Molde - the city of jazz, roses and panorama
Molde is the administrative center of the county of Møre og Romsdal, in addition to being an active educational, trading and touristic town. Every year 30-40 cruise ships call in Molde and the city is a popular tourist destination with attractions like the Trollstigen mountain road and Atlanterhavsvegen ("The Atlantic Road") nearby.
The area to the north of Molde, Moldemarka, has several marked hiking trails and skiing tracks, and is an important recreational area for both locals and tourists. Less than 10 minutes away by car from the town center, you will find Tusten Alpine center and the nine-hole course of Molde Golf Club.
From the Varden viewpoint which rises 407 feet above sea level, there are good views of Molde, the fjord, the islands and the famous Molde Panorama with its 222 partiallysnow-clad peaks.
Kristiansund - the city of five islands, klippfish and opera
Kristiansund is situated only 30 minutes from Atlanterhavsvegen ("the Atlantic Road") and is one of Norway's most distinctive towns, with its colourful houses surrounding the intimate harbour. The town has approximately 25,000 inhabitants and is laid out on five islands right next to the Atlantic Ocean. Known as the capital of klippfish history, Kristiansund also has a rich cultural life, with an opera that puts up more than 100 performances annually, as well as the Nordic Light International Festival of Photography, well known for its quality and famous photographers visiting.
Attractions in or near the town are the island of Grip, the Norwegian Klippfish Museum, Mellemværftet shipbuilding museum, Varden viewpoint, and Kirkelandet church.
In between the four islands in the center, lies the soul of the town: Sundbåten harbour boat brings passengers from island to island, and is a good way for visitors to see the harbour from the sea. Sundbåten has been in service since 1876 and takes 20 minutes to do a round trip. The islands are also connected with bridges.
Åndalsnes and Trollstigen – a mountain kingdom
In the 1860s the road down the Romsdalen valley was completed as far as the farms Åndal and Nes, leading to the emergence of the new tourist destination of Åndalsnes and the birth of a new community. The tourist ships soon started to call at Åndalsnes, and during the 1880s it emerged as the big tourist destination in Romsdal.
Today, Åndalsnes has achieved official town status, and as one of the end stations of the Raumabanen railway line, which was opened in 1924, it is an important regional hub. Unfortunately, a lot of the original township was destroyed by extensive bombing during World War II, and Åndalsnes now appears as a modern town between the Romsdal Alps. Åndalsnes is a popular destination for climbing, hiking and fishing in the fjords.
The first settlers in Norway most likely made their living in this region approximately 10,000 years ago. Rock paintings, burial mounds and other archeological finds give an insight into what life was like here from the Stone Age and Viking Age, right up to the present day.
Molde and Kristiansund both achieved official town status in 1742. During the 17th and 18th centuries, the main industries in Molde were boat building, manufacturing of clothing, trade and tourism. The city fire in 1916 and extensive bombing during World War II caused the destruction of the old, idyllic wooden buildings. This explains the prevalence of simple, clean-cut and functional post-war architecture in some parts of the town. At the Romsdal Museum you can still feel the atmosphere of the small wooden houses and rose gardens in the so called "Bygata" - the city street.
Kristiansund has a rich history and it is said that the first Norwegian came from Kristiansund. There are significant traces from early settlements of the area.
The town became very prosperous and international as far back as in the 1690s due to the dried cod known as klippfish. From 1850 Kristiansund was the largest exporter of klippfish in Norway. During World War II around 70 percent of the town was destroyed. This led to a very modern and planned reconstruction of the town, which today is known as the "Reconstruction city Kristiansund" and is one of the most unique of its kind in Norway.
Today Kristiansund's main industry is oil and gas, which explains its current prosperity, but tourism is also still an important industry in this region.
The municipality of Sunndal has a distinct history of many hydroelectric power plants. The municipalities of Surnadal and Rindal have long traditions in agriculture and have for centuries produced large amounts of high quality timber.
The weather can change suddenly here, and you should bring clothes that suit both warm and cold days. The summer temperature varies between 10°C and 30°C. The winters are mild at the coast, but in the eastern part of the region it can get quite cold, with a lot of snow.
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