As the MS Midnatsol pulled into port at Alesund, Norway, I could feel the excitement building inside me. I was traveling along the Norwegian coastline with the Hurtigruten cruise ship and Alesund was the second port of call after my horseback riding vacation in Bergen, Norway.
I had fallen in love with the charming Norwegian fjord horse and was hoping to have another encounter with these majestic horses of Norway. Much to my delight, I spotted a statue of the stocky Norwegian fjord horse upon entrance to Alesund, Norway. While I wasn’t successful in locating a public riding stable in Alesund, Norway during my shore excursion, I was able to find a small band of Norwegian horses hanging out in the meadow at the Sunnmore Open Air Museum in Alesund.
Sunnmore Museum, founded in 1931, is a folk museum focusing on Norwegian coastal culture. The open air museum is spread over 50 acres, featuring 50 well preserved old buildings. Representing Norway’s Middle Ages to the early 20thcentury, the Sunnmore Museum includes the Heland, a working Norwegian fishing vessel that sailed the North Sea, the Barents Sea and the Arctic island of Jan Mayen. From November of 1941 to February 1942, the Heland made several trips carrying refugees from the Alesund region to the Shetland Islands – home to the beloved Shetland pony.
Family days at Sunnmore Open Air Museum in Alesund, Norway mean carriage rides with Fjord horses. Photo courtesy of Ovre-Eide Farm.
Norwegian Fjord Horse Carriage Ride
During certain times of the year, the Sunnmore Museum comes to life with Alesund locals dressed in Norwegian period costumes. Norwegian fjord horses are hitched to wooden carts where they take children on carriage rides throughout the Sunnmore Museum grounds.