I want you to envision a small island with brightly colored buildings located along the waterfront. The buildings are constructed in the Art Nouveau style and are covered with intricate architectural details. The streets are impeccably clean and very narrow. Off in the distance you see other small mountainous islands as well as the entrance to one of the most famous fjords in the world. Welcome to Ålesund, Norway.
Located along the western coast of Norway, Ålesund (Ole-sun) is a sea port comprised of seven outer islands. I can easily say that it was hands-down the most beautiful town that we visited during our trip. The area is a photographer’s dream.
After a day of cruising, the ocean gave way to shadowy mountains hidden within the mist of the morning. When I saw the mountains off in the distance it was surreal; it was hard to believe that I was actually watching the sun rise over the mountains in Norway. Needless to say, this moment was very emotional for me as I had waited so long to see Norway.
Yes, more than a few tears were shed. And I’m sure the person taking pictures next to me thought I was crazy as the tears were streaming yet I was smiling from ear to ear.
Throughout our day, I kept thinking that this whole town was basically one beautiful postcard. Buildings constructed in the Art Nouveau style sat right along the waterfront creating a beautiful sight (and many beautiful photo ops).
While in port, we decided to buy tickets for the Hop on Hop off bus tour. For about $40USD we had 24-hour access to the bus and the entire city. Was it a little expensive? Sure. But it was the best means of transportation since the bus ran all day and a two-hour narrated tour was included in the cost.
While on the tour we learned about the history of Ålesund and how a majority of the city burned to the ground on a cold January night in 1904. Because most of the buildings were constructed of wood, the fire was devastating. Over the next three years the city was rebuilt in the popular Art Nouveau style that we see today.
The bus maneuvered through the tiny streets and hairpin bends up to the top of Mount Aksla in order to see the picture-esque town from above. The views from this overlook were million dollar views.
We were greeted with clear blue skies and warm weather during our day in Ålesund. We had a late departure so we spent the afternoon exploring the town, mailing postcards, browsing the gift shops, and enjoying the magnificent architecture. I could have easily spent an entire weekend here…