Sunday, 18 September 2011

Ålesund and Geiranger

The view of Ålesund from Aksla mountain.
We had an early start today in Ålesund, the Venice of Norway.  Weather-wise it was our nicest day so far.  We had brilliant sunshine all day.
Ålesund is one of my favourite cities in Norway.  The water front area is beautiful and on a day like today it was great to just wander the streets and admire the  Art Nouveau architecture for which Ålesund is famous. 
One of the many splendid views on the long hike.
A lot of people went on a bus tour from Ålesund to our next port of call, Geiranger, where they met the ship again. Everyone had good things to say about the all-day tour. And why wouldn’t they?  They had perfect weather and some of the most amazing scenery in all of Norway.  Many people went on a walking tour of Ålesund while still others took a trip to the islands of Giske and Godøy which featured an old stone church built in 1150 and a beautiful old lighthouse.
Fram at anchor in Geiranger
We left Ålesund at 11:00 and arrived in Geiranger at 15:30.  That 4.50 hours of sailing was through some of the most spectacular scenery of our entire voyage! Geiranger is a Unesco World Heritage Site.  It is breath taking.  The small town is perched on the side of a well forested fjord that rises steeply from the sea.  Waterfalls cascade down the mountain. The leaves are just beginning to change colour as cool autumn takes a grip on the land.  There is fresh snow covering the mountain tops.
Sea kayakers returning to Geiranger.
Our day in Geiranger was sheer pleasure.  It seemed a Norwegian paradise.  Our timing was perfect.  It was a beautiful day and the tourist season is almost over.  Geiranger is one of the main tourist attractions in all of Norway. In peak season this stunningly beautiful community receives thousands of visitors daily. 
I was envious of those that took the opportunity to go sea kayaking.  The conditions could not have been better.