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Ålesund

It’s 8 o’clock and we’re in Ålesund today. Our weather forecast this morning? – “At the moment the temperature is 10°, it’s cloudy with passing showers and there’s a stiff wind. If I’m being optimistic I could say that the showers might die off and there could even be a bit of sunshine later in the day; but the temperature and wind will stay the same. A very Norwegian day.

More updates later – maybe – from what promises to be a fun day in Ålesund!

Update: well, the weather didn’t improve much but we had a good morning regardless. After leaving the ship we went to Alesund museum. This was OK but not spectacular. There were a couple of interesting room-sized models of Alesund, one showing the town as it was in the 1780s and the other showing how it looked just before the great fire in 1904. If nothing else these showed the underling geography of the town, and in particular the way it’s built on several different islands.

Next we went to the tourist information centre and bought a little booklet “Along the streets of Alesund”. Basically, it’s a guided walk along which you will see the most notable buildings in the town. The key thing to understand in this regard, and about which we had no idea until we arrived, was that the town was almost completely destroyed in the 1904 fire, and was rebuilt in the years immediately afterwards in a Modernist/Art Deco style. The new buildings are all different in detail, size, facade and layout but they all share this unifying architectural style, so the town’s architecture is remarkably harmonious. We spent a good couple of hours following this route, and we enjoyed it very much. In fact, it became very frustrating – even though most of the time it was raining (and was grey, cold and windy the whole of the time) it still looked very attractive, and we couldn’t help wondering what Alesund would look like in good weather. (I nearly wrote “in summer”, but in fact it’s mid-summer’s eve today.) Maybe another time.

We got back to Azura at about 2 o’clock, had some lunch and have been lazing around ever since then. Tonight we eating in Sindhu.

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