Norway Day 8: Island life…

The day inevitably arrives when you pack your bags for the last time and prepare to depart for home. Lucky for me, my flight from Ålesund to Manchester via Oslo was not scheduled until 4:30pm which left me a good chunk of the day to enjoy a last precious slice of Norwegian beauty. But first, coffee…

And yes, it was strong and kicked like a mule! Be sure to call in at Invit** if you like a dose of pure drip heaven. I took mine sitting on a bench beside Ålesundet watching Monday morning spring to life. The pastel toned buildings set against a deep blue sky were strikingly picturesque and drew in my gaze as I drank my coffee. My kind of Monday morning…

Eyes wide open, I drove out of town towards three of the neighbouring islands: Giske, Godøy and Vigra, from where I would take to the skies. A spectacular network of undersea tunnels and bridges connect the islands. As I took the humpbacked Giske bridge onto Giske island, I sensed a sandy tranquility on the breeze reminiscent of the endless summer days of my childhood spent playing by the sea in Cornwall and Ireland. This feeling is the essence of relaxation and dreaminess to me. It was a good place to stretch my legs (for this would be the subtitle of the day prior to boarding the aircraft which would carry me home). Giske is home to one of Norway’s oldest marble churches and certainly some of its finest views out to sea:

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The 12th century white marble purity of Giske Kyrkje

Next I drove on to Godøy to visit Alnes and its beautiful old lighthouse. Lighthouses hold something of a fascination for me, standing tall and strong against all the might that Mother Nature can muster whilst rhythmically and reliably guiding those at sea to safety. It saddens me to see the decommisioning or automation of so many lighthouses, so it was with a spring in my step that I exited the Alnes tunnel and approached the trusty old wooden structure. Alnes Fyr/Lighthouse has been lovingly maintained. The main lighthouse is utilised as a gallery space for sharing pieces of art by local artists. And yes, you can go to the top via several flights of narrow wooden and metal steps. The last set without a handrail are slightly disconcerting, but once at the top you can forget how you might descend and breathe in the salty air as the breeze teases your tresses.

The lighthouse hides further treasures – a gorgeous cafe offering a selction of some of the tastiest homemade cakes you could wish for all lined up to make your choice so very difficult. My choice was the lingonberry cheesecake – it comes highly recommended and served with a smile. There is also a gift shop selling all sorts of handmade crafts and culinary delights. This is housed in a separate outbuilding unsupervised – the honesty is refreshing. I spent a couple of happy hours strolling around and just enjoying the joy of such a beautiful place. It will be a long time before I forget peeping through the cosy lighthouse windows out to sea…

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My final destination was Vigra island, visited (somewhat) inadvertently by those flying in and out of Ålesund. Drive on a mile or so beyond the airport and you arrive at the small village of Roald. Norwegians certainly know where to place benches and roadside tables to enable the traveller to stop for refreshment and beautiful views. A bench overlooking the bay, a designated nature reserve, offers a picturesque spot to have a picnic and some fresh air before venturing into the vacuum of airport life.

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Norway is a country of such magnificent beauty and charm. Like Norwegians themselves, the land opens its arms to you and offers a pure natural loveliness which is so good for the soul. I could happily lose myself in Norway for a month and never fail to be rendered speechless by it. As I parked up the hire car at Vigra Airport and began my journey home to my own bed, I knew that the nights to come would be punctuated with dreams of Norwegian blue, green and a host of accompanying hues from nature’s palette. As somebody once said,  I’ll be back…

** Invit Espressobar, Apotekergata 9, 6004 Ålesund, Norway. Find it online at: http://www.invit.no/default.aspx?menu=618

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4 thoughts on “Norway Day 8: Island life…

  1. AndreaOnVacation July 27, 2016 — 9:21 pm

    That blue sky- wow! The islands look so calm and relaxing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really was a great place to spend my last few hours in Norway – a real hidden gem!

      Like

  2. What a beautiful island! Would love to be able to visit it one day. That marble church is stunning, and the views are amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

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