After a washing and motorhome cleaning day we left the wonderful campsite at Molde, with bathrooms like hotel rooms. Our motorhome pitch had fantastic views of 220 peaks across the fjord (so it says in the tourist information booklet) and the view is known as the Molde Panorama.
I was feeling the effects of cleaning our motorhome though as I had a sore back with other aches and pains. It was hard work cleaning the outside with a waterless cleaner. I was recommended waterless washing by some motorhome touring friends, Jo and Richard, who we met at Almerimar in Spain and whilst it’s hard work it is very effective. We now have a gleaming motorhome ready for our next drive to Ålesund.
Five minutes after leaving Molde camping we were in the queue for the ferry to Vestnes. Ferries operate every 15 minutes and the electronic departure board was showing that the next ferry was leaving in 10 minutes. I had a rough idea how much the cost would be but the prices don’t seem to be advertised except online. Payment is made on the ferry once you drive on. Payment can be made by card or cash.
The Molde to Vestnes ferry took 40 minutes and cost us 420 NOK (£38.50). Our motorhome is 7 metres long. Motorhomes under 6 metres would have paid half the price.
The drive from Vestnes to Ålesund along the E39 is very pleasant and we stopped at the Norwegian supermarket chain Bunnpris to pick up a few things including a very nice box of strawberries.
Arriving in Ålesund we found a fantastic parking area right by the sea front and as I write this blog I am about 6 feet from the sea, I can hear the waves on the rocks and there is a wonderful sunset. I can also see a bank of dense fog rolling in from the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a mesmorising sight. The coordinates for our motorhome parking in Ålesund are N62°28’33”, E6°9’26”.
The cost to park at Ålesund is 250 NOK per 24 hours which is about £22.80 and there are facilities including showers.
Ålesund is a town on the west coast of Norway and at the head of the famous Geiranger Fjord. The whole town of 850 wooden houses burnt down in 1904 and was rebuilt in an Art Nouveau style. It’s a popular cruise ship destination and the P&O cruise ship Britannia was in port whilst we were in Ålesund. Over 3,000 passengers were in the town and I asked one of them if they were enjoying the cruise and he said there were too many people for his liking. He said they also owned a motorhome and next time would use that to come to Norway!
One of the most popular tourist things to do in Ålesund is to walk up the 418 steps to the viewpoint overlooking the town so we did that and were rewarded with awesome views of Ålesund and the giant cruise ship Britannia at the cruise port.
I’m itching to try fish and chips here in Norway to see how they compare with the Yorkshire version. I saw a fish and chip take away on the harbour at Ålesund that was advertising “Probably the world’s best fish and chips” but when I saw the price of £12 my Yorkshireman instinct kicked in and I had to say no!
The 17th of May is Norway’s Constitution Day and a public holiday. It’s a day of national celebration of the Norwegian history and culture and we were in Ålesund to see the colourful event, and what a privilege it was to be there. Everyone was either wearing traditional Norwegian costumes or smartly dressed and it seemed like the whole of Ålesund was there to take part. Norwegians are proud of their flag and nearly everyone was waving one. It made me want to be Norwegian because we don’t have as much patriotism on display in the UK as I think we should have. Marching bands, children singing, adults waving flags and a procession that took at least an hour to pass, with everyone smiling and looking happy. I can see now why Norwegians have a reputation for being happy. Maybe it’s also because the children eat ice cream on the 17th May!