One of the most beautiful places on earth: Alesund, Norway
Let's be honest - a job, is a job, is a job! If it were always fun, Monday through Friday would be called something other than a "work week". One amazing perk to my job is that I have had the ability to see some amazing places - whether it be a trip that is all work, or a weekend tacked on to visit somewhere near a work trip.
My advice to any young professionals out there who may get to travel for their jobs...see as much as you can while you're young, and on the company dime if that works! If the company you work for wants to send you to England for a week of work - make sure to see Scotland while you're there. If you have a trip to Berlin, take the four hour train ride to spend the weekend in Prague. If you're in Vienna, take a tour of Budapest! Those are just a few of the amazing places I've seen - but this article is about Alesund, Norway, which I still believe is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been.
We stayed at the Radisson Blu while we were there on business, and each morning we would have an amazing breakfast (the one bad thing I can say is that Norwegian coffee is disgusting), walk across the street to the water taxi, and take the taxi across the water to work. If you can afford to live in Norway, I can't imagine a better way to spend your day!
Water taxi route to work
In 1904 a fire destroyed most of the town burning down nearly 850 homes leaving about 230. I took the picture of the city at the top of this article while I was there…just imagine this beautiful town with more than 80% of it being burnt to the ground. Amazingly, with that amount of devastation, only 1 life was lost! What an amazing tribute to those who helped to evacuate all of the citizens in the middle of the night.
Ålesund is now home to just under 40,000 people and is the most important shipping town in Norway. The coldest temperature ever recorded in Ålesund is 12°F – so year round temperature is fairly mild, especially for a girl from Indiana (who is used to much colder temperatures than that). I was there in May, and our temperatures averaged between 45 - 50°F, and the sun was setting around 10 o’clock at night. I took the picture below, of the ship at sunset, well after 10pm at night.
Ship going out to sea at sunset
I should preface this with the fact that I love seafood! I loved every meal that I had in Norway except one - I would be totally content if I never ate reindeer again (blech)! I even tried cow tongue when I was there, as a deli meat, and that wasn't bad...but reindeer was gross.
I wish I could remember the name of the first restaurant I went to, but I can't. It was a work dinner and we were the only people there, sitting around a large round table. The chef made us seven separate courses all using fresh, local foods, and each course was more amazing than the last! We had fresh prawns, salmon, beef - each paired with the perfect wine. I will never forget the delicious meal or the wonderful, proud service we received!
European breakfasts are my personal favorites! Meat, smoked salmon and cheese for breakfast? The only thing that I was desperate for by the time I came home was a decent cup of coffee. If you like coffee that you can repave highways with - then Norwegian coffee is for you! Me? I tried one cup and then spent the rest of my week drinking tea.
Which of these countries was ranked as one of the top 5 happiest in 2016?
The trip of a lifetime will cost you!
In my opinion, a visit to Norway should be on everyone's bucket list! But don't go into the trip blind this is a trip you will have to save for.
Things are just more expensive in Scandinavia as a whole.
If you read nothing else - read this - IT IS WORTH IT! Go on a cruise of the fjords, take bike rides, see the Northern Lights. If you can take two weeks instead of one, save the money and go see the amazing people and the amazing country of Norway (and the rest of Scandinavia).