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Land HO!

Mandal's highest point
Mandal's highest point (Tilly Cantor)
We officially began our cruise in the Netherlands, but the fun truly began at our first stop in Mandal, Norway (day 3 of the planned itinerary). Our first leg of the journey was a long 24 hour ocean crossing from Amsterdam to Mandal. We were supposed to have a nice pit stop at a small island off the coast of Denmark on day 2, but due to poor weather and rough seas, we hoofed it to mainland Norway. It was a nice reprieve to finally board the tender boats and make our way to dry, unmoving, land! A local tour company met us at the dock and whisked us away on a lovely 3 hour walking tour of the town. Mandal is a quiet town with a history in the salmon trade. It is still a large part of their culture which we found to be true for most of the country as well. Our walk led us through winding cobblestone streets, up to the tallest point in the town to a lookout tower, to a local shopping district, and to the original church. We also took a few stops along the way to say hello to a number of friendly neighbor cats. After our tour we had a few hours to self explore. Tadd and I found a nice restaurant along the marina and enjoyed the local atmosphere. That evening as the ship left port we made our way to the rooftop deck, sat in the hot tub and watched as the town slipped into the distance. Day “one” was an absolute success!


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