28.08.2016 - 30.08.2016 15 °C
Wahey sunshine again! We saw Trondheim in the sunshine on Sunday morning and then set off back in a southerly direction. We encountered more snow-less skiers, and went through a town where everyone seemed to be sitting on a chair by the side of the road. We found somewhere scenic to eat our roast beef and cheese sandwiches and stopped for photos and the worst coffee of the trip so far at Trollveggen (Troll Wall), the tallest vertical rock face in Europe.
We arrived in Andalsnes and found our Airbnb apartment and felt a wave of smugness wash over us as we appreciated the mountain views and the trees and the water and stuff. We ignored the rain and went for a walk around town, and were rewarded for our optimism by having the sun reappear. The boys decided to be adventurous when doing the grocery shop and bought some brown cheese... but after tasting it, the girls decided to stick with the more conventional and less Vegemite-tasting gouda cheese. And the brown cheese wasn't invited to come with us on the next leg of the journey...
We started our Monday with some serious exercise - we climbed up to the lookout at Rampestreken, which was a 2km walk with 500m ascent and along the way I alternated between hating Belinda for suggesting it and hating myself for agreeing to it. But at the top, the view (and the Haribo lollies) made it all worthwhile. We could see the whole town of Andalsnes, the mountains and the cruise ship sitting in the harbour. On the way down, we enjoyed guessing the nationality of other walkers as well as estimating the likelihood of them reaching the top. The gentleman in dress shoes? Not likely. The lady in the moonboot looked surprisingly confident though.
From there we found a coffee shop away from the cruise ship passengers and sampled some Norwegian delicacies - lefse (flatbread) and yellow cake, which tasted something like butter with sugar sprinkled on it. And Belinda ate a carrot.
We continued on to Trollstigen, where we fought with buses to park and admire the views of the vertical cliff faces and the curving roads. The cloud threatened to obscure our view from the top but it rolled on away from us long enough to 'ooh' and 'aah' appreciatively and attempt to capture it on camera. The cloud returned and we continued on our merry way to Alesund - what a beautiful city on the water! We found our apartment (eventually) and a supermarket and settled in for the night, forced to talk to each other as there was no television.
The next morning we repeated the torture of the day before - but on a smaller scale. We climbed the 421 steps to the viewpoint at Aksla and surveyed the town from high above for about five minutes, until the clouds came in and the rain started. Lucky we got in there when we did.
We wandered the streets of the art nouveau town and had coffee and cake at Invit - totes hipster joint with views over the water and more yellow cake. And chocolate truffle cake. And white chocolate and deathberry mousse cake. Because when you eat peanøttsmør sandwiches, you can afford to do coffee and cake. We walked back to our car via 'probably the best fish and chips in the world' and opted to spend the rainy afternoon at the Akvarium, getting to know the fishes of the fjords. The octopi were playing 'bop' with each other, Gary the penguin got himself stuck on the ledge temporarily, the seals tried to avoid us, and Ray the ray tried to chat up Belinda. Most entertaining.
We found ourselves a semi-shmancy place for dinner and finally worked out the Norwegian parkering system, just in time to save ourselves from being sent completely broke. Simon tried the bacalao (dried fish) and the rest of us went for more familiar lamb and steak. Delicious food, hipster waiter and local beer - an excellent end to our stay in Alesund!