Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A trip to the coast.

Although we live 20 metres from the sea, that's a fjord. So it's nice sometimes to get a view of the open sea. I suppose that's one of the things I miss about Shetland.
Anyway, when our visitors were here a couple of weeks ago we went for a run out to the coast at Haram, just north of Ålesund. It's only just over 40km as the crow flies, but by road the round trip comes to nearer 160km.

We went out through Tomrefjord, and I remembered this time to take a picture of the Solstrand yard where the Altaire was built.

Note the floating dock. There's actually 2 of them in Tomrefjord.

Here's a picture of a very common sight here.
This beautiful little holm lies in Vatnefjorden. Even little holms are covered with trees.
Along the side of every fjord there are always little boat houses like these, The Norwegian name is 'Naust', the root of the Shetland 'Noost'.
Cars may be expensive in Norway, but tyres are cheap, or so it would seem. The roads are always covered with marks like these, from silly little kids 'burning rubber'. Thankfully they no longer do it in residential areas, since the police had a bit of a crack down and removed licences from a few of the little brats.
I just liked this scene where the river enters Vatnefjorden at Vatne.
This scene is looking northeast across the mouth of Vatnefjorden, towards Mifjorden.
The next section of road, from Vatne out to the side of Mifjorden at Hellandshamn, was just a gravel road, but gravel roads here are nearly as good as the normal roads.
Another nice view in Mifjorden.
And another one from a bit further along the road. The first lump of land on the left of the fjord is Otrøy, and beyond that are the mountains just to the north of the town of Molde. Some maps call the fjord in this scene 'Moldefjorden', but just like maps produced by the OS in Britain, they're wrong. It's Mifjorden, end of story. ;)
At last we got to the coast at the west side of Haram. Several beautiful islands lie offshore there. This island is Haramsøya. To its right, north, there is a causeway and bridge which connects it to Flemsøya. I think that's one road I wouldn't like to drive with a force 10 northwesterly wind, it could be a bit rough.
This is Flemsøya, with the tip of Haramsøya jus visible to the left.
South of Haramsøya lies this island, Lepsøya. Shetlanders will have heard of this one before as it was where Betty Mouat drifted ashore in 1886 on the smack 'Columbine'.
All those islands are fairly heavily populated, and served by an excellent ferry service, as well as a hurtigbåt (fast boat) passenger only service.

Turning back inland from Haram we had a view of Ålesund, but nobody in the car bothered to take a picture.
But here's a nice picture in to Grytefjorden, which separates Haram from Ålesund.
On the way home we took the road through Skodje to look at the bridges.
The old one pictured here (well there's actually 2 bridges, this is the biggest one) was built between 1911 and 1919, with the road being opened in 1922 after they got a small tunnel dug to connect the bridges to the road, and was in use up until 2004. Restoration work is being done to the old bridges, so I'm sure they will continue to be an attraction for many years to come.
The bridge shown above, incidentally, is the largest stone bridge of its type in Scandanavia. For more info, check out this wiki link.
And here's a view of the new bridge, opened in July 2004, as seen from the old bridge. Note the current swirls in the water. I saw a guy trying to paddle a cone through there once, it was slow progress.
The tunnel which went along with the old bridges, and remember this was being used up until 2004, would be a bit tight for some vehicles these days. It even looks narrower when seen in relation to the two scenic landmarks in the foreground.
And with that bum shot. I is ducking for cover, very quickly...

Yun's aa fir enoo.


  1. Really intersting article. Loved the island pic where Betty drifted ashore and the gorgeous houses - 'Naust'. It's great to read about Shetland/Norway links. Re: burning rubber I thought all citizens were as good as gold like the Swiss!

  2. I absolutely love finding links between Shetland and Norway, especially this area. Many more such links to come.
    And regarding the 'good as gold' citizens, well maybe. But, when they get behind the wheel of a car as a youngster, or imbibe intoxicating liquids when they're older, they're about as much use as a chocolate fireguard. But I love 'em all. A really great people, in a really great country.