In the morning we arrived in Ålesund, surprisingly the Art Nouveau capital of Norway. In 1904 practically the whole city with mostly wooden houses was destroyed in a massive fire. Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, being a regular visitor of this region expressed his concern and was one of the first to provide help. The town was afterwards rebuilt in the contemporary Jugendstil style.
The Hurtigruten ship leaving Ålesund bound for the nearby Geirangerfjord
It is a pretty city and I was eager to discover it some more. We went for a small walk in the old city centre and enjoyed coffee in hip Invit. You can either sit in the coffee bar or in the restaurant. They also have a nice terrace on a floating pontoon for warm days at the waterfront.
After that Mike went of on an excursion to the islands of Giske and Godoy.
Some impressive light conditions
A visit to the Alnes Lighthouse on Godoy
Creative view from the lighthouse
Typical houses with grass roofs
View from the Mount Aksla
I was eager to go on a small hike. As the stairs to viewpoint Fjellstua were closed I decided to try one of the alternative routes. There was no mentioning how long the walk would take but I was not worried. Nevertheless after hiking a long time and seeing no sign to Fjellstua I decided to turn back. It still was a nice stroll in the quiet woods and some nice views on the surrounding islands. Only occasionally passed by a cyclist or runners. I guess that every single Norwegian has sporty blood in its veins. Good for them.
On my way back a man started talking in Norwegian to me. Always nice when people think I’m a local. Apparently he had been in Belgium as a technician on a ship and wanted to tell all about it. When after 5 minutes he practically wanted to marry me I decided it was probably wiser to get going. One of those many moments you just think is this happening for real.
No sign for Fjellstua
When I asked in the tourist office which way I should have walked to Fjellstua she assured me that apparently I had chosen the longest way and no there are no signs showing in which direction to go. Norwegians are brave people. I was not keen on walking up again and try where the shorter route would lead me. Luckily there was another viewpoint near the Ålesund Museum, which I found after a while. I was so happy I reached it and could enjoy the beautiful view from up there. Unfortuantely the museum was already closed, I’ll have to visit it a next time. Unlike the other viewpoint where all the tourists go (mostly with tour buses) it was just me and myself up there. Beautiful peaceful moment.
A canon and a view
In 1904 a small crew sailed from Ålesund in the Uræd, the worlds first covered lifeboat
Photos: Mike & Véronique