Throwing back the curtains to sunshine and blue skies, I relished the day ahead in beautiful Art Nouveau Ålesund. Technically it was still Spring but it couldn’t have felt more summery in the middle of August. It’s a town which nestles snugly between the Sunnmøre Alps and the Norwegian Sea, serving as a gateway to the western fjord region of Norway. As large towns go, Ålesund is a raving beauty whether surveyed under gloomy skies or dazzling sunshine. To me it never looked better than in early morning when Ålesundet was as still as a millpond, reflecting this beauty to the heavens:
The town has a number of interesting indoor attractions but with the beautiful blue skies, I decided to spend the day outdoors exploring the streets and views out across the sea. Just strolling around Ålesund is in itself a pleasurable experience. The architecture portrays beauty yet hides a terrible story of a night in January 1904 when virtually the whole town of wooden buildings burned to the ground. Showing the huge spirit of western Norwegians, the town was completely rebuilt in the Art Nouveau style of architecture popular at the time.
One of my favourite ways to see a town or city is to get up high for a panoramic view. Ålesund has one of the best viewpoints in the world at Aksla, a hill overlooking the town and neighbouring islands & skerries. Take the 400+ steps from the park up to the top. It’s a long walk but there are plenty of benches to stop at on the way up. Once you get there, I’m sure you’ll agree it was worth it:
Ålesund is a typical oceangoing harbour town with a mixture of small boats, fishing boats and larger vessels such as ferries, cruise liners and the Hurtigruten, which makes a daily call. Though I didn’t get out on the water whilst in Ålesund, I can imagine it is a great way to take in the magnificent views of the landscape. The locals were friendly, especially this friendly little guy who decided to trot along behing me and loved nothing more than a rub behind the ears:
Ålesund is one of those towns which is best shared in all its visual glory. I had a ball just strolling around and savouring the salty air and sublime views. My last full day in Norway was relaxed, car free and just so enjoyable. Tomorrow I would depart for home, but for tonight I found a waterside perch and just drank in the views and atmosphere…