Tonje Lilleås

3 hours in Åndalsnes – When I walk pt. 6

All of a sudden I found myself alone for 3 hours in Åndalsnes. What better way to spend them than going for a photowalk?

Want to see more of my photowalks? Check out my project “When I walk”!

Solo travel

Since we became parents I rarely travel by myself anymore. We enjoy our family adventures, and spend most of the time together all four of us. However my wife and kids don’t necessarily appreciate it when I want to spend hours chasing an image, and I really don’t blame them. Photography is something I prefer to do alone, or at least with people who share my interest for it.

Even though solo travel isn’t really a part of my life these days, I do appreciate exploring places by myself every now and again. And so when I found myself with 3 hours in Åndalsnes without a schedule, I decided to make the most of it. Not that I haven’t been to Åndalsnes several times, but I haven’t gone out to explore with my camera. And I could see the possibilities of capturing both the contrast between old and new, interesting abstracts and landscapes within a short distance from the train station. (The reason for me being in Åndalsnes was catching a train back home later that day.)

3 hours in Åndalsnes

I started by sitting down at the docks, eating a fast lunch while observing the mood. Not a lot of people around, so I quickly concluded that “proper” street photography was not going to happen.

I had only brought my Canon M50 with the kit lens for this trip, so I knew I would have to get a bit creative to get any images I would be happy with if I wasn’t going to shoot street. I couldn’t rely on the full frame and wide aperture for depth, or my tripod for stabilizing long exposures. However I was determined to make something out of my 3 hours in Åndalsnes, and quickly got into the curious mindset needed when exploring a location with my camera.

Åndalsnes is characterized by being a tourist destination, in particular for alpine tourism. New buildings clearly point to the alpine landscapes that surrounds the town. However a lot of the tourists come by sea, and I also reckon the fjord has been even more important for the town earlier on. It’s interesting to see the contrasts between the old and somewhat torn buildings related to the fjord, and the new majestic ones related to the alpine mountains. I really wanted to capture the contrast, but only halfway succeeded. I guess I’ll have to go back for another try.

Breaking my own rules

After exploring the town, I decided to break my own rules of these photowalks. You see a few years ago my wife and I hiked this amazing trail called Romsdalseggen. Since then we’ve become parents and I’ve injured my back, and I’m really not able to hike the majestic hikes right now. However I always miss being on top of the mountains looking down, not only looking up from below and remembering how it was to visit them.

And in Åndalsnes they have opened a gondola to take you up to the top of Nesaksla. Having hiked there before, I knew the views were stunning. So I decided to break my own rules and hop on the gondola. Long story short, I didn’t regret it. Even though the weather changed from a somewhat interesting partly overcast to a dull grey by the time I got to the top. If you’re ever finding yourself with 3 hours in Åndalsnes, make sure to get up there. The hike is the best way, but the gondola is pretty neat as well. If you’re hungry I hear the restaurant on top is great.

So I hope you liked this little peak into my 3 hours in Åndalsnes. If you did, make sure to let me know. It really makes me happy! And you could even head on over to my Instagram to check out my Reel about the first ever Pride in my childhood hometown Stranda. Then head out to explore locally yourself!



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