Tuesday, July 1, 2014

One Day in Trondheim

The good:  I had a day to kick around in Trondheim, Norway and a self-guided walking tour I had printed from the Fodor's website to steer me in the right direction.  I was off to a good start, seeing as we were staying right in the heart of downtown and the sun was making a valiant effort to come out and greet us.

The bad:  One day was not enough.  To compound matters, this one and only day started rather late due to a delayed arrival and was cut short by a very early departure.  Also, that sun could have tried a little harder.  Norway in mid-June is not exactly balmy.

The trying to find a silver lining in our shortened stay:  Had I stayed any longer, I would have had to look into selling an organ to cover costs and I fear that the blue book value on my original parts is not as high as I would hope.  Norway is the second most expensive country in the world to live in (after Switzerland).  Just getting through the day requires lot of krone, krone bills, yo, and just getting a pizza and a beer, will set you back over $60.
Fortunately, walking is free and that is what we did most.  We began at the Trondheim Tor, which is a traffic circle that multi-tasks as the world's largest sundial (sun batteries not included).  The Viking guy on the column in the middle of it all is the Olaf that founded the city, not to be confused with the other Olafs that did other things.


Nearby was the ferryboat pier where visitor's can catch a ride out to Monk Island to visit an ancient monastery, but seeing as time was precious, the monks were given a pass.


I spotted plenty of these electric cars charging around town.

The Ravnkloa Fiskehaller: good for fish eaters, bad for fish

"The Last Viking" by Nils Aas.  That is not a typo.  His last name is Aas.


We eventually came to one of the city's coolest areas, where old warehouse have been brightly painted and repurposed as lofts, restaurants and boutiques.



Uniting the two sides of the river is the Bridge of Happiness.  It is said that if you fervently wish for something as you are crossing the bridge, your wish will come true.  I wanted more time in Trondheim.  That bridge was busted.




Although no guidebooks mention it, it is likely the Dutch were in Trondheim at some point.  Who else would think to put a "bike elevator" to help bikers up a steep street?  The way this contraption works is that you put $20 into the coin slot- what you thought this would be free? In Norway?  I'm surprised I was not charged for wishing on the bridge.  You put your foot on a pedal at the bottom of the hill and an underground conveyor belt gives you a push up all the way to the top. In the time I was watching, most people (mainly tourists) almost went ass over elbow trying to both balance the bike and keep a foot on this machine.  I honestly think it probably takes less effort to just walk the darn thing up.





Back across the bridge, where I repeated my wish just to be on the safe side, is the Thomas Angells House, which was originally built in 1770 to house indigent widows.  In one of countless examples of how far ahead of their times Norweigen society was , by the 19th century, they were allowing the widows to cohabit with "well-recommended" widowers outside of marriage.


I'm not sure how well that went over with their neighbor, the grand Nidaros Domkirke, or Cathedral of Trondheim.  This northernmost Medieval cathedral was built in 1070 to mark the burial place of- you guessed it- an Olaf.  This one was the King of Norway, who was later promoted to saint, making this the site of big celebrations for St Olaf's day.







By the time we left the cathedral, the sun (as it were) was setting and the World Cup games were beginning. We had just enough time to find a pub, order a $14 beer and watch one half of the game before running to the hotel to prepare for our flight, an act that simultaneously pointed out all that is good and bad about having only one day in Trondheim.

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