Norway’s colourful and quirky town, Ålesund…

*Somewhere for the weekend* Combining Art Nouveau architecture with a picturesque hunt for Geocaches… 

On a recent trip to Barcelona I fell in love with Gaudi’s amazing Art Nouveau style of architecture (more on that next week!) and so I decided that for this week’s edition of *Somewhere for the weekend* I’d try and find somewhere else in the world that championed this particular style. 

Ålesund, located on the West coast of Norway, is packed full of these aesthetically pleasing buildings, and with a good bunch of Geocaches in the locality what could be a better place to have a virtual tour of this week? 🙂

Colorful Alesund (Norway) CC2009 Edward Dalmulder

Colorful Alesund (Norway) CC2009 Edward Dalmulder

Must sees…

After a fire burnt Ålesund to the ground in 1904 the town was rebuilt in the (Jugendstil) Art Nouveau style which still remains today.

It took around three years to get the town back to a habitable standard after the fire. Around 10,000 people were displaced and forced to seek shelter elsewhere but they returned after its reconstruction to find a beautiful new town fit for a King. More specifically Kaiser Wilhelm II who on hearing the plight of its inhabitants had deployed ships loaded with everything from equipment to food to get the town back on its feet. His help was instrumental in making Ålesund the beautiful town it is today and for that reason alone you should pop along the Town Park to see stone that was placed as a thank you to him.

Of course you’ll want to have a look around the town itself to really appreciate the architecture but if you want the best view then you’ll have to take a hike up Mount Aksla and take a look from the Fjellstua viewpoint which provides stunning views across the town, sea and nearby mountains.

Ålesund, Norway CC2013 Andres Nieto Porras

Ålesund, Norway CC2013 Andres Nieto Porras

For some more information about the distinctive architectural style around Ålesund head over to The Art Nouveau Centre in the town’s centre to understand more about the collection of architects who rebuilt this town back up from its ashes.

Slightly North of Ålesund is a place called Molde also referred to as the ‘Town of Roses‘ which boasts some luscious parks and gardens and stunning mountainous views all around. It also holds an internationally acclaimed Jazz Festival if you like that kind of thing 😉

So let’s check out the best Geocaches on offer in Ålesund…

Best Geocaches…

Brudeegget / Aalesunds Museum – GC1KHH8 by Olabirk, adopted by Uredd

Cache Type: Traditional

Difficulty 1.5 – Terrain 1.5

Number of favourite points: 24

G’arrr a cache with a bit of an old sea dawg tale attached, perfect!

This is actually a true story though, one about the birth of covered lifeboats.

The cache itself is placed near the museum at Ålesund which was built to commemorate the first successful voyage of a covered lifeboat from Ålesund to Gloucester, near Boston, in America.

It took the crew of three men just five months from August 7th 1904 to reach their destination proving that it was a much safer mode of transport than the uncovered lifeboats which were being used at the time. 70 years later nearly every ship carried a covered lifeboat thus improving passengers safety on board ships worldwide.

Personally I think it’s great that a cache has been placed here to acknowledge that fact.

Molja – Ålesund fyrstasjon – GC1PM0T by bjornda 

Cache Type: Traditional

Difficulty 2.5 – Terrain 1.5

Number of favourite points: 23 

I’ve always loved lighthouses and this is one of the very few in the world that you can actually stay in! I think if and when I get a holiday booked here I’d definitely be staying in ‘room number 47 at the Brosundet hotel’. Being a lighthouse it has great views over the harbour so don’t forget your camera when you’re picking up this cache!

ka? #4 – GC4B66V by olgunn 

Cache Type: Unknown (Puzzle/Mystery)

Difficulty 2 – Terrain 1.5

Number of favourite points: 14 

A great container 😉 One that you might get wet retrieving!

Norgesboksen 50 cacher – Ålesund – GC539VP by Uredd

Cache Type: Traditional

Difficulty 1.5 – Terrain 2

Number of favourite points: 14 

Part of a series of caches placed in 50 of Norway’s towns and cities, I’d be interested to know how many people have completed this one. 🙂

VASStranda… With a little help from my friends – GC4AAZ4 by synneer & IamSnah 

Cache Type: Traditional

Difficulty 3.5 – Terrain 2.5

Number of favourite points: 14

And last but not least for this week we have another cheeky hide, the container on this one is a little out of the ordinary…the cache pages advice…bring a friend 🙂

I hope this has given you a bit of an insight into what Ålesund has to offer, for more information head over to the Visit Norway website and I bet it won’t be long until you’re considering a Nordic adventure for your next holiday! 😉

Aalesund Norway after Denis Thorpe CC2012 Les Haines

Aalesund Norway after Denis Thorpe CC2012 Les Haines

 Have you ever been to Norway? Where was the best place you visited whilst you were there? Are there any places that you’d like to see featured on *Somewhere for the weekend*? Let me know!

Until next week,

Happy caching! 🙂

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