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Sunday, February 7, 2016

Filming by cruise ship, on P&O Azura in the Norwegian Fjords.


Let's be honest, what is not to love about cruising. 

On P&O Azura I have three favourite restaurants - this was in the Glass House. Spoilt again with excellent food, great wines and fantastic service.

And we were working ! Filming and Cruising.

On the P&O ship Azura, I cruise the Norwegian Fjords and it was a huge experiment to shoot episodes of the show Shades Of Bad before the first episodes had aired, the scripts for season three were not written and we had no plan. Just an idea. However, it has worked and season three starts in April. Here is the tale. Now we have a spin off travel show, but this is not one of my typical travel shows sharing and discussing what I find with you as a presentation to to camera, but I discovered that the footage shot for the TV show had more than enough great moments to construct a fantastic little travel show on the Norwegian Fjords. I hope you enjoy it.

Norway looks stunning, the ship is heralded in a separate film on my playlist, along with many Azura stops on the Carribean.

I sailed from Southampton and in no time docked in Stavanger, it was a Sunday and most things were closed in this very religious country.
We always hit two things when filming, postcards and tourist office. They know the best places and views.
The tourist office suggested we might like to walk to the 12th century cathedral modelled on Winchester Cathedral in town and join the service. We were there on a mission to film certain scenes in a film so we needed a map and orientation which I help you with on the above film and I hope it means you arrive with confidence.
With a very long day planned it was a shame it was cold wet and raining. You need to plan for all weathers when visiting Norway, it can change and change again all day. As I was shooting a continuity drama and it started cold and wet, and Doris was meant to be in 'cold war spy mode', I started in a large fake fur coat and hat. When it got warm and sunny at Skjolden, people in shorts and tee shirts looked at me as if I was mad.
Stavanger is the gateway to the spectacular mountain and lakes scenes of the fjords. It is the town known as the 'Cradle of the Vikings' and the town still has many 200 year old wooden houses that have withstood the weather. The little streets and cafes are what you must see and the prettiest one I found is well covered on the film.
Weather beaten and with time against us, I did not complete all the shooting in Stavanger a cheat was needed, as so often in TV drama, but the story was Doris was to collect a package.

The next stop was Skjolden and by then the footage had been roughly cut and the script re-written to fit what we had shot, but turning into a shop in the middle of Stavanger needed a cut in the town. Skjolden could not have been more of a contrast and nothing like Stavanger, but the cut was done walking away from a wooden cafe. Doris in her huge fur coat to match the previous day's filming,the rest of the tourists all in shorts and light shirts as the sun was out, it was warm and wonderful. The morning coast in and the evening sail out of Skjolden were fantastic as the town sits at the head of the longest navigable fjord in the world. It can be seen surrounded by the beautiful snow capped mountains on both the drama and our tourist cut. If organised you might have been able to whiz off and ski, or if ultra wise you might have taken a cycle and could have explored. The town itself is tiny and is a collection of pretty wooden houses.

Skjolden and Olden are both places to cycle and I know there was a cycle shot near the dock in Olden, I am sure the same can be found in Skjolden.

The peaceful village of Olden was our third stop, the lake had been made by rivers pouring down the
Briksdal Glacier for over a million years and the giant waterfalls were still visible on the spectacular journey. Doris had to fight the wind and her was hair blowing everywhere as we shot one side of a phone call from the deck looking out at a backdrop feature films afford. We didn't film in Olden nor take a tour as we are regular mountain lovers, as you will see from other films, we just relaxed in this peaceful town.

Our last stop was in Bergen, a former European City of Culture and here there was much to film.
Bergen has a long funicular which from filming Strike Back for HBO in Hungary, we knew would be spectacular. Here is a trick, we avoided the ticket queue by purchasing the ticket in an adjacent cake shop. Here we enjoyed a pastry coffee break in a cafe full of expats who live and work there.
Bergen sports many statues and great architecture. The actual fish market closed early morning so we were in the key sides shops that showed some of the catch.
We finished filming and went back to dump the cameras and the fake fur coat then came back out to relax. There was a cycle race finishing which reorganised the town, but of our stops in Norway it was the largest and has the most to offer for a walking tour.

Be prepared, Norway is expensive and the weather can change. In Olden I advise a tour to the glacier as there is little to see in the town.
As I visit the mountains each year to ski, see my film on Courchevel, Three Valley in the French Alps, I did not go to the glacier but enjoyed a a relaxing walk round Olden then the ship.

For the full list of travel films as they appear click here. We would ask that you subscribe to our YouTube Channel because numbers count, you can either do that via the films or click here for the main page, the subscribe button is on the right at the bottom of the profile box. You have to be logged on to do that, the reason YouTube ask for you to log on is to ensure you are over 18 to get certain films.

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