The Retirees go Abroad – France, Norway, UK and Ireland – We are Sailing – Alesund

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I’m awake at 4.00 am go to the gym at 5.30 am – shit it does not open till 7.00 am. So I am back again at 7.00 and do a walk till 8.00 am then find Kerry having a cup of hot chocolate with Doug and Nerida but the ocean has started to chop up and the ship is tossing. Kerry is not well and goes to the fresh air (4c and 25 knots) on the back deck and we go to breakfast. Kerry retires to bed but as I type the sea is calm we have docked in Torvig for 1/2hr and Kerry has left the cabin without leaving a note.

I have found her just as I expected on the back deck. We will soon dock at Alesund for the afternoon. Alesund is a coastal city of about 40,000 people with a large hill in the middle or so it seems.

We wandered the town looking for the information centre even tried to walk up the hill but only got half way before coming to the 481 steps to the top. After finding the info centre we fell upon a great plan we will catch a cab to the top and walk down. The cabbie was charming and provided us with some history of the town where he had grown up. It is actually made up of 3 principal islands although to travel around you would not know this, the hill has largely been hollowed out over the years particularly by the Norwegian resistance during the 2nd World War whilst the top of the hill has German bunkers from that same period.The town burnt to the ground in 1904 except for one house (and he showed us this house – the story is that God spoke to him and told him to stay in the house and the house was untouched) which is being renovated and will be turned into a museum.

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Once at the top of the hill we could see the horizon for 360 degrees and all that was in it. The cabbie told us that one of these islands contained the world’s best recording studio and once per year a festival is held and musician from around the world are invited to pay in exchange for use of the studio.

The walk back down the hill was much easier than going up and the views continued to be magnificent.

Once back to the boat we had time to recover with a few drinks and met Jim and Mary (brother and sister, Jim living in Perth and Slovenia and Mary in London and both claiming to be Aussies). We now run into them all the time – I think they are stalking us.

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