After lunch in Alesund and lusting over lighthouses, we carried on in the laid-back spirit with which we started the day and gallivanted through the town…
Stopping off to say hi to Alesund’s very own grumpy cat (at the local glassblower’s) – a cat so grumpy it needed a sign to stop you from stroking it.
*Turns out the cat had actually had a few traumatic experiences hence why it was recommended not to stroke it…
My favourite spot of the afternoon though had to be the thrift/antique shop called Trankokeriet Antikk.
Everything and anything you could ever want can be found here and the best part has got to be the price. See, Nordic countries are seen to be more expensive than a lot of countries further down South but everything in here was so reasonably priced for us Londoners that I kinda knew straight away I’d definitely find something I wanted.
But first – a bit of background – for years now, I’ve been obsessed with getting an old record player. And not the modern kinds you find in Urban Outiffters, (though I was tempted by them after searching for ages to no avail).
Nah, the type I wanted had to be pretty much an antique (as ‘antique-y’ as they get anyway) and to make thing harder – it had to be in perfect working condition.
Now, that last part was what had always made it hard as I never managed to find a working on… or when you did, it was this hideous monstrosity, the size of an entire bedroom (bit of hyperbole there) – which no Londoner of sound mind would ever want – space is a premium is our fair city.
In here though, I found myself a perfectly working on and its works san-electricity (it’s a manual wind up one). It took me all of 0.00000001 seconds to decide I wanted it.
*I now listen to random German, Scandinavian and American artists (most of whom I’ve never heard of before) but that’s neither here nor there… 😉 – I now have my record player and to think I found it on a trip to Norway of all places is quite a delight! (Another reason to add my ever growing reasons of why I love visiting Norway).
But I digress (hugely, for that matter), I wanted to talk to you about puffins!
Remember how I mentioned here that our rib boat tour had been changed to later that evening, well after stowing away my new record player in the hotel, we headed off down to the harbour where our ‘boat driver’ (I don’t know what they’re officially called – surely ‘Captain’ is only for ships?) awaited us.
We would be heading to an island called Runde to finally catch sight of some puffins.
See, I’d tried several times to see puffins – first in Iceland… then in the Isles of Scilly… and then in the Faroe Islands – all to no avail so I was cautiously optimistic (more emphasis on the ‘cautiously’ side of things) that we would get the chance to finally see them.
A wiki search told me prior to arriving in Norway that we stood a good chance to in Runde so, fingers crossed and cameras at the we went off in search of these seemingly elusive birds!
Just shy of an hour after jetting off from Alesund (taking in the views of the surrounding island as we sped past and even spotting a sea eagle) we finally found our them – Wild Atlantic puffins! I could barely believe it!
These birds are as cute as I’ve always imagined them to be and they’re pretty clumsy-looking fliers… which makes them even more endearing!
There were hundred of puffins all over and even though you can only get so close to them on the sea (you can get much closer to them on land), we still managed to get a pretty fantastic view!
Evening made, I headed back to Alesund, beaming from ear to ear.
Norway was definitely proving to be quite the treat… and to think this was just our second day here (our first full day here to be precise actually). I couldn’t wait to see what new amazing Norwegian sights the next few days would bring!