Text and photos by Sigrid Thorbjørnsen.
Ålesund is one of the most photogenic cities in Norway. On the night of January 23, 1904, the whole city burned to the ground in a big fire. 10,000 people were left without homes. Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany sent four warships with materials to build temporary shelters. After a period of planning, the town was rebuilt in stone, brick, and mortar in Jugendstil (Art Nouveau), the architectural style of the time. The structures were designed by about 20 master builders and 30 Norwegian architects, drawing inspiration from all over Europe. That is why this city is one of the most beautiful cities in Norway.
In Ålesund my destination was Molja Lighthouse. Molja is one of the most important landmarks in Ålesund as it marks the arriving point for all ships and boats coming to Ålesund. Today it belongs to Hotel Brosundet and is referred to as “Room nr 47.” The architecture firm Snøhetta (best known for the Oslo Opera house and National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York) redecorated the interior of the lighthouse and made it a bridal suite, with a bedroom upstairs, and bathroom downstairs. With its mix of comfort and rustic style, it is nothing less than beautiful.
The Queen of Norway stayed there just before me, and, before her, Thy of Total Make-over was here. And tonight, I was going to sleep here. Me in a small lighthouse. What an experience! Outside the lighthouse, Christian Radich, a full-rigged Norwegian ship from 1937, was docked and made the atmosphere spectacular. I could only do one thing – sit back, listen to the seagulls and watch the sun set in the ocean. This had been one remarkable day.
And my lullaby was the sound of the waves hitting the rocks, gently.