High above the fjords of Norway sits the ancient fishing port of Ålesund. Here the city is built on the tops of mountains, strung like little islands, along submerged ice-age carved mountains. For a great view of the island, climbers hike steps to a look-out restaurant.
In the middle of the night, in January 1904, a fire spread so quickly through the town that residents were homeless in their nightclothes. They chose to rebuild on the spot. Since the architectural fashion of the time in Europe was Art Nouveau, the entire town was built in the flamboyant, colorful mode.
Residents enjoy the look of their little town. On any sunny day they can be seen enjoying cafes on the historic fishing docks, not far from the current commercial and cruise pier. A monument to the herring fishing industry, which brought wealth to Ålesund, joins locals relaxing on the town square. The modern fishing fleet is still the major employer.
Enjoy all the stories of Norway in Cruise through History, Itinerary XII, forthcoming.