Honestly, we thought today was going to be pretty lame. We had braced ourselves for a boring 9 hour bus ride on the 450 Fjordexpressen from Bergen to Ålesund, which--while billed as a ride through fjord country--is still a 9 hour bus ride. As it turns out, every corner of Norway is stunningly beautiful. In my (Sarah's) opinion, its beauty may even rival New Zealand's. And the Norwegian bus system is a well-oiled marvel, to boot. Here are just a handful of the endless incredible views out our bus window (which by the way had free Wi-Fi, power outlets, mini trash cans at every seat, and drivers who, like the rest of Norway, spoke immaculate English)...
Among Hirsh's favorites were the ferry rides across the fjords. Compared to the bedlam on the Sognefjord ferry two days ago, 10 minutes of a cross-ride with about forty other transiting passengers was utter peace.
Upon arriving in Ålesund, we trekked to our next Airbnb. Hirsh hung out with the Airbnb host Filippo, a Sicily native now working in Norway, while Sarah got in a well-deserved nap. A Tripadvisor, Wikitravel, and Airbnb host recommendation, we went out for a splurge meal after a day of Narvesen convenience store coffee and ferry boat Coke and Pringles. Confusingly named XL Diner, which conjures up some combination of Waffle House and a Big & Tall clothing store, the place was instead a true foodie's dream. We enjoyed melon and prosciutto salad; fish soup with mussels, shrimp, salmon, and caviar in creamy broth; and a main entree of Parmesan-encrusted cod in a cream sauce with potatoes and carrots. Just dreamy.