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Published: July 16th 2016
It’s another good looking day with a little cloud cover which should make it OK for a walk around the sights of Trondheim. The city has a population of around 200,000 and has origins that go back to 1000AD.The Viking King Olav is buried in Nidaros Cathedral and the city has had numerous major fires in its history with almost all of the wooden buildings downtown being burnt and having to be replaced.
The city was the capital of Norway until 1217 and has been fought over on many occasions.
In WW2 the Germans occupied the city from the day they declared war on Norway and it was occupied right up to the day the Germans surrendered in May 1945.It was a major base for the German Navy.
The German occupiers did have plans and they were starting to be developed when the war ended for a new city of 300,000 just a few kilometres away from the present city. Hitler had plans for a German ‘Singapore’ and it was his favourite planned city of an expanded German nation while the war was going in their favour. The already extensive naval base would have been expanded even further
as a way to control the North Atlantic sea area assuming that the Germans won the war.
Finding a car park close to the downtown area was easy as the roads were quiet and it really did seem like everyone who can leaves here for the summer holidays and goes further south.
We took a walk along the river that runs through the city and empties into the extensive harbour. There are a number of bridges across the river to enter the main city area and we chose one that would give us the opportunity to walk through some of the streets with some fairly old original houses.
Houses here are almost all of the same construction in timber with the boards placed vertical and overlapping slightly. It does mean that they all sort of look the same and it can be interesting to see a house that has horizontal weatherboards that very occasionally you do see.
We have had a hankering for some real fresh fish since being in Norway. After all this was a fishing nation although that industry has reduced in size as the fish stocks have been overfished. We have only been
able to find fish that had been pre packaged in supermarkets where you might expect there to be a fresh fish counter. Sure we could probably have looked a bit more in other towns we have been to and find a fresh fish market but they just haven’t been obvious enough to us.
So in Trondheim we have the actual address of the fish market and naturally enough it is next to the harbour and our walking tour will take us right past it.
There was a good range of fish although we didn’t know exactly what the fish were called.One that did stand out was whale and we felt rather dissapointed to see it on sale although we are aware that Norway still hunts whales and no one seems to protest enough about it.
So we looked over the available catch and picked out the one that Gretchen thought looked freshest and bought our dinner for tonight. It must have been fresh as it didn’t smell in the back pack while we were out for the rest of the day.
Eventually our walk took us into the centre of the small downtown area where the
Information Centre was with free wifi available.
For some unknown reason my laptop wouldn’t pick up the wifi at the apartment yet Gretchen’s tablet would.
We had some banking to do and a check of the usual things like emails which are easier to deal with on a larger screen that the tablet has.
Trondheim was reportedly the first city in the world to offer free wifi in public spaces and has a large tech industry employing many of the workforce.
The free wifi was quick and we were done and on our way looking for a restaurant to celebrate the first National Super payment that had appeared in our Bank account!
TGIF was right next door to the Information Centre and we had thought about eating outdoors at their tables in the pedestrian mall. By the time we had come out of the Info Centre all the tables had been taken but that might have been a good thing as the weather had cooled a bit since we started our walk and there were no heaters like many other restaurants have for outside diners.
We only needed starters and a beer and the
potato skins for two looked good so we ordered those and two 400ml local tap beers.
Total damage for this ‘light lunch’NZ$12 each! For the beers and NZ$25 for 6 potato skins! Just as well Bill English had come to the party and made the first Super payment just in time for lunch! Mind you the potato skins were a decent size.
After that expensive experience we returned to our walk which took us up the river towards the cathedral.
Probably one of the most photographed locations in Trondheim is the strip of gaily coloured houses and buildings on the other side of the river. It would have nice to get up a bit closer to them but there was no wharf walk on either side of the river at this point and we had to return to the pavement to head onto the cathedral.
Next to the area of buildings on the river was the oldest bridge of several that cross the river through the city.It was built in 1681 after the great fire that destroyed much of the city and remains in excellent condition today.
The front of the cathedral has a very
dramatic appearance with statues in groups of eight right across the front in two tiers.
There was a fee to enter the church so we gave that idea away and anyway the only feature of note according to Wikipedia in the interior was the grave of King Olaf. The exterior of the church gets the bigger mention and we did that for free.
We had one more place to visit before our tour of Trondheim was complete. We had spotted Kristiansten Fortress on the hill above the river and rather than try and find the right roads to take us up to it by walking we decided to drive the distance and use the GPS to get there.
The fortress was completed in 1685 and was designed to protect the city from attack from the east after a fire ravaged the city in 1681 leaving the city unprotected from that quarter.
It worked well in 1718 when Swedish forces tried to invade but were repelled because of the fortress’s position.
During WW2 the Nazis executed several Norwegian partisans they had caught. And then following the end of WW2 Norway executed several convicted traitors and war
criminals including the notorious Gestapo head in the city in 1947.
The views over the city made the short drive to the fortress a worthwhile exercise.
Once we were home we relaxed with pre dinner drinks and then after dinner became ‘hooked’ watching the American 2015 version of the Batchelor.It was the final programme where the guy agonised over two women he loved, for different reasons.
Three hours later the programme finished (phew!) and we could go to bed.
By the way he chose the one we thought he should have.
Tomorrow we start the journey back to Paris although it is going to take us 9 days before we get there.
PS:enjoy the classic from Roger Miller and stroll with us in the sunshine around Trondheim.On Youtube as usual
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