The wonders of Alta

One of my favorite stops during my trip through Norway with Insight Vacations® was at the town of Alta.  Known for their slate industry, slabs of this compound element line the Alta Fjord:

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There is even a statue to commemorate slate workers in the center of town:

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We had a chance to visit one of these slate quarries one morning:

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And saw the experts execute their craft:

image  We even got to cut up a coaster ourselves as a souvenir!

These tiles get shipped out to line rooftops and walkways all over the world:

image  Pretty amazing.

Later that day, we headed over to the Alta Museum, also known as the World Heritage Rock Art Center.  Here there are numerous paintings found on rocks dating back before the ice age:

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To see these rocks, you walk along a scenic path by the fjord:

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Where you can learn about the ancient rock art with audio guides:

image  (http://www.alta.museum.no/sider/artikler.asp?hovedmeny=hovedmeny-engelsk&meny=forside-engelsk&forside=true&mal=forside)

Downtown Alta is also the starting point for the great husky race, Finnmarketslopet:

image  A race where sleds are pulled by teams of husky dogs and lead by an experienced musher, it is similar to the Iditarod race in Alaska.

We were lucky enough to visit a husky farm for dinner in a traditional Norwegian home:

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And see a demonstration of the sled by one of Norway’s great racing champions:

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We even got some quality time with the dogs at home!

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At the center of town is also the Northern Lights Cathedral:

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We didn’t get to see the northern lights but I can imagine how beautiful this must be with the greens and yellows swirling in the background.

Tripadvisor® highly recommended a meal at Du Verden.  Located in downtown Alta and a short walk from my hotel, I thought, why not?

image  I dined with a glass of house white wine in a space decorated with paintings of ballerinas, reindeer pelt, and Thai religious sculptures.  The waitstaff was super friendly and though I walked in about 15 minutes before closing, they stayed open for me to finish my meal.

The decor pretty much reflected the menu – random and noncohesive.  I started with smoked whale meat with clowberryroot syrup, sour cream, crisp bread, onions, and parsley:

image  Whale meat was a little gummy and the sour cream did not help.  Overall, the dish was not that great and made me a little nauseous.

Next, salmon with dill, apple, avocado and bearnaise sauce:

image  This was described as an appetizer but the portion was enormous.  The salmon was served cold and the apples raw but the bearnaise sauce was super thick, warm, and rich.  Needless to say, from the picture and the description, this was gross.

My main course was grilled stockfish with mustard sauce, bacon and veggies.  There were fish flakes on top, which were very random.  The stockfish was tough and the sauce was weird.  Portion ratio of potato to bacon fish was way off and the dish was just a mess.

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I was here in early May, so it was too warm to visit or stay at the igloo hotel (another must see in Alta).  Must do that next time!

Heading out from Alta, we saw the remnants of an old bomb crater:

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As we headed back into the fjords.

image  Can’t wait to come again!

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