Greetings from Norway

An what do the passengers on the foreign cruise ships do ashore?

I don’t know but they must be finding something interesting, since there are expected to be 232 cruise ship calls in Ålesund between now and 12/12-23:

BTW; I see Fred Olsen Cruise’ M/V Bolette will be here on New Year’s Eve, before heading back to Southampton.

On Norway’s National Day, 17th May there will be two large ships in town, the M/V AIDAnova and M/V Iona. Some of the passengers and crew are usually invited to join in the parade and festivities in town. No, it is not a military parade but kids and grown-ups “marching” together:

Here is a video from last year’s 17th May celebration in Ålesund (if allowed in your area):

Last year MSC Gandiosa was here on 17th May:

MSC “Grandiosa” is 331 meters long and has room for over 6,000 passengers. The Italian-owned ship started operations in autumn 2019, just before the pandemic hit. It was for a while the only cruise ship in the world that was in almost normal operation, during the worst of the shutdown. On 17 May, the ship was in Ålesund, for the very first time.

Mild (+7C) and windy Boxing Day in Ålesund:

Photo: Magnar Lyngstad

A Christmas necessity:

Photo: Niclas Meinhard Niclasen

Sorry, no “After” pix. (The empty is in the recycling bin)

The Svalbard Aquavite contains the herbal plant “Sjørbuksurt” (Scurvy herb) which is full of vitamin C. It is an important plant of the cruciferous family, which grows quite a lot around Svalbard, and which was vital to the old trappers.
The leaves of this plant are full of C vitamins. These very scurvy herbs ended up in Svalbard Aquavit, which is made especially for Svalbard.
Herbs from the Barents region have been used, such as watercress, rose root and scurvy herb.
All fauna in Svalbard are protected, but thanks to a dispensation from the Governor’s environmental agency, in 2013 Det Norske Brenneri was allowed to go out to the bird mountain at Diabas (between Longyearbyen and Pyramiden) to pick scurvy herb.

It was Jan Haugan (pictured) and botanist Rolv Hjelmstad in Urtekilden who were responsible for the harvesting, and ensured that the right plants were brought from Svalbard, where all fauna is protected.

Photo: Det Norske Brenneri

Note: On Svalbard everybody has to carry a rifle when outside to scare off, or in worst cases,shoot, polar bears.

Looking for a job where you get plenty of fresh air and spectacular view while working??
The workplace for the next few months could be here:

This is what the entire route of the Via Ferrata Hornelen looks like. PHOTO: IVEST CONSULT

You cannot have a fear of heights if you apply for a job in Norges Boltefond.

Accommodations are provided near the workplace:

Base camp is established at the top of the mountain

Safe places are arranged along the route if you feel the urge to take short rests while working:

Probably not everyone would be able to get a pulse here.

They may hang high, but they are not particularly sour.

Oh sorry, it is too late to apply for job on this particular project. Via Ferrata Hornelen was completed and opened for business this last summer.
But if you would like to try it’ll be open for climbers again this coming summer.

Source: I dette arbeidslaget kan du ikkje ha høgdeskrekk – sjå video og spektakulære bilde - (behind paywall)

Ålesund ca. 1957:

Boys getting herrings to sell door-to-door in town at 10 øre per pc. for large herrings. (5 øre for small)

PS> No, I’m not in the picture, but used to do this every winter herring season from the age of 8 -12.

Source: Gamle bilder fra Ålesund. | Ca. 1957

Nice clear and calm afternoon in Ålesund with the temperature hovering around 0C:

Not much activity in the port this weekend.

On the 23rd of Jan. it is 119 years since the great fire in Ålesund.

On Friday 20.Jan. at 19.04 hrs. a sound, light and film show will be staged, using the buildings around “Brosundet” as the canvas, telling the story for the next generation of the dramatic night in 1904 when most of the town went up in flames:

This is what the same area looked like after the fire:

A wider view of the devastations:

From the Ålesund Fire Brigade’s history:

Horse drawn “Fire Engine”:

Photo taken from the Aspøy fire station in Kirkegata 35 in approx. 1925.

Initially temporary prefabricated barracks were shipped in from Germany to house the people and get some commercial activity started again:

The town was largely restored by 1907, but this time no wooden houses were allowed within the town center. This was thanks in large part to the generosity of the German Kaiser Wilhelm II who had been a regular summer visitor to the Norwegian fjords and Ålesund in the years before the great Ålesund fire. He is still revered here, with one of the main streets named for him.

The area around Brosundet looked much like it do today (top picture) but the use of the buildings have changed from fish processing to shops, offices and hotels:

PS> There will also be a “Fire walk” starting from where the fire started (in a Cannery on the South west side of town) and to where it eventually blew itself out, near the then town limit in the east.

One wooden building that survived the fire;

It is now a museum:


PS> The more likely explenation for the survival is that the owner, who run a milk shop in the house, splashed milk on the walls.

It has been said that “Norwegians are born with skis on their feet”:

But they do take them off some times.

Norway, all you ever need (or want) to know.
Some (not so accurate) Facts about Norway:

As seen through the eyes of an American living in Canada

In pictures:

A poem (by another American):

The commemoration of the Great Aalesund Fire is done for this year.
Next year will likely be more elaborate, since it will be 120 years since the fire.

Arve Tore Flem has made a compendium of pictures from the aftermath of the fire:

Spring will soon be here (I hope) which is the best time to visit the Norwegian fjords and coast line.
Especially in late April, May and early June, when the snow is still low in the mountains, waterfalls are at their most spectacular, the grass is fresh and green in the fields and the fruit trees are blooming:

It is also the time of year when the contrasts from south to north is most striking.
Come on a trip with Hurtigruten from Bergen to Kirkenes in April and judge for yourself:

Of course, if your main aim is to see the Northern Lights spring is NOT the best time to visit Norway. (the ‘auroral season’ is September 26 –March 31):

The steps gat gets you from the City Park to the lookout point “Fjellstua” on the “City Mountain” Aksla her in Ålesund has been mentioned before and the view from there is probably one of the most photographed in Norway.

If you haven’t got the opportunity to vist Ålesund, or the stamina to walk the steps, here is a video to let you experience it from the comfort of you easy chair (without silly music or too much commentary):

Source: Ålesund Viewpoint: Climbing the Aksla Steps - Life in Norway

Its soon that time of year again when the cod comes into Borgundfjorden to spawn.
Several boats are offering fishing trips to catch your own dinner, which you can get the cook in your hotel to prepare for you.

But none are as iconic as the “Storeggen af Aalesund”, a replica fishing boat from the 1800s:

It is available for fishing trips in March 2023:

It is windy and wintry in Ålesund today:

But the strongest wind has been in the north of Norway, with gust up to 42 m/sec. (85 kts.) reported at Svolvær Airport yesterday:

TV 2 reporter Roy-Arne Salater went to where the hurricane ravaged the most in Nordland.
Standing in a wind gust of 42 m/s: - I’m a rough fellow, so it takes a little more to knock me over.

Orcas chasing herrings in the fjords.

Source: today (behind paywall]

Not unusual to see whales in the fjords around Ålesund, even close to town.
Here is a sighting of Pilot whales in Borgundfjorden in Nov. last year:


Pilot whales in the Borgundfjord: - A wonderful nature experience

Updated: Saturday 19 November 2022 at 20:08
On Saturday afternoon there were several pods of pilot whales in the Borgundfjorden. One estimate is that there were around 100 animals.
Kayaker Morten Ugelvik came upon a flock of around 20 outside Langevågsholmene.

  • I got to paddle with them a couple of kilometers inland. There appear to be a number of young or half-grown whales that partially jumped out of the sea. Some lay almost completely still, almost as if they were taking a rest break, says Ugelvik.
    He says that he stayed six, seven meters away from the herd.
  • I kept a little distance from them, and it didn’t seem like they thought I was anything dangerous. It was a fantastic natural experience, says Ugelvik.

- 100 pieces all over the fjord

Rune Gausnes saw on social media that the pilot whales were on their way into the fjord, and then drove up to Fjellstua to see where they were.

  • I then saw them on the Sula side. I think there were around 100 in total in the whole fjord. The young girl wanted to go out and look at them, so we drove home to Hatlane where we have a small boat, and 200 meters from shore we came across a herd, says Gausnes.

He himself had hoped that it would be killer whales.

  • There are pilot whales every year in the fjords, Storfjorden and Vartdalsfjorden, so I don’t think it was that exciting. But the young girl thinks it was nice to see them so close, says Gausnes, who has encountered killer whales while surfing outside Alnes.


Summer is coming. Time to start collecting pallets for Slinningsbaalet:

it’s short-haul fish. We have the opportunity to buy directly from the boats now when it’s season, for Borgundfjord Fishing.

Photo: Rolf Langva, Ålesund

Norway is in the news worldwide and it isn’t about the Noble Peace Price this time.

The Sami’ demonstrations in Oslo has got a lot of press time this last week, mainly because of a young Swedish woman is participating, wind turbines and human rights abuse:

Bloomberg reported on the case a year ago:

What the reindeers think about the whole thing is not known. They are too busy foraging on reinmose to care much about what humans do or say.

PS> None of them are named “Rudolf”