Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Alesund, Norway

A Norwegian seaport in the municipality More og Romsdal. It is part of the district of Sunnmore and the centre of the Alesund Region.

Lowry sailed into the port on 16th August 1931 aboard the S.S. Fagervik after the ship's owners ordered the commander Captain Skaugen to divert to the port.

Gordon Bowker detailed Lowry's visit to the port in Pursued By Furies (Pg.125).

Lowry was paid off the ship and checked into an unknown local hotel. He met a teacher in a coffee shop who was reading Nordahl Grieg's book Kinesiske dage about the author's time in China in 1927. The book had a photo of Grieg on the cover which was the first time Lowry had seen a picture of his "hero" who he had hoped to meet on his voyage to Norway.

Lowry met the teacher the next day who showed him a copy of poem written about Grieg which was signed by a "Nina". The teacher also told him that Grieg lived in Bygdøy allé in Oslo.

Captain Skaugen introduced Lowry to a captain of a collier from Danzig to try and get a job. The ship's name was coincidentally the Nina though Lowry failed to get a job due to the captain wanting only to hire Norwegians.

Lowry spent 2 weeks in Alesund before going by boat to Aandalsnes. There is no record whether he paid or worked his passage. Lowry also implied that he met a girl in the port during his stay.

Lowry refers to Alesund in his novel Ultramarine; "Nevermore stand in a lunar park in Aalesund, holding hands or eating smorbrod." (Pg. 69).

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