Before moving to Europe, my husband and I decided that we would try and take advantage of all possibilities of travel (within our means) while we embarked on this overseas adventure. A few weeks into our Norwegian adventure, my husband got an opportunity to visit the Western coast of Norway to a town called Ålesund.
Ålesund is a picturesque shipping town with lovely crooked streets and a great view of the ocean and mountain ranges. We were especially lucky to visit Ålesund during the Tall Ships festival. Dozens of tall ships docked at the port in Ålesund with their grand masts and sails. It was quite a sight. What was really interesting is the age of many of the boats. They were as old as the early 1900s to present day.
Strolling the streets around the town was beautiful. Living in Oslo, there are a lot of modern buildings or older buildings which have been rehabilitated. In Ålesund, you could see some age to the buildings which I think adds to the charm. The colors on the homes brighten the landscape even when it’s wet and rainy (which is pretty typical there).
There is a really popular hike (400+ steps) in Ålesund which leads to Fjellstua, a mountain top, for a view of the entire town. From what I can tell, the views are amazing. We didn’t have long to stay so we opted to drive around the islands and towns nearby; however, the next time, it will definitely be on my list to visit. Instead, we drove through Godøy island and visited the Alnes LIghthouse.
It was a pretty rainy day but we still enjoyed the Lighthouse. Parking for the lighthouse is down the yard a bit which was at first confusing. We drove right by but figured it out when we saw a few random cars parked together near the Alnes Fyr sign. It’s a short walk to the Lighthouse from the parking spaces. There is a nice little café in the basement which has coffee, tea, and light snacks. We both settled down to a hot beverage and pancake with butter and brown cheese. Trust me – it’s good. In fact, here’s a photo – because what’s a blog post from me without a photo of some food, right?
After driving around and checking out the scenery, we finally found a good spot to watch the boats leaving Ålesund. Ships or no ships, the views are beautiful along the coast… with salty air and rocky coastlines in abundance.
We also had some very delicious food in Ålesund at a new place called KABB. KABB is owned by the same group who has several restaurants in the area including XL Diner and Milk. The restaurant offered tapas style food. We enjoyed the scallop appetizer and also the crab cake appetizer (not featured below). The scallops were cooked perfectly and paired really well with the sweet potato puree. The crab cakes were also good – very smooth. Definitely different than the crab cakes of Maryland but tasty nonetheless. My husband ordered the ossobuco for dinner and I had the paella. The ossobuco was very tender and savory. The paella was also very good. It was filled with salmon, chicken, soft shelled crab, and mussels. The saffron rice was good and even a bit crispy – mimicking how the rice is when cooked in a paella pan. That is one of my favorite parts of paella. We finished by sharing the strawberry panna cotta. Definitely a great place to get a bite!
On the second day of our trip, we went over to Geiranger, took a fjord ferry cruise and drove down the Troll Steps… but I’ll save that for the next post! Stay tuned.