If you have Norwegian roots, May 17, aka Syttende Mai, is a day to celebrate. On this day in 1814 the constitution of Norway was signed, declaring Norway an independent kingdom. Today we honor this stunning country by looking out over the town of Ålesund, nestled amid mountains and fjords in the western part of the country. This seaport stretches across several islands linked by bridges and is known for its charming art nouveau architecture. In ordinary years, Ålesund draws hordes of tourists and serves as a gateway for visitors to explore the bird island of Runde as well as Geirangerfjord, considered one of Norway"s most beautiful fjords.