Tuesday, June 9, 2015


After Copenhagen we had a 'day at sea' as we sailed toward our next destination. I like days at sea. There is nothing to do, you cannot go anywhere, so you are stuck and it is very relaxing.  Besides I am a master at doing nothing so I like the days at sea.
Monday morning marked our arrival at the town of Alesund  (pronounced all ou soond). This is a picturesque Norwegian town of 46,000 residents complete with Taj Mahal Tandoori restaurant and an Indian/Asian grocery store!  We took a walking tour of the town and learned all about its people and history. Did you know that Norwegians (and also Japanese) do not have a certain enzyme so they cannot easily metabolize alcohol. That is why in Norway there are many restrictions on selling alcohol. There are only two government stores that can sell alcohol in Alesund .  Sounds like Montgomery County Maryland! Apparently Norwegians have extra enzymes for digesting milk products, and that explains their affinity for cheese.
Afterwards we did what we love to do most, that is we found a nice cafe and enjoyed excellent Norwegian pastries and coffee with an extra dose of insulin.
The question that keeps popping up in my mind is why do people live in such harsh environment? Mind you Alesund is at 62° 30' N latitude. It is a fully functioning town with public transport, ferry services to surrounding towns, cafes, and supermarkets, not to mention Indian IT nerds and restaurant. But more is yet to come because as we sailed away from Alesund that evening we could see the entire West coast of Norway dotted with small towns and villages. As our guide had explained, Norway is a twin of Chile in South America. Both are very long slim countries on the West coast of their respective continents with similar geography and climates.
Tomorrow we cross the Arctic Circle as we sail toward the northern most point of Europe. 

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