Saturday, July 15, 2023

Ålesund, Norway

Hello from Ålesund, Norway!
view from cruise ship of Ålesund, Norway
View from the ship
It was a pretty sail in this morning and I was up early enough to capture the pilot boat speeding away.
pilot boat in Ålesund, Norway
I had one goal for the day today - to get a specific picture. But you know if I peek out my balcony and see a big group of passengers heading to their ship tour I won't be going with them.
cruise ship excursion line on dock in Ålesund, Norway
You also know if I peek out my balcony and see a red bus or two part of my plan is already in place.
hop on hop off busses in Ålesund, Norway
In many of the ports we've visited this trip there have been two companies running the Hop On Hop Off busses. They are both red but one says City Sightseeing on the bus and the other says Hop On Hop Off. Prices are typically the same, they both are HOHO, and I have found here in Norway they both give discounts if you have taken a previous HOHO with their specific company. It can be confusing to know which is which because the bus and the tickets don't always match. Thankfully I took old tickets from both companies just in case and found out the yellow is the Hop On Hop Off company and the Stromma is the City Sightseeing company.
Old ticket = 10% discount
Mein Schiff docked in Ålesund, Norway
With the Mein Schiff docked right next to us my bus
was full of Germany-speaking passengers
There really was only one reason I wanted to catch the HOHO today. Sure, I wanted to go around and see the sights in the city.
tree in middle of street in Ålesund, Norway
I'm sure there is a reason the dead tree is in the
middle of the road but I couldn't find it
local homes in Ålesund, Norway
Pretty cobblestones I don't have to ride on
And sure, I wanted to get out of town and see some local homes.
local home in Ålesund, Norway
sod roof on a home in Ålesund, Norway
And sure, I wanted to see other things going on in and around the water.
Plenty of kayakers
Plenty of boats
Plenty of little islands
And sure, I needed a picture of a road sign.
road signs in Ålesund, Norway
But the real reason I took the Hop On Hop Off bus was to get a specific picture of Ålesund I'd seen before. I thought it would be off limits to me because of what you have to do to get it. Climb 418 steps to the viewpoint.
Ålesund, Norway viewpoint
See the zigzag up the side of the mountain?
That's what 418 steps looks like.
But as I learned there is an easy way out. Use transportation like the HOHO bus to take you to the top where you will be rewarded with this most splendid view. While it’s not the perfect picture as I took it from inside the bus and not on the viewing platform, I’m still pleased with it.
view of Ålesund, Norway from viewpoint
Taken by me with no steps required!
With the photo snapped I thought I had the highlight of my day. When the bus stopped back at the ship I got off, went to the cabin to get something to drink and use the bathroom, 
restrooms in Ålesund, Norway cruise port
Port restrooms
and sat on the balcony watching folks coming and going. Which made me want to head back out again. So Scooter and I tackled the areas around the ship not requiring cobblestones (mostly) and found more pretty sights along the waterfront. 
Ålesund, Norway
As we went down different streets it seemed the phone camera just couldn't capture the true beauty of this place. Strolling the area could also be considered a highlight of the day.
Ålesund, Norway
bumblebee on flower
Be still long enough and you can watch a bumblebee at work
I stopped in a souvenir store before going back to the ship. As I've mentioned before, trolls are big in Norway. 
collection of trolls in Ålesund, Norway store
Must be one for every personality
I even picked up some new bling for the scooter that might just be another highlight of the day.
Norwegian biker keyring
Hey, it's me on the scooter!
Tomorrow's itinerary reads Shetland Islands (Lerwick). Which I thinks means we'll be visiting Lerwick in the Shetland Islands. We won't be docking but will be anchored offshore and tendering to get to land - and we all have a required UK face to face immigration meeting in the morning before we're even allowed to get a tender ticket. 

Crossing my fingers I'll either see Lerwick or the Shetland Islands or both. See you then!