After 2 nights sailing in the Norwegian Sea, we pulled into the port of Alesund, pop 67,000, on the west coast of Norway. What a beautiful, picturesque city!
On the night of January 23, 1904, practically the entire town was destroyed by fire. Only one person died but more than 10,000 people were left homeless. After so many homes formerly built of wood were destroyed by fire, the town rose from the ashes with new homes rebuilt using stone, brick and mortar. Most buildings were rebuilt from stone in Art Nouveau style between 1904 and 1907.
Alesund was often given the term “Little London” during the occupation of Norway by Nazi Germany because of the resistance work that took place there.
Alesund also has the most important fishing harbor in Norway with one of the most modern fishing fleets in Europe. It has a large shipbuilding yard as well as a large furniture industry.
We were thrilled to see temperatures in the early morning in the 60’s and no rain. What a welcome relief after the cold weather in Iceland!
We had a choice of a Hop On Hop Off Bus, a miniature sightseeing train or exploring by foot. We wanted to see the spectacular view from Mt Aksla but didn’t relish the idea of the 400 steps up and 400 steps down to the viewing platform.
So we decided on the sightseeing train that took us right to the top as well as giving us a nice commentary of the town.
After visiting Mt Aksla we rode throughout Alesund, including by The House That Didn’t Burn. The story is during the devastating fire of 1904, this small wooden house survived the fire while others around it were destroyed. The day before the fire an angel visited the owner, Anders Nor, and told him something was going to happen that was very bad, but he was not to be afraid and not to leave his house. If he did not leave, his house would be spared. He stayed and the house is still standing today. Furniture that had been removed from the house caught fire and burned. The miracle house is a museum today and the story of Anders Nor’s miracle is still being shared today.
It was an enjoyable ride. We did a little shopping but found souvenirs very expensive in both Iceland and Norway. So no shirt today but we have two more ports in Norway so there is always hope. We did manage to find a geocache on our way back to the ship as well as a supermarket for some Diet Coke and Coke Zero.
Next up: Maloy, Norway