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Date: September 2019

Route: Drove from Oslo

From Oslo to Ålesund

After our time in the stunning Lofoten Islands, we flew back to Oslo and rented a car and set off for Ålesund. We decided to stop midway and see one of the famous churches of Norway and explore this part of the country. The drive offers some beautiful scenery though not as amazing as Lofoten. Our goal was to get to Borgund to see the famous Stave Church there. These types of churches were once common in north-western Europe and it was thought that over a 1000 were built in Norway. The design is a combination of techniques learned from Norwegian shipbuilding and home design applied to a church. The name comes from the uses of corner posts (Staves) to hold a framework of timber and wall planks standing on sills. There is a great article on the technical details of the Borgund Stave church here. It was raining when we arrive and cold given the late September evening. The church is a sight to behold, dark and imposing with a mountainous backdrop from where it stands in the middle of a valley. Unfortunately, it was closed but we spent some time walking around the outside. The age of the church really comes through and it is a place of some energy. We drove on through our first snowfall in Norway and stayed the night in the small town of Sognefjorden. The next day, we completed our journey to Ålesund with some beautiful sights along the way. Though it takes longer, we highly recommend driving vs. flying as it is the only way to really experience the diverse beauty of Norway.

© 2022 SinsOfWanderlust


This has to be one of the most beautiful AND livable cities we have been to. In a country filled with superlatives (including our #1 most beautiful in the world, Reine) Ålesund contributes to beauty that man can create. The city itself is built on rows of islands extending into the ocean and seems to float on it. The city was mostly destroyed in a terrible fire in 1904 and when it was rebuilt, the architecture style used was Art Nouveau. So more than any other city in Norway, Ålesund feels very central European. This is also a very walkable city and we highly recommend you do so as there are many small side streets that offer unique and picturesque views. We started by hiking to the Fjellstua viewpoint which can be reached by climbing the 400+ steep steps from the city park. The view from the top is spectacular and we also got some amazing drone footage from here. Unlike other Norwegian cities (except Oslo) we found a good selection of restaurants including an Indian one serving spicy food which we had been craving our entire holiday. There are also some really nice and cozy wine bar where we ended up celebrating my birthday. There are also some eclectic record shops and it was pure nostalgia browsing through 80s rock albums.

Since we had a car, we also drove to Godøy to see the lighthouse and marveled at the tunnels that go under the water on the way there. Finally, we did another day trip to see the Storseisundet Bridge which is a cantilever bridge that is on the amazing Atlantic Road (Atlanterhavsvegen) and is one of the most scenic drives in the world. We drove a fair amount of this road with the bridge being our favorite. Known locally as the Drunk Bridge, the approach and design makes it look like the bridge ends and dumps you into the seething Norwegian Sea below. The weather in this area changes abruptly and the winds are very strong.

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