Recovering lost memories from Alesund in Norway 挪威的奧勒松
The reason I don’t like going on cruise holidays is that you see too little of too many places. Often you only get to visit a city for a day, or maybe 5 or 6 hours only if the port is quite far away from the tourist attraction. That’s why I don’t have mamy memories from my visit to Alesund in Norway.
最近翻看照片原來前幾年去過挪威的奧勒松也忘記了。 奧勒松位於蓋朗厄爾海灣附近，這個海灣是挪威著名景點，坐郵輪的乘客大都會到這兩個地方。 奧勒松在1904年經歷一場大火，幾乎把整個市內建築都燒掉。重建時以新藝術派建設， 形成今天市內概整齊又美觀的容貌。要欣賞奧勒松最好到Aksla山丘。從鎮裏可以坐小火車或攀登418級樓梯。 在山丘上，可以把奧勒松的新藝術派建築物，及在大西洋上的附近小島盡入眼簾。我在奧勒松只逗留了半天，未能多了解這個城市。這就是坐郵輪的美中不足，很多地方都只能走馬看花。
WHEN AND WHY DID I GO?
I went to Alesund on my first cruise holiday to Norway and Iceland in 2012. It’s located near the Geirangerfjord (that I do remember going to) and is a stop for most cruise ships going through the region. Cruises aren’t my cup of tea, but that was a big family holiday so in that respect, it was really good spending quality time together with my family. The downside is that I only have vivid memories of some of the places we went to, Alesund in Norway being one of them. Here’s our cruise ship.
MY TIME AT ALESUND IN NORWAY
Going through my photos, some memories from that day started to trickle back vaguely, and I had to do a bit of research to jog the rest of my memory (it’s not as good as it used to be). Alesund isn’t very big and I remember we could walk into town after we disembarked. Out of my 41 photos for the day, I took the first one at 1037 and the last one 1559, that’s a 5.5 hours span. So give our take we probably spent less than 7 hours in Alesund town, barely enough to explore a place.
The first place we went to was Aksla viewpoint. This gives you a panoramic view of the town, looking out towards the archipelago and the Atlantic beyond You can take a little train ride up there or climb the 418 steps. I can’t remember which option I took but if it was my choice, it would definitely be the latter, that I can still manage. Anyway, here’s me next to the train.
I have to admit, the view here was very breath taking, especially with the town’s famous architecture (more on that in a minute) and our cruise ship in the background.
After a short stop we headed back down to explore the town. Unlike most cities where you have buildings built over time, resulting in a mix of old and new, and different styles, Alesund was different. The architecture in Alesund town is unusually tidy and consistent. Apart from a few buildings that looked like office blocks, nearly all the buildings were of the same style – Art Nouveau. This, as I subsequently found out was because of a major fire that destroyed the whole of Alesund in 1904. The town had to be rebuilt from scratch and the architects decided on an Art Nouveau style. Not being an artist or architect, I can’t tell you the characteristics of Art Nouveau style, but I liked it. The urban planners did quite a good job and scattered quite a few colourful buildings around town, that’s why sometimes Alesund is called the Norwegian Venice.
To be fair, none of us had done much research on Alesund beforehand, so apart from Aksla viewpoint, we just wandered around town in the afternoon. I couldn’t even remember where we went for lunch. It’s just like lost memory for me. Had it not been for these photos, I can’t remember where I went. Though by the looks of it, it was a pleasant walk. And before you wonder, no I wasn’t being grumpy in Alesund, I’m just not good in photos.
Compared to the fjords and other more famous places such as Bergen and Olden, Alesund ranked a bit low on our list. This stop was the day after we had visited the Geiranger and having just visited the beautiful fjords, Alesund had big shoes to fill.
I guess during my few hours in Alesund in Norway, I had barely scratched the surface. With Norway being Norway, I’m sure if I had ventured out a little bit, it would have more to offer. You see, that’s why I’m not a big fan of cruise holidays. Anyway, I’m not complaining, it’s another pin on my map.