The View From My “Office” — I Get Paid to Do This!

I pull back the curtains, feel the crisp refreshing air, and look out over the waterfront at the colorful buildings of this Art Nouveau town…excited about the “work” day ahead.

I’m in picturesque Ålesund, Norway. This jewel-like coastal town is the gateway to Norway‘s spectacular Geiranger Fjord making it the perfect base from which to explore the region—and that’s my job for the day.

On a winter’s night in 1904, Ålesund was devastated by fire leaving 850 homes in ashes. In the space of three years, the entire town was rebuilt in the Art Nouveau style that was prevalent throughout Europe at the time. The charming buildings—painted salmon, blue, and rose—have turrets, spires, medieval ornaments, and dragons, earning Ålesund UNESCO World Heritage status.

On the way to the cruise ship, I meet some fellow passengers on vacation from Italy and England. I’m working…but, admittedly it’s hard to know the difference.

We cruise through the heart of the Northwestern fjords—the majestic mothership of all the fjords in Norway. World-class glaciers crown the mountain peaks. At every turn, endless ribbons of waterfalls cascade down dramatic cliffs to the waters below. Red, moss-topped farmhouses dot the landscape while sheep graze, precariously perched on the steep hillsides.

Just before we arrive in the town of Geirangerfjord, a boat filled with rowdy Vikings entertaining tourists in period costumes sails past us. I make a mental note to add that adventure to a future “work” day.

Once in the town of Geirangerfjord, I stroll the charming streets, past gift shops filled with trolls. I happen upon an adorable wooden boat house converted into a chocolate shop aptly named “Chocolate with a View”…possibly the understatement of the century.

The trip back to Ålesund is by bus and continues to offer jaw-dropping vistas around each hairpin curve as well as time for a bit of reflection. On my mind is how very fortunate I am that the amazing day I experienced was just another day at the “office” for me as a travel writer. Incredible.

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