At first sight the second largest city in Norway seems just that - a city, which just happens to be beside the sea. Birmingham on Sea if you like, but with Norwegians not Brummies - thank God!
So let's get out there and poke it, see what crawls out.
First stop, the ubiquitous sight-seeing bus. A quick tour round is just the thing to get your bearings. Here on the left is yet another UNESCO heritage site. There seem to be a lot of those in Norway. It turns out that this one is for stupidity- more of that later.
Past the fish market, pull up on the dock for a photo opportunity. Up round by the aquarium, along by the fort that was built but never used, down into the centre of town which unsurprisingly is the main shopping district. Pull up at the park, another photographers must, apparently. Turn up at the concert hall, the Grieg Halle- well do you know another famous Norwegian? Thought not! Set off again, this time down past - the fish market! Oh, that's it then is it. Might as well get out here I suppose.
In - you guessed it - the fish market, it turns out that there are fish tanks, with crabs in. No, not the tiny itchy ones sir. I'd say that these were more like dinner plates, except they're a lot bigger than that! And, as these things are wallowing about, waving their pincers and goggling their stalky eyes you notice that to each one is attached a bar code. Surely they don't come out of the sea like that! Poor buggers! I bet if they had a name tag fastened to their back legs people wouldn't be so keen to crunch through them, after all no one wants to eat something they've christened Heindricke, do they!?
Anyway let's make our way down to the UNESCO bit. Funny - there seem to be a lot of folk wandering around with Metallica tee shirts don't there. Anyway, here are some nice old wooden buildings. One is a bar, so we sit outside as the sun is over the yardarm (you pick up these nautical terms cruising you know.) turns out that some of these places are not as old as they seem. Wooden see, that's the key word - a bit prone to burning down, as they do, frequently as it turns out. The last time was in 1944 when an ammunition ship was bombed in the harbour. Bit of a fire risk that. No point buying fire retardant furniture around here then, because the building burns down first. Which brings me to the stupidity bit - haven't they heard of bricks!?
Back on the ship now. Bit of noise over the road, Metallica are doing a sound check. Fancy that, it turns out that they're playing in the park across from where we're docked and sods law says that we’re about to set sail and miss it.
Oh, and look, there's a bloke on deck being a pain in the arse about smoking areas. Perhaps he's just concerned about Norway's cultural heritage burning down again, but somehow I doubt it. I don’t smoke anymore after the you-know-what, but if you do sit in the smoking area please don’t whinge about people smoking! There is another ninety percent of the boat especially devoted to someone of your tender sensibilities, sir.
Think I'll chuck the twat overboard so we can hear the concert whilst they're fishing him out!