Alesund & Kristiansund

Alesund

Alesund is one of the prettiest towns in Norway.  Built out on a narrow spit between mountains, there are no ill perspectives.  Climbing behind the town to a restaurant gave me a view of all the islands nearby….and all connected by under-sea tunnels.  This is some place to behold.

Ferry

The coastline as you travel north in Norway becomes more glaciated and bare–like Greenland and Iceland.

Gneiss

Tremendous pressure formed the central coast where many of the major fjords are.  Here gneiss has been twisted around in this process.

Road signs

I rent a car in Kristiansund (next town north); my goal is the Geitbotmuseum in Valsoybotnen, a small fjord about 50 miles outside of town.  A most beautiful drive on Norway’s very well engineered coastal route which includes many tunnels (both under sea and above) and ferries.   

Geitbatmuseet

This is it!  I own two Norwegian style faerings built in this local style and I need information.

Faering

And here it is.  A warehouse full of old faerings and larger “Viking” boats.  Some are rowed by 10-20 people, called church boats where everyone piled in and grabbed an oar and rowed to church.

rigged faering

I’m mainly interested in the sailing rig.  Here’s a good example of what I need to know.

Faering in Shop

They also are building new boats in their shop.  This is quite an art-form.  One stick with several notches at various intervals is all they use for a plan.  Each plank is bent and measured with this stick and verified by eye.

 Shop 2

Another view.  Compare this with our project in Alaska here.

Shop

Like the boatworks in Hardangerfjord, this one is strewn with odd lumber pieces.  At the left are hand-sawn shingles for a stave-church.

 Tools

Every tool needed for this project is also hand made, some centuries ago.  The Norwegians have been building these boats for well over 1000 years; an idea imported from the Phoenicians.  Well, time to get back to Kristiansund and catch the Hurtigruten up to Trondheim.  From there I train back to Oslo and south to Munich.  There was no snow north of Oslo this winter and several forest fires were burning–very strange indeed.

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