Helsinki to Norway July 2016
Helsinki day 1  |  Helsinki day 2  |  Helsinki day 3  |  Stockholm  |  Stockholm to Kosta  |  Kosta to Kalmar
Kalmar to Copenhagen  |  Copenhagen  |  Copenhagen to the Ship  |  Aalborg, Denmark  |  Flam, Norway
Alesund, Norway  |  Molde, Norway  |  Geiranger, Norway  |  Olden, Norway  |  Bergen, Norway
Eidfjord, Norway  |  Stavanger, Norway

July 27, 2016
Alesund, Norway

Alesund is a neat little town, built along a protected cove in a fjord. But it's not really so little. It's one of the largest cities on Norway's coast.

We were scheduled into Alesund at 10 in the morning, an unusually late arrival that ends up throwing everyone off. Seems like most of the passengers slept in this morning, which is what we did too. It rained the whole night before but luckily stopped by the time we pulled in.

Today we were supposed to tour two islands connected to Alesund by tunnels and bridges. But we began to question our decision to do this when we saw that the tour began at 2:30 in the afternoon and lasted until 6:30. Since we were docked right at the heart of the City and it looked interesting, we opted to go on a tour of the city instead.

After gathering at the dock, we began to stroll toward the old downtown center. The guide was infatuated with his own sense of humor as he (apparently) tried to share some city history with us. He also spoke softly, as if he were at a dinner table with a group of friends. This was a problem since he stopped to chat with our tour group of 24 by a busy and noisy roadway. Given the pace he set, the talking locations he chose, and the wisdom he chose to share, we chose to leave the group and go off on our own.

Alesun is a long and skinny and compact main city, with some of the rest of the city on nearby islands connected with bridges and tunnels. However, it made up for some of that compactness by being hilly - like Seattle and San Francisco. I threw in the towel after a couple of hours, having seen most of the relatively level Old Town.

Alesund, Norway    Alesund, Norway    Alesund, Norway    Alesund, Norway   

Alesund, NorwayAlesund, NorwayAlesund, NorwayI tried to encourage Carol to take the later tour to the islands by herself. She opted for walking around the city on her own and climbing up a hill to a see-in-all-directions observation point (the white building on top of the hill in the first photo above). A few of the stairs going up this huge granite cliff are shown in the middle photo, above. The stair builders had a perverse sense of humor. At the bottom was a sign saying that there were 413 stairs to the observation area. Then, at completely random points along the stairs, brass number plates had been embedded in the concrete indicating how many stairs had been climbed. Carol reported that this was definitely not helpful because her usual reaction was, "What! I've only climbed xx steps?!".

Alesund, NorwayAlesund, NorwayAt lunch, we were treated to the locals saying goodbye to a ship that was moored quite near us but left port just as we were having lunch. There as a flag-festooned small boat that came alongside the departing ship and said fond farewells via water cannons and a real cannon salute!

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