With much reluctance I forced my eyes open and turned toward the wall of windows in our cabin as our huge cruise ship eased ever so gently into the mouth of Milford Sound in the Fjordland National Park in New Zealand.
Getting out into nature at sunrise is *mostly a rewarding experience, especially when the mind and body get with the program and start operating in unison. But this fine morning rousing myself from a deep sleep in my comfortable bed while the ship cruised along at open seas, gently rocking from side to side, the temptation of sleep to wash over me again was a challenge.
Having been at sea for 3 days, the sight of mountains in the distance under a brilliant sky made my heart skip a beat and had me bounding out of bed and sliding the big glass doors open to take it all in. Especially because we had been advised that it is indeed a rarity to sail into Milford Sound in good weather because it rains something like 200 days of the year.
Watching the spectacular Milford Sound from the comfort of our private deck with toasty warm cups of coffee in hand (see my Coffee Survival Guide when Travelling) as we crept slowly into the Fiord was an awe inspiring experience. The massive sheer rock cliffs with waterfalls plunging hundreds of metres into the sea, and snow-capped mountains towering above created an extraordinary majesty and cathedral silence, there was nothing for it but to drink in all the beauty.
A brilliant breakfast spread was delivered to our room, freshly squeezed orange juice, muesli with fresh fruit, bagels with Parma ham, cream cheese and rocket, and perfectly poached eggs with toasted soldiers was laid out before us.
No need to move, as we had the best seat in the house!
Thinking that this moment couldn’t possibly get any better, imagine my surprise to find the ship slowly turning around (no small feat, check out the size of my floating home) ever so gently pivoting on the spot for around 30 minutes to journey back out of Milford Sound.
The result was an inch by inch close range panorama scenery that allowed an up close and personal private viewing of the waters edge where seals lazed in the sunshine, cliffs, waterfalls, sheer drops and snow covered peaks with their shady valley views that changed in front of our very eyes. Wowza, now that was an awesome experience!
Tell me Dear Reader, have you been to Milford Sound before? Are you an early riser? And where is the coolest destination you have woken up?