Tuesday 19 June 2018

Silver Spirit Norway, Day 5 - Not having my kayak

With thanks to Silversea for this Norway cruise
More photos to follow when the wifi is faster
The promised/threatened rough seas didn’t eventuate last night and we woke to a smooth slide in through the long fjord towards Trondheim. Further thoughts on the fiord/fjord thing: apart from the truly spectacular fjord we sailed into to visit Flåm, the others we’ve seen so far have not been at all what I expected. Flat, basically: not the soaring, steep mountains plunging straight down into the water that we get in New Zealand’s Fiordland, but instead low, lumpy, worn-looking trails of rocky islets and stumpy hills. Clearly much older than ours – but, also clearly, nowhere near as striking. So far!

Trondheim is Norway’s third-largest city, also once the capital, full of students and best-known for its colourful wooden warehouses lining the looping river, and a massive cathedral. My plan here was to do an independent kayak trip along the river – but sadly it was raining again, and that just didn’t sound like fun any more. So instead I went on a Silversea excursion by bus, boat and bus again to see it all through rain-streaked windows, and hear about the history that I would otherwise have missed out on. Vikings and fires, basically, plus the Germans building a submarine pen here in WWII out of concrete that in parts is five metres thick. So it is, naturally, still in place, and used now to store things, and for occasional parties.

Then the weather cleared a bit and I spent the rest of the day happily walking around the inviting narrow cobbled streets, taking photos of the colourful warehouses on their rickety-looking piles, the old bridges, cute little houses, the fortress on the hill, and a truck I watched with admiration squeezing through a challengingly narrow and curved side street.

I was back at the Silver Spirit in time for a much better team performance at Trivial Pursuit, at which we scored first-equal – and would have been first, if I hadn’t got the meaning of PDF wrong, tch. ‘Public display file’ seems to me much more obvious than ‘portable document format’.

Highlight of the day: watching the operation of the world’s only bike lift. It’s like a conveyor belt built beneath the surface at the side of a street climbing up a – to be honest, not very steep – hill, where you position yourself on your bike, put your right foot against a metal wedge, press a button and let the wedge push you up the slope. Or not. It was a bit temperamental – but it did work, mostly.

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