A Travellerspoint blog

Homeless to hipster

sunny 24 °C
View Year of the Nink on Buccas's travel map.

Nothing says happy Monday like a pre-breakfast swim, right? We got our week off to a good start in the hotel pool and then did some post-breakfast Mittenwalding (with a special focus on the bakery). Unfortunately all the hairdressers seemed to be closed so there was no opportunity for Simon to spruce himself up, but we still agreed to walk with him for the day. We walked through the Leutasch Gorge (not as gorgeous as the gorge the day before, but still very impressive) and confirmed our suspicions that none of us are particularly afraid of heights. We stopped for our bakery products along the way - the randomly chosen epfelplunder was delicious, thanks Simon! On we went, crossing into Austria at some point with not a flag or a welcome sign to mark the occasion. Not a stamp in the passport either, boo. Lunch was our first meal in Austria and set the bar high - partly because we had a hilarious waiter who responded with "mamma mia!" and "mon dieu!" when Belinda ordered a beer.
On we went, stopping to admire the forest and mountain scenery when instructed, and also taking the opportunity to consume Haribo lollies and reapply sunscreen as needed. Most of the walk was quite flat, but the sun was out and we were still adjusting to having temperatures above twenty degrees!
We arrived in Weidach, met our piggy neighbour from our joint balcony, cleaned ourselves up and went for dinner that seemed to be included as part of the package. We honestly weren't expecting much - usually a set menu is of a fairly average standard - but our own expectations were well and truly exceeded! Our new best friend behind the bar introduced us to special Austrian herb lemonade (served with beer) and then presented us with a four course meal of such deliciousness it brings tears of happiness to my eyes just thinking about it. Salad bar with the best bacon we've had since leaving Australia, spinach strudel soup and the most scrumdiddlyumptious beef stroganoff. The highlight of the night was when I stopped the waiter from taking Simon's plate so that he could mop up the sauces with some bread, and the waiter then returned with a bowl of stroganoff sauce and a basket of bread just for Simon. Oh the happiness! Oh the joy! Never had Simon looked so delighted! Oh and then there was kaiserschmarrn mit apfelmus for dessert. Well done Austria, you excelled on your first evening.
I upset the locals the next morning at breakfast when I politely declined both tea AND coffee - apparently orange juice is just not an acceptable alternative. So I tried the carrot & pineapple juice as well, to make it look like I was making an effort, and it was surprisingly good. Vitamin C intake for the day - sorted.
After breakfast, we discovered that somebody had made a mistake on our paperwork and last night's dinner was not, in fact, included - but at 17 euro per person for a four course meal we were more than happy to pay it, and to book in again for the next meal!
We started our walk by going in the wrong direction (intentionally) and checking out the nearby toboggan run, which was MASSIVE. The boys decided they would take on the challenge, while Belinda and I assigned ourselves to photo duties. We watched Simon and Pat ride the chairlift up and over the hill, and then we waited. And waited some more. And just a little bit more. And then we were presented with free tickets because the track was wet and we were going to have to wait for the boys so we may as well be waiting up on the mountain with them. So up we chairlifted (very 'belaxing'!) and then we waited up the top. At 11am, when there was still no sign of tobogganning, Belinda and I gave up waiting and chairlifted back down, enjoyed the views of the Leutasch valley and commenced the days anticipated 6 hour walk, figuring the boys would catch us up.
And they did - with tales of near death toboggan experiences and dodgy brakes and adrenalin rushes and high speed shenanigans. Happy boys.
On we went to Seefeld, through the forest full of fungi and the sounds of cow bells ringing in the distance and sometimes in our immediate vicinity. We made it to Seefeld in about half the expected time, and spent the afternoon wandering about town, eating gelati, and making Simon look less homeless. Belinda found a 'gentleman's salon', and Peter took one look at Simon and vowed to 'make him beautiful'. Turned out Peter was a man of his word, as Simon emerged from the friseur 45 minutes later looking about ten years younger and ten kilos lighter. He looked as if somebody actually loved him!
The rest of us felt slightly inadequate walking next to him, but we made it back to Wadeich in record time, then cleaned ourselves up for dinner back at Hotel Tirolerhof. This time it was actually a FIVE course dinner, with a sneaky palate cleansing sorbet thrown in to make things really fancy. The meal was just as good - if not better - than the night before, and the service was just so friendly, so helpful. Plus our mate Christoph gave us free strawberry schnapps as a gift. And somewhere in all the excitement and happenings of the day, Simon and I BOTH managed to lose our hats. Consider it our way of giving something of ourselves back to the Leutasch valley.
Except that when we went to the bus stop the next morning, who should be waiting there for us but my trusty Corangamite hat? It had obviously had a night out on the town but was now ready to resume the walk with us. Simon's hat remained missing, much to our dismay. Probably the world's way of telling him not to cover up his beautiful new hair.
The bus took us to Gaistal, and from there we walked through some spectacular mountainous countryside, stopping at Tillfuss Alm for refreshments, but only when the small blonde girl called Anna-Maria deigned to let us in. It seemed she was running the place, and she decided who was allowed to enter her parents' establishment.
Belinda made friends with a dog who had the saddest face when we made to leave, but we had to continue through the forest, past the cows with bells on and up towards the cablecar. The cablecar took us back down the mountain and into Ehrwald, which had an interesting array of sculptures, excellent views across the valley and a bar that had discovered and replicated chicken wings with the colonel's secret herbs and spices. We explored town before reconvening for an average feed of pizza and pasta, followed by a much better dessert. It was just a shame that the wine and schnapps boutique was closed...

Posted by Buccas 12:17 Archived in Austria Comments (0)

Exploring the area of Bavaria

sunny 25 °C
View Year of the Nink on Buccas's travel map.

The time to leave Stavanger came all too soon, and on Thursday morning we commenced our final long road trip with Joe the Peugeot. We made it all the way down south, which looked like it shouldn't be the quickest way but Joe (and Pat) assured us that it was.
We stopped to stretch our legs in Lillesand, a place with Port Fairy-type vibes and once the home of Coralee's great-grandfather. While the roadworks and the pedestrian-only streets proved a challenge to Joe's navigational skills, we eventually made it to the main street and from there it was easy to find a good coffee shop with good cakes. Problem - all the cakes looked delicious. Solution - one of each. The birds would have been happy to help eat the crumbs, if there had been any.
From Lillesand we drove, and we drove, and we drove, and we drove, and then we got to what was possibly the best place of our entire Norwegian experience. The timber house on a farm was the cosiest place imaginable - complete with a moose running through the field, an eclectic collection of CDs and a chess board to keep the boys entertained. Bliss.
Friday morning was the time for farewells - goodbye Joe, goodbye Norway. Although for a little while there it looked like we wouldn't actually be leaving Norway on schedule... We arrived at the airport at the recommended time, printed off our boarding passes using the self check in kiosks and the printed off two bag tags. Two. Because at that point the machine decided to freeze. Which meant that only half of us could take our suitcases on the plane. The next hour and a half was spent trying to find someone from Norwegian Air to help, lining up in each of the three queues (bag drop, check in AND ticket office) trying to work out which queue was the right queue. Off course, the longest queue was the one we needed. Unfortunately, a whole lot of machines had obviously decided to malfunction at the same time as a whole lot of hunters decided to check in their guns, which meant we waited and waited and waited and waited. Simon got talking to the two ladies in front of us in the queue who had also experienced machine problems. When they reached the desk, it was revealed that they had been unable to check in because they were not, in fact, flying with Norwegian Air. Fail. We also got roped into helping a woman who spoke none of the computer's language options complete the check-in process - but try explaining carry on luggage vs hold luggage using only gestures...
Anyway - we made it to the front of the line, got our luggage tagged and sped through security and arrived at the gate with about one minute to spare before boarding commenced. Phew!
On board, Simon had a lovely time chatting to his neighbour - a Norwegian doctor who had spent a year on exchange in Sydney - while Belinda and I had a lovely time watching episodes of Bobbie Bear, an ABC production that featured a small purple teddy bear reading the Tassie Times newspaper and driving a tractor.
We arrived in Munich, and were pleased to find that our luggage had arrived as well, and were then even more pleased to find cheap food and helpful information centre staff. Fed and watered, we mastered the train system and got ourselves to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, known for hosting the 1936 winter Olympics (it would've hosted again in 1940 except for the fact that Germany started a war which obviously didn't go down so well with the Olympic Committee). We had a delightful afternoon wandering about the place, which seemed to have more than its fair share of shoe shops. We found a pleasant spot for pretzels and beer, and learned that the quickest way to upset a waitress is by suggesting that you will share a pretzel with somebody else. We met a raucous bunch of Germans at the next table and they gave us a crash course in German etiquette before we moved on to dinner down the road. The restaurant was packed, but we were able to have a meal as long as we were happy to share a table with other diners. Sure! We shared briefly with a family from Shanghai, who were then replaced with two German lads who gave us yet more insight into German life and culture. Certainly a lot more outgoing than the Scandinavians we had encountered!
Unfortunately we didn't get much sleep that night, on account of there being a gentleman who spent several hours shouting, singing and talking to himself in rather close proximity to our hotel room windows. No idea what he was saying - but it got to the point that we were no longer angry at being disturbed, but impressed at his vocal stamina and ability to sustain a monologue for so long. Ah well. He went home (or passed out?) eventually. And then it was time for breakfast, and then for Zugspitzing!
We set off in the train, headed for the highest mountain in Germany. When we reached the almost-top, there were awesome views across the mountains, and even more impressive, there were free sleds and a small patch of unmelted ice for sledding on! Definitely didn't get as much speed as when we used the plastic bag with Gus, but it was much easier to steer and stop this time. After several races it was found that Simon was the most proficient at sledding - while Pat was the best at cutting people off.
We had lunch and then cable carred our way to the top, for views that appeared and disappeared depending on what mood the clouds were in. We popped over to Austria to check out their views too - as you do. At 3000-odd metres above sea level, we all noticed that climbing just one flight of stairs seemed much harder than it should have. The hardest part, though, was finding the cable car down and making sure it took us back to Germany and not Austria. We waited about 15 minutes (the German idea of 'a long wait') and caught the cable car all the way down the mountain. The car was fairly solidly packed, and at the point where there was a sudden drop the whole lot of us made the same noise which just goes to show that the sound you make when you lose your stomach is universal.
Safely on solid ground, we had an our to explore the Partenkirchen side of town. The place was full of decorated houses, with lavish pillars painted around doorways and extravagant frames painted around windows.
We made it back to our hotel for our meeting at 6pm, and sat in the foyer waiting. We were briefly defeated by the vending machine as we waited, but as soon as someone came to look at it there were no problems at all. We waited some more and then decided that we should probably ask someone - after all, 15 minutes was a long wait in Germany.
When we did ask at the desk, we were told that we were late for the 6pm meeting, as the meeting was in another hotel five minutes down the road. Which would have been helpful information just a little bit earlier. So we hoofed it to the next hotel, met up with the walk representative, gathered our route maps and paraphernalia and met an English couple doing the same walk.
We stocked up on supplies at Aldi (because Germany) and then found somewhere for dinner. Which coincidentally happened to be the same place as our friends from the beergarden the day before! The service was friendly, but oh so slow... We had to wait over an hour and ask four times before we received the bill. I have never been so close to walking out without paying. But it was a nice night, and there was people watching to keep us entertained so it was all good.
Thankfully our yelling-singing-talking man didn't make a reappearance that night - instead it was the phones from the nearby taxi rank that woke us early in the morning.
We tucked into breakfast and then began our walking adventure - by catching a bus. It took us to the edge of town, to the ski stadium, conveniently located right next to the toboggan run. Well it would have been a shame not to, right? So we waited for the toboggan run to open and then proceeded to find out how fast we could go, and work out where the camera was so that we could pull appropriately silly faces as we sped around the track. By the time we were finishing our rides, families with small children started to arrive so we congratulated ourselves on getting in early so that we'd had the place to ourselves. Smug.
And THEN the walk began. Once we worked out which way we were headed. Even with photos, "follow the road" can be slightly ambiguous. But we worked it out.
Our route took us through the unexpectedly beautiful Partnach Gorge, where we encountered our beergarden friends once more. How nice to be on the other side of the world and still find familiar faces!
We passed through the gorge and headed up, up, up. Past the walkers with their walking poles, past the frog, past the inquisitive cows with their bells, past the woman in high heels, up, up, up. It was quite hot and humid for people who had just been in Iceland and Norway, and I wasn't enjoying the hills at all. But then the upness stopped, and the views over the forest were there, and then the downness began and everything was right in the world again. So we walked down down down (with just little ups in between) through the forest, and didn't have to negotiate as much pedestrian traffic for this stretch. We came to a restaurant that sold icecreams (and discovered that Bum-bum is essentially the German equivalent of Bubble-o-Bill) and caught up with the English couple, who'd had an hour head start on us since they didn't start their walk with a toboggan ride.
From here, the sky darkened and thunder started to roll around the hills, making for moody lighting for photos and also making inspiration for me to hurry up and get where we were going. The rain was gentle and cooling, but didn't do much to ease the humidity. We made it to Klais with time to buy train tickets, have a beer and get major food envy over some amazing looking dessert thing served at the next table.
The train arrived, we boarded, and got off at the next stop - Mittenwald. Instead of thunder, we now had the sound of an oom-pah band gently wafting all over town. We dined outdoors with mountains behind us after strolling around and appreciating all the murals of Mittenwald. German adventures were officially off to a good start.

Posted by Buccas 09:13 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Funicula, fjords and footwear

View Year of the Nink on Buccas's travel map.

Bergen was a beautiful city - surrounded by hills, full of brightly coloured buildings and the buzz of the harbour. Bergen was also a moody city - pouring rain one minute, then all sunshine and innocence the next. When the sun came out, you'd swear the city didn't know HOW to rain, but then it showed you that it certainly did. I enjoyed playing 'Tourist or Local' in the rain, but when we went to Bryggen it was all too easy to spot the cruise ship passengers wandering through the heritage listed area.
Bergen offered statues, monuments and public art and fish markets (where one could also purchase whale, moose and reindeer sausages if one so desired).
We enjoyed our sandwiches in the shelter of an alleyway in Bryggen in relative peace, as all the cruise passengers had returned to the boat for lunch. From there we had a successful coffee and yellow cake and skollebolle and skillingsboller quest, and ended up at a bar called Henrik where we met the BEST barman ever in the history of bars. He was friendly, helpful, knowledgeable and funny. Unfortunately he only plans to come to Australia if his wife leaves him, and that didn't sound likely.
Next door was a whisky bar, where Simon and I ended up in a stalemate game of checkers and then Pat and Simon played the slowest game of chess that we have ever witnessed. We had a cheese and beer entree at Pingvinen ('The Penguin') before returning home for dinner.
The next day, Bergen turned it on. And I mean ON. Sunshine, sunshine and still more sunshine. Rain? What rain? We headed to Mount Floyen and got ourselves up to the top via the funicular with every other tourist and local looking to make the most of the splendid weather. Views for days... and goats. Ten goats lived up the mount tasked with the job of keeping the vegetation down. The views were breathtaking, and all the more spectacular because of the contrast with the cloudy weather the day before. We eventually dragged ourselves away and moved on to the next location - Sekse. Just when we thought we had seen the best possible views from a balcony, Sekse came along. Fjordtastic. And when the sun went down and the lights came on in the village across the water... wow.
Monday morning started at 5am, which is not usually when I like to start a Monday. I'm pleased to report that it was totally worth it though. We headed off and defied the broken parking ticket machine to start the climb to Trolltunga just before 7am and the first hour was brutal. Let's just say that the hills were not my friend. Things evened out briefly after that, but then the upward battle resumed and we progressed up and over the mountain with the sun gradually spreading its rays across the landscape. Thankfully, things got easier after the 4km mark and then it was just a matter of getting through the next 7km of mud and rocks with appropriate breaks for sugar and photos. And then, after 4 hours of incline (3 1/2 hours for Pat) we made it to Trolltunga. Huzzah! Ah the views... and ah the vertigo when standing out on the rock edge over the stunning blue water! Wonderfully scenic spot for a peanut butter sandwich, highly recommended.
The trek back down was pleasant to begin with, and we thoroughly enjoyed critiquing the footwear, photographic apparatus and handbags (!) of the walkers heading towards us. Mind you, we probably raised a few eyebrows by carrying a duty free shopping bag back down the mountain... what people may not have realised is that it was full of rubbish left behind by inconsiderate hikers. Belinda isn't in the waste management field for nothing.
There was the shirtless Aussie running up the hill, the ecstatic American extolling the virtues of nature, the Converse-clad girls with selfie sticks, the serious campers and the reluctant partners of keen hikers, but our favourite trekker was the Korean man who shared our enthusiasm for cold water from the waterfalls and seemed to be spreading joy and happiness to every walker he encountered. What a legend.
So, slowly but surely, with photo-faffing and unfit-faffing along the way we made it back down the mountain. All 11km back down the hill, through mud and streams and across wooden planks. I perfected the tree-pirouette and discovered that if you pull your foot out of the mud quickly enough you can get away with it. We made it - knees protesting and feet aching, but we made it! And while I was a little delirious and struggled to string together a coherent sentence, Belinda somehow mustered the energy to cook us all the most amazing celebratory dinner of chicken wrapped in brie and bacon with vegies. What a bloody legend.
The next morning, we magically all still had full use of our legs and headed for Stavanger, stopping for waterfall viewings along the way as required. The weather turned Bergen-esque and we had rain for the whole drive and even for the ferry trip. It didn't stop when we arrived in town, but it didn't stop us from finding a funky coffee shop or wandering the streets. Stavanger exuded coolness, even in the rain, and our Airbnb was located in an area full of BMWs, Mercs, Audis and even a Tesla or two. Belinda and I did the shopping while leaving the boys to work out the mystery of induction cooking, and then we tucked into DIY pizzas with Netflix. I would recommend 'Fireplace for your Home - Birchwood edition' but Pat only let us watch the first minute before finding something else. Spoilsport.
This morning we were pleased to see that the rain had disappeared, and we set out to the ferry that would take us in the direction of Pulpit Rock, or Preikestolen as the Norwegians would say. This delightful 4km uphill walk was a chance to check that our legs still worked after Monday's big adventure, and of course, the chance for more views, and more tourists, and more inappropriate footwear. Special mention to the lady who was attempting the trek in knee high black leather boots. Well played, madam.
After Trolltunga, it literally felt like a walk in the park. We made it to the top in 1.5 hours and thought "is that it?" and then we saw the views and thought "oh yeah, that's it!"
Another scenic location, another peanut butter sandwich. We tried to capture the situation with our cameras, ably assisted by some exceptionally skilled photobombers. With that, we trundled back down the mountain, getting caught in peak hour pedestrian traffic on the way. We made it perfectly in time for the 3.20pm ferry back to Stavanger which landed us perfectly in time for peak hour car traffic. And perfectly in time for the rain to start again. Which was my cue to do the washing, have a totally unenvironmentally friendly rain-shower and generally recover from the week's adventures.

Posted by Buccas 08:45 Archived in Norway Comments (0)

Moving fjordward

View Year of the Nink on Buccas's travel map.

We woke up to a fairly grim weather forecast, but the sun shone regardless. We spent the drive to Geiranger telling ourselves that it would all end soon but the sun persisted. We timed our arrival at the ferry terminal to perfection, and once onboard Simon was instantly claimed by three generations of Koreans for photos. Not to take THEIR photos, mind, but to be IN the photos. Apparently, with his sunglasses on, he looked like a Korean movie star. Apparently.
After doing battle with tourist buses, we arrived in Geiranger which was flooded. With cruise ship passengers. Walking on the road. Needlessly. Pat dodged them all somehow, and we headed up to viewpoints at Flydalsjuvet and Dalsnibba. At this point, the rain was still staying away but the wind decided to make its presence felt. Dalsnibba, at 1500m above sea level, is the highest fjordview from a road in Europe - a rather unusual claim to fame, but an excellent one that made for exceptionally good photo faffing opportunities.
We trundled back down the mountain into the town of Geiranger, sampled some local chocolates and some local beers and then it was all aboard to see the fjord! We cruised around for 90 minutes seeing the waterfalls (which Iceland had completely spoiled for us). It was absolutely impossible to fathom how farming on the edge of the fjord was managed - stories of children being tied up so that they didn't fall over the edge, and ladders being lifted to avoid an encounter with the tax man. Unbelievable. And it was also unbelievable that some people think it's okay to stand right in front of you when you're taking a photo, despite the fact that pretty much the whole outdoor section of the boat is vacant on account of the rain.
After that, it was time for our dinner - and time for the cruise ships to leave the harbour, much to Belinda's delight. The evening finished with whisky in tea cups - because holidays.
Next morning we awoke to the views of the fjord, and we buffet breakfasted to views of the fjord, and we packed our bags to views of the fjord.
We continued on our journey south, stopping off to change drivers at Lom Kirkje, a wooden church which looked all the more majestic in the sun with dark clouds behind it. We attempted to keep outrunning the rain as we zigged and zagged threw the Jotunheimen National Park. As we got higher up in the mountains, the temperature dropped until we could see glaciers and snow and the out-of-car time got shorter and shorter.
Eventually we wound our way into Laerdal for food, glorious food! The less-impressive-than-his-profile-picture Tomas showed us around our gorgeous yellow house for the night, and we settled in to enjoy our waterfall views, Daim icecream cake, hvitlok brod and cooking in a kitchen with no bench-level powerpoints.
Friday morning saw us on the move again, questing (as always) for more views. The Jurassic Park theme song came out yet again once we had worked our way up to Stegastein, a viewing platform jutting 350m over the edge of the cliff. The views were not bad, but we actually liked the views from Ås better, even though it was lower down the mountain. We met an American couple there who told us that "y'all should go to Flam" and indeed we did. Via a 24.5k tunnel. Those Norwegians know how to tunnel. They don't let a little thing like a mountain get in the way of being where they want to be.
So we arrived in Flam ten minutes before the train set off up the mountain. Perfect timing strikes again. While eating our sandwiches ('Flamwiches'), we chugged up one of the world's steepest and most beautiful railway lines, stopped at Kjossfossen (waterfall on the way up to Myrdal) and managed to resist the unexpectedly manly charms of the Huldra (forest spirit). Once we were safely back in Flam we embarked on an unsuccessful quest for yellow cake in Flam and Voss before giving up and tunnelling our way to Bergen.
Our Airbnb there was conveniently located within walking distance of a supermarket and we performed our evening shop with all the precision of a well-oiled machine. No more needing to translate every word on every packet' no more wandering aimlessly down aisles. We know that the olives are good, the dips are powdered, the brown cheese is a bit weird, and we even know how to operate the bread slicing machine. I did chuckle when I saw "Australian standard" sunscreen at the checkout though - SPF50 instead of the regular SPF20 on offer. And I absolutely can't wait to try my Cheez Doodles...

Posted by Buccas 11:24 Archived in Norway Comments (0)

Alison in Alesund

overcast 15 °C
View Year of the Nink on Buccas's travel map.

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!

Posted by Buccas 00:01 Archived in Norway Comments (0)

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