August 4, 2010

  • Alesund, Norway, is literally the most beautiful city I’ve ever seen.  It’s frustrating to me that the photos I took today don’t adequately reflect the beauty of Alesund, with its marvelous Art Nouveau architecture and vivid colors. 

    Mom and I took the Jewels of the Crown excursion, which began with a bus ride through part of Alesund, including a 15 minute stop at a look-out point (some friends were on another bus for the same tour, but it didn’t stop for the passengers to exit and take pictures, isn’t that a pity?  They were very displeased).  The Queen Mary 2 was in port as well, and mercy Maud, that’s a huge ship!  When I consider how long it can take to get to our cabin on the Maasdam, it’s truly daunting to think about what it’d be like to trek around the QM2.

     

    Anyway, here’s a photo of the QM2 at the Alesund cruise pier, followed by one of the Maasdam:

     

     

    One thing I swiftly noted about Alesund – and I expect to find it’s applicable to Norway in general – is the proliferation of flowers, especially roses.  The bus went past too quickly for me to catch it photographically, but there was a particularly lovely little house with lush rose bushes in front of it, and a sod, i.e. grass, roof!  The roof looked like it needed to be mowed, Mom noted.  ;^)  I regret not having been able to take a picture of it to share, and also to refresh my memory.  Oh well!

    After the bus ride we were delivered at a smaller pier where we exited the bus, and we were surprised and rather taken aback to discover that as soon as the HAL people were off, a bunch of people from the QM2 were advancing upon it, due to the Cunard woman holding a sign up.  Good thing we hadn’t left anything on the bus, as we never saw it again!  The tour guide hadn’t said a word about being careful to take everything off that we’d had with us, and I hope everyone did.

    So the QM2 tourists and the Maasdam tourists traded places, with us boarding the boat they’d just been on, and them getting on the buses that had delivered us to it.  The boat quickly set out, taking us to and through the Hjorundfjord, one of (the excursion guide assured us) most enchanting fjord in Norway.  It was gorgeous, and fascinating to see an occasional tiny community along the way.  One of them was only reachable by ferry in the winter, as the road closes when the winter weather arrives.

    This was interesting, I thought….due to the many hydroelectric plants along the fjord, it no longer freezes over in the winter!  It’s quite rare for that to happen, though it used to be a regular occurrence. 

     It was also interesting to learn that ten thousand years ago, ice covered the area, including the mountains.  From the bottom of the fjord to the top of the mountains, ice.  That’s thick ice, that is!  Then around eight thousand years ago it melted, which is when the first settlements appeared.  Gosh, you mean that enormous amount of ice melted and we had absolutely nothing to do with it?  How’d that happen?

    The Tideexpress took us all the way back to the cruise pier, which was nice.  Mom bought some postcards then returned to the Maasdam, but I spent a couple of hours wandering through Alesund, drinking it in.  Okay, and poking into various shops.  At one I found the most charming lavender shawl.  I simply loved it, but decided against buying it when it was found to be roughly $66.   The postcards I purchased cost a couple of bucks each!  The prices of things is high, although I did find a lavender knit blouse for not too much and got that.  Turns out Norway can be warm, and it was a fair bit warmer today in Alesund than had been forecast, and there I was in a long-sleeved top and carrying my fleece jacket around.  Mom kindly took it with her when she went back to the ship, so I wouldn’t be burdened with it any longer.  Tomorrow is Bergen, and we’ve been warned to dress in layers, as it can get almost hot.

Comments (3)

  • Excellent entry Anne! Looks wonderful! Love, Louis

  • What a great day! Alesund is lovely and the fjord is breathtaking! How much fun! I think your photos are wonderful – if you’d like to enhance your colors, etc. – you can go to a Kodak kiosk at CVS, and you’d be surprised at the difference! If you don’t want prints – you can buy a disc with your edited photos.

    Your Xanga is a great way to document your trip, while making the rest of us pea-green with envy!

  • I finally got caught up on your blog. Beautiful pictures. I loved seeing the one that corresponded with the postcard you sent the girls but with your boat in port. Have fun!

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