4th, 2012, 08:21 AM
  #12  
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Any opinions of renting a car in Waterford and driving to the Rock of Cashel?

Pretty sure it is Waterford City ( it is A Haolland America cruise- just says "Waterford").
vbrasil is offline  
Apr 4th, 2012, 09:04 AM
  #13  
 
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I will respectfully disagree with Michael with your limited time in Oslo since you have visited Skansen. I have visited and enjoyed both, but if you are just on a day ashore in Oslo, I think you are on the right track with the Viking Ship museum definitely, maybe the Kon Tiki if the kids learn about it in advance and are interested, maybe the City Hall for the murals and Nobel Prize connection.

The museum is nice if you want an art stop, but I don't think it would be at the top of my list for the day. Just depends on your personal interests.
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