Alesund

So here are the follow ups on our last two stops in Norway. I guess better late than never, eh?

We had been following the weather forecast for Alesund and Geiranger, our next stop, in Bergen. The longer we looked the worse it got: First it was cloudy, then it was rainy, then the temperature dropped, then the visibility sank to pretty much nothing. In  the end we decided to skip the Geirangerfjord, simply because there’s not much point in visiting the fjord if you can’t see the fjord.
Instead we spent a day in Alesund, a beautiful Art Nouveau city/town. The city can be caracterized by it’s typical buildings, all of which seem to have these lovely grey roofs. The reason all the buildings seem so alike is that someone burned most of the city down at the beginning of the last century. This appalled Kaiser Wilhelm, who liked to come here on holiday, and he comitioned much of the city to be rebuilt in the Art Nouvau style. This leads to  a very coherent and beautiful city center from the beginning of the 20th century. It was built entirely between 1904 and 1911.

Visiting Alesund was somewhat of a challenge for us, due to the weather. As promised by the weather forecast (unfortunately), it was snowing when we left the house, however we were optimistic that this could not last long (mostly based on the fact that we didn’t want it to snow). Surprsingly, we were right: shortly after we reached the city center it stopped snowing and the sun actually showed up. But, there’s always a but, it didn’t last long, the sun disappeared again and we were left in a snowstorm that came down on us with renewed vigour.  We fled into the nearest Cafe. The rest of the day was spent alternately enjoying sunny Alesund or frantically searching for a Cafe to take refuge in under heavy snow. Luckily Alesund has a good number of really cosy Cafe’s from which you can watch the snow fall.
In the late afternoon we decided to dare climb up to a view point on a hill above Alesund. As we quickly learned the short way up was closed, due to damage from a storm, so we had to take the long way round, climbing the hill from the back. The walk was very enjoyable, the scenery was breath taking, featuring the open sea and a multitude of minuscule islands spread around. We could also see the waves of bad weather travel accross, making small islands vanish and just to reappear shortly thereafter.
As we were walking through this beautiful countryside, my sister suddenly yelled “A moose!” and consequently motioned me to be silent. She needn’t have. As it turns out there’s very little that will disturb a moose. Two German students in the distance, surely don’t qualify as a source of concern, even if they start whistling and making funny noises to attract some attention. All we managed to get out of the moose was a few bored glances in our direction. Accordingly what you can see on the right is my “best shot” of the animal. Clearly I have a great future as a photographer!
After spending entirely too much time trying to lure the moose onto a more photogenic spot, snow set in again. As before, we rushed to the next Cafe, which unfortunately was at the view point and still quite far away. When we arrived there, we were quite frozen and spent a long time watching the view through the Window rather than braving the elements outside. Finally, as before, the weather cleared up but the sun decided not to return anymore.

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