Adventures in Ålesund
23 October 2011 | Sandshamn, Norway
We got held up in Ålesund for quite a few days waiting for a storm to pass and then the gales which followed. The weather hasn't been very good since we arrived and we've had rain and hail with only the odd ray of sunshine in between. Monday afternoon wasn't too bad though so I climbed Aksla, the hill above the town, which has fantastic views of Ålesund and the surrounding area. On Tuesday we were fortunate to meet several of the volunteers on M/F Bilfergen who showed us about the boat. They do work on the boat once a week and in the summer they take it out for short trips, its a beautiful old ferry which was built in 1921 and an engine from 1916 that still works! We were filled with coffee, bread and pickled herring (very tasty) and spent the afternoon chatting which was most enjoyable. We must thank Amund Halsebakke, Odd Reidar Eide and Dagfinn Leira for their help, kindness and advice, it was such a pleasure to meet you all :-) That evening we got to go for a drive up the hill to see the view at night and then went past two museums to see Uræd at one and some traditional boats at the other. Uræd is an 18 foot egg shaped lifeboat that four Norwegians sailed across the Atlantic in 1904, the journey took them 5 months and they arrived in January 1905. On Wednesday we went and saw the full display and replica of the inside of the lifeboat at the museum..just incredible! We departed Ålesund on Thursday afternoon after a lovely coffee and trying some local dishes. It was sad to leave as it is such a beautiful place and the people were very welcoming. We'd hoped to make it around Stad with a short window in the weather forecasts but unfortunately the southwesterly gales arrived earlier than predicted. So we decided to wait again in a tiny little harbour called Sandshamn near Stad. The harbour is quite exposed to the south and on Friday night we had a southerly Force 10 with waves breaking across the pontoon. Was not the most enjoyable evening! The forecast is beginning to look better and hopefully we'll be able to get away again soon..