Exploring Norway’s Fjord Region – Geiranger to Alesund

Exploring Norway’s Fjord Region – Geiranger to Alesund

By Vivienne Chapleo, photos by Jill Hoelting

WAVEJourney Explores Alesund, Norway

WAVEJourney Explores Alesund, Norway

Continued from previous page – Solvorn to Geiranger

Geiranger to Alesund: Today the sun finally broke through, and although we had good intentions of getting an early start for our 110 km drive to Alesund, the Geirangerfjord views from the hotel restaurant at breakfast put the skids on our need for speed as we basked in this jaw-dropping glory of Mother Nature.

Eagle Road – Ørnevegen:

Eagles Road - Ørnevegen Viewpoint

Eagles Road – Ørnevegen Viewpoint

Once we did set off, we drove the Eagle Road (rv. 3) and made a stop at Ørnevegen viewpoint for one last photo of the spectacular fjord below us. The Eagle Road reaches 620 meters above the town of Geiranger, and has 11 hairpin turns as it winds up the steep mountainside.

Within 75 minutes of our departure from Hotel Utsikten, we had driven the 25 km to Eisdal where we took a 12-minute ferry ride over Nordalsfjord to Linge (100 NOK/US$17.50). The scenery had changed along Nordalsfjord – it wasn’t as narrow as Geirangerfjord, but the scenery was still incredible.

Ferry from Eisdal to Linge, Norway

Ferry from Eisdal to Linge, Norway

From Linge we drove directly to Alesund – about 80 minutes including stops at a few viewpoints along the way to take photos of the breathtaking scenery.

Quality Waterfront Hotel:

Quality Waterfront Hotel in Alesund

Quality Waterfront Hotel in Alesund

Arriving in Alesund, we easily located our abode for the night, the new and modern Quality Waterfront Hotel. Most of the 180 guestrooms have a fantastic view of Aspevågen Bay and Sula Mountain, and the location is within a few minutes walk of the city center.

Alesund City Sightseeing Train:

Alesund City Sightseeing Train

Alesund City Sightseeing Train

After getting settled into our room, we did a quick walk into the city center and hopped on the Alesund City Sightseeing Train. The train starts and ends at Dronning Sonjas Plass, and the 60-minute journey through the city and up to Fjellstua viewpoint on Mount Aksla is narrated in multiple languages.

Amazing Scenery from Fjellstua Viewpoint on Mount Aksla

Amazing Scenery from Fjellstua Viewpoint on Mount Aksla

At Fjellstua we had a 10-minute stop, which was perfect for taking photos of Alesund, Borgundfjorden and the surrounding islands (150 NOK/US$26). We found this to be a great way to get an overview of the city and quickly learn a little about the history of this beautiful Art Nouveau town on Norway’s west coast.

Brosundet Canal in Alesund

Brosundet Canal in Alesund

Once we were finished with the sightseeing train tour, we stopped into the Alesund Tourism Office located along Brosundet Canal. Here we met the Tourist Information Manager, Britt Giske Andersen, who not only treated us with coffee and cake, but also very kindly offered to take us to the island of Alnes and a tour of the Alnes Lighthouse. Who could refuse that? Not us!

Alnes Lighthouse:

Alnes Lighthouse

Alnes Lighthouse

Britt spent the next three hours showing us some of her favorite places in and around Alesund and the neighbouring islands – including her favorite beach which she swore us to secrecy. After only a 20-minute drive from the city center, we arrived at the Alnes Lighthouse that was built in 1876. But in order to get there we had to first drive over a bridge and through a few tunnels under the ocean to get to the island of Godoya. Very cool!

Village of Alnes on Godoya

Village of Alnes on Godoya

The small village of Alnes is located on the northern side of Godoya, and Alnes Fyr (meaning lighthouse in Norwegian) stands tall against the wild and rugged landscape that opens up to the sea. Lighthouse keepers have kept watch since service was first established in 1852; but since 1982 the lighthouse has become fully-automated.

Today it is possible to take a tour of the lighthouse, and we climbed the narrow stairs to the top where we enjoyed the fantastic views of the island and out to sea. There is also a gallery that houses the work of local Norwegian artist, Ørnulf Opdahl, a souvenir shop and a cafe (be sure to try svele – a typical local pancake).

Jill and Britt

Jill and Britt

Sjøbua Restaurant:

 Sjøbua Restaurant - Gratinated Salted Dried Cod

Sjøbua Restaurant – Gratinated Salted Dried Cod

After touring more of the small islands near Alesund, Britt dropped us off at Sjøbua Restaurant, one of her favorites. Relaxing in the old warehouse that has been transformed into one of Alesund’s top fish restaurants, we enjoyed starters of fresh scallops with risotto and sauce vierge (a French sauce made from olive oil, lemon juice, chopped tomato, chopped basil), and steamed mussels in a saffron sauce as we looked out over Brosundet Canal. Our main courses were gratinated salted dried cod with bacon and a carrot and rutabaga puree; halibut with a lobster cream sauce and medley of sauteed vegetables. Dinner was absolutely divine!

Brosundet Canal in Alesund

Brosundet Canal in Alesund

From the restaurant it was a lovely stroll back to the hotel, where we could lie in bed and watch the reflection of the midnight sun slowly setting with the rays bouncing off the fjord. The sun barely sets in this area during the summer – it is on the same latitude as Anchorage, Alaska.

If You Go:

Follow more of WAVEJourney’s June 2012 travels in Norway:

WAVEJourney Explores Norway’s Fjord Region | Explore Bergen | Bergen to Flam | Flam to Solvorn | Solvorn to Geiranger | Geiranger to Alesund | Explore Oslo |

 

2 Responses to Exploring Norway’s Fjord Region – Geiranger to Alesund

  1. Your pics are amazing. Looking forward to checking out your entire blog and really enjoying your Sognefjord articles so far. My BFF, her sister, mother (they’re all 100% norwegian) and I did 2 weeks in Norway this summer (end of July / 1st week of Aug) and we had to amend our plans to go from Oslo to Solvorn area at the last minute and it just killed us. My family on my fathers side is from the Sognefjord Luster area so my BFF and I are already talking about going back ASAP and the Sognefjord area is our 1st priority!

    Cami Halsey 10/01/2012 at 9:20 am
    • Lucky you, Cami, having Norwegian family. Such a fabulous country and such wonderful people.

      Viv 10/07/2012 at 8:10 pm

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