|MS Lofoten of the Hurtigruten fleet|
After our full day aboard the Hurtigruten, we had a day of multiple small stops along the Norwegian coast. The longest stop was at the third largest city in Norway. Trondheim is another city that can claim to have once been the capital of Norway, it’s reign of dominance was from 997 to 1217, during the viking age. Trondheim held the seat of the King, and was also the migration destination for northern european catholics. Another interesting bit about Trondheim? One of it’s “twin cities” is Vallejo, California, my place of birth.
|Old Town Bridge of Trondheim|
We started our morning by waking up too late and having to rush to get off the boat to optimize our time in Trondheim. We only got off a few minutes after docking, but the rush the get dressed and get upstairs left me in a bit of a frazzled hurry state. I knew that we would have plenty of time in Trondheim, since it isn’t actually that big of a city, but I really wanted to head to a certain part of the city first, to make sure we saw it. This part of the city was to Nidaros Cathedral.
Nidaros Cathedral is a medieval gothic chruch that is the grave site of King Olav Haralddson, who was martyred at a battle in 1030, and is now better known as Saint Olav. Olav is credited as having replaced Norway’s pagan religious practices with christianity, and his grave site become a destination for scandinavian people. In order to honor this history, in 1997 the Pilgrim’s Way was established which is a 926km trail from Oslo to Trondheim.
|Gargoyle on Nidaros cathedral|
As far as cathedrals go, I thought Nidaros was pretty good. It has plenty of gothic architecture, which is my favorite kind of church structures. Nothing like a big stone decorated building covered in gargoyles to make your imagination run wild. While there, we decided not to enter the church, but enjoyed it’s beauty from the outside, taking note of some of the more personable gargoyles.
|Gargoyle on Nidaros cathedral|
While walking around the church, I noticed an injured bird at a base of the tree, so we took a moment to give him plenty of bits from our sandwich breakfast. We went to explore the rest of the city while he enjoyed his meal. Trondheim has a Bryggen as well, though when we were there it was completely dead, barely anyone to be found. The picturesque buildings in bright colors were still enjoyable though.
|Bryggen in Trondheim|
From Bryggen we went to the other end of the city and found a farmers market full of fresh produce and cheap novelty clothing. We took part in the produce merchandise and sat down to enjoy our wares. While sitting I was telling Jeff about a plaza in the city that had a giant pillar with a statue of King Olav Tryggvason that could also be used as a sundial. He then pointed to the statue I was telling him about, and discovered that we were actually in this plaza. While maybe I looked foolish, at least it proved he was listening.
|King Olav Tryggvason Plaza|
After restocking our snack supplies we made our way back to the boat. We stopped by a fast food place that was completely empty and ordered food for lunch to avoid buying the expensive boat lunch. Apparently after someone orders food is the appropriate time to restock the toppings supplies, so they took ten minutes to do that before making our meal. This put us a bit behind schedule so I got more and more anxious about making it back to the boat. I started speed walking as soon as we had our food, Jeff jogging behind me to catch up. At some point he asked me if we should run and I took that as permission, and we ran a little less than half a mile back to the boat. We arrived about one minute before they departed.
|Check out the pollen on its legs!|
The Hurtigruten is a cruise/shipping service that continuously goes up and down the western coast of Norway. It is very common for travelers to hop aboard the boat for a leg of their journey. We chose to use it as a means of transportation because it was convenient, it allowed us to see a lot of Norway quickly, and it efficiently got us to our desired destination of the Lofoten islands. It is most certainly not the cheapest means of transportation, but when considering time and fuel costs (for a car) it isn’t too bad. The food served aboard the ship is also really nice, though over priced. Norway is an expensive country though, so all the food is overpriced. It takes 11 days for the ship to go to the tippy top of Norway and back again.
The Hurtigruten fleet started in 1893, for the purpose of cargo and mail carrying. Today the ships still do provide a valuable shipping service to Norway, but their main focus now is tourism. Our ship was rather modest and traditional, but the newer ships in the fleet are equipped with car decks, hot tubs, and saunas. Well, ours had deck chairs…
We spent most of our time snacking on our food, reading, playing cards, and taking photos. There is definitely not a lot of provided entertainment. We did get to watch some of the olympics though! The track events and the celebrations were amazing.
At one point our driver came on the intercom and told us about a famous lighthouse that would be appearing on the side of the ship. The light house is called Kjeungskær and was built in 1880. Until 1987, the operator of the light house and their family would live in the bottom part of the light house. The lighthouse is 20.6 meters tall, and our driver mentioned that it was also used as a school house, but he must of been referring to the operators children.
Next stop on the Hurtigruten is the Lofoten islands, which I’m pretty sure is also the location of the northern hemisphere’s Mordor.