We arrived in Ålesund late afternoon and upon exiting the cruise ship, I only wanted to get a good nights sleep at our beautiful waterfront hotel. We woke the next morning to beautiful warm sunshine, and temperatures in the 50’s. For me I was grateful to walk on non-moving ground, and explore this sweet little town. It is known as the gateway to the nation’s waterways. We planned on spending two nights before heading on to Oslo to catch our flight to Finland. Mistakes are made on every trip and this was our first (& hopefully last) major one. We did not allow ourselves enough time in Ålesund. There was no way to change our itinerary at this point. My advice if coming to Norway is to give yourself a few extra days to explore this town.
After breakfast the next morning, we decided to start our day by getting some much needed exercise. The famous viewpoint, Aksla, gave us a panoramic view over the city, the coast, and the mountains. To get to the 418 steps that lead to the top, you walk through a charming park before you begin your journey to the top.
Not yet tired of being in glorious sunshine, we walked around the city and discovered we had skipped lunch, so oblivious we were to time in our merry wanderings around town. Here are five of the many photos we took after the more strenuous morning hike. (Slideshow)
After our growling stomachs reminded us that we had forgotten lunch – we headed to a local seafront restaurant. While we were in Oslo, we had met an American citizen originally from Budapest who had just come back from Ålesund. She gave us the name of a local restaurant that she and her husband had really enjoyed. We headed straight there for our early dinner (or late lunch?) arriving at 4:00 PM with no reservation. The food was amazing and because we arrived so early, we got the best seat in the house. Being right on the waterfront we obviously had to order fish, and come to think of it, that was all that was on the menu. Norwegian fresh fish from the North Sea will not be quickly forgotten. The name of restaurant if interested: Sjøbua.
After such an early dinner we decided the night was still young, so we headed over to the local movie theater to the Wonder Woman movie, which both of us enjoyed. The theater itself, the beautiful Løvenvold kino, was worth seeing all by itself. It was built in 1923 and had this old movie projector in the lobby. Clay could not tear himself away from it, and I noticed the theater manager kept a close eye on this strange American tourist.
Leaving Ålesund this next morning was bittersweet. We only had one full day to explore, and no time to check out the museums and investigate more hiking and water sports that this town offers. If you go to Norway, I would suggest that you stay in Ålesund for a few extra days – at least 4or 5 as a minimum. Normally, Clay and I do Airbnb’s, but this time our two night stay at the Radisson Blu was so perfect, I would highly recommend you skip the Airbnb and book this hotel. So long Ålesund. We loved you. Hope to see you again when we plan better.