I arrived with the Hurtigruten ferry in Ålesund in the middle of the night. Mostly known for its unique Art Nouveau architecture, Ålesund is an elegant and enchanting town, which not unlike Kristiansund, spreads out over several islands. Ålesund ows it’s unusual consistent architecture a devastating fire in 1904, in which the town’s larger part had been destroyed. Following, it was entirely rebuilt in the fashionable style of that time, Art Nouveau.
The German Kaiser Wilhelm II, who had often been vacationing in the area, sent several warships with building material to build temporary shelters and barracks for the thousands, that had become homeless in just one night. In his honour, one of the main streets had been named after him. As a funny coincidence I had accomodation right in Keiser Wilhelms Gate.
Most of Ålesunds authentic décor has been well preserved. The myriad of turrets and spires, sinuous lines and highly detailed ornamentations are mesmerising – it felt like walking through a movie set. And mundane every day chores, e.g. grocery shopping, were turned into a magical experience.
An absolute must is to climb the 418 steps to Aksla Mountain. In order to keep in shape I went up for a jog, as there are some nice trails on top, and a second time to take some photos of the stunning panoramic views.