From Bergen to Ålesund: Ten Hours, Four Ferries, and Lots of Fjords

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One of the things that surprised us most about Norway when we began planning our visit here was how big the country is. From the Northernmost point to the Southern tip is about 1,500 miles. For this reason (and because we wanted to travel overland within the country), we knew we would have to limit our destinations to either the Northern or Southern half of the country. We decided to stay south.

On Saturday we left Bergen to head North to the next stop on our tour of Norway: the Art Nouveau town of Alesund. There are three ways to get from Bergen to Alesund. You can travel by air, by bus, or by boat. We chose to go by bus, knowing that it would take about 10 hours to travel the seemingly short distance. When you look closely at a map of the Western coast of Norway you notice that the land is broken up quite a bit by the fjords (it’s one of the most rugged coastlines in the world), so it seems impossible to drive anywhere along the coast without going out of your way.

We spent the entire trip looking out the window (okay, I slept for a significant portion of it, too) and we could not believe our eyes! The beauty of this drive was indescribable, and although it is impossible to capture it with a camera (particularly an iPhone camera from behind a bus window), we hope these photos will give a sense of the magnificence.

Some of our favorite moments were taking ferry rides right through the middle of the fjords – wind, fog, and all. Seeing wildflowers growing out of the roofs of sheds and homes in the villages on the water. Watching people in tiny fishing boats stopping to wave as we drove past. Pausing for a family of cows hanging out in the middle of the road, with no rush to move out of the way, and no cars honking for them to move past. Life is slower here indeed.

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