After days in the mountains, we head towards the ocean, to the salty sea and fierce rain.
Sometimes one must return to “Ålebyen”, and it’s a rainy Ålesund facing us when we drive out to the sea. Behind us lie the Sunnmøre Alps with snowy white tops. Ahead of us is a gray North Sea, brightened by this beautiful city in art nouveau style. Eye candy for our guests we hope.
We find parking for the beasts and the rain stays away while we take a stroll in the streets of Ålesund. We admire the beautiful details of the art nouveau style buildings, flowers, happy colours, ornaments … The reason Ålesund was built in this style is due to the great fire of 1904. Most buildings back then were wooden and the fire spread quickly.
We breathe in the salty air thinking we should take the steps up to the viewpoint Fjellstua. As the rain starts to trickle again we find shelter in a bakery instead. Some hot drinks while the clothes dry would be nice. Hmm … and some snacks. A svele with brown cheese for me and Kvefjordkake for Tony (he got a taste for it in Stavanger). A svele is a thick pancake, often made with sour milk, a specialty from this part of Norway. It tastes good. Ruth wants to try, so she can try the goat cheese as well. She likes it. Not everyone is that enthusiastic about this caramel flavoured sticky cheese. The guys wrinkle their noses as they prefer stronger cheeses, such as Mature Farmhouse Cheddar.
It’s been three years since Joe and I were last in Ålesund, visiting friends and family. We took in the view from Fjellstua, as well as tasting the goodies from the sea, fresh saltwater crayfish (YUMMY!) and fish.
Instead of reminiscing we talk about yesterday instead. About our afternoon trip, where we started off from Mauseid and hiked up to Taustuhytta (you can continue to the Rollon cabin, but we stopped here). Many locals use this area for walking their dogs, jogging or just taking a stroll in the beautiful terrain. People smiled and said ´hello´. Everybody was happy. Taustuhytta was not open, but luckily the toilet was available. The views back inland to the mountains was not bad either. Along the path we found some quiz questions to answer: Which bird is the largest: crow, raven or magpie? Yep, it was a good evening exercise before we returned to our beds.
The rain has subsided slightly. We finish up our tea, returning to our Land Rovers just as the parking runs out. Then maneuver our beasts up and down the narrow slopes of the town and out of Ålesund. Heading north, from Vestnes we take the ferry to Molde. From there we drive on the RV64 towards Kristiansund and the Atlantic Road.
This is where we experience the worst weather on the whole trip. We know that there are mountains in the area, but we don’t see them. When we park up by Trollkyrkja (Troll church) to have lunch, Joe bursts out in frustration ‘Caves’! He loves caves and a hike to Trollkyrkja involves some caves with waterfalls. But the weather is so bad that it is not a good idea to go out there now. Instead, we retire to Ruth and Tony´s cambulance to keep dry and have a warm cup of tea.
We let it rain for a while before we drive further and then it seems to ease up slightly. When we reach the sea again and see the Atlantic Road it looks like the sun will break through the clouds. The weather cannot seem to make up its mind, although it really makes the backdrop more dramatic.
As we approach the iconic bridge over Storseisundet, Ruth and I jump out of the vehicles, thinking that we will shoot some good pictures of the Land Rovers when they drive over the top. We do our best. Rain and wind continues to pound us, but we do get something out of our photo shoot.
Ok. Another place we can tick off our must see list, rough seas and dramatic scenery. No wonder people are attracted to this place as wild and beautiful as it is. It must be amazing on a stormy day!