Friday, 14 August 2015

August 14th 2015: Norway: Trondheim 1

Monty the Motorhome is feeling happy again, after yesterday’s hair raising experiences. He’s spent the day on ‘proper’ roads and is now on a designated motorhome parking area, close to the centre of Trondheim. 

Last night did not pass peacefully. At about 0245 hrs there was noises outside - car doors banging and people talking. After a while it went quiet, but it was enough to unsettle us and result in broken sleep.
In the morning we found the explanation for the noises - a car parked right next to us, and a short distance away a tent pitched. 

We also had chance to examine a potential casualty from yesterday’s ‘off-roading’ experience. The lowest point on Monty’s chassis seems to be the retractable cabin step, which now makes a peculiar grinding noise when operated, as well as juddering in a way it never did before. Seems like some dirt may have got in, or even worse it may be slightly bent!

There is not a lot we can do about it now, so it was on with the journey south, stopping at a motorhome dumping station to use a hosepipe to give everything underneath a good blasting. That improved the step mechanism, but it still isn’t completely right.

Sat nav made up for it’s misdemeanors yesterday and guided us through Trondheim’s busy streets to the Øya stadium, where the city has provided free parking in designated spaces, for 15 motorhomes. There are no facilities at all, which means vans probably don’t stay too long. The city centre is only 10-15 minutes walk away, so it is a superb gesture and one other cities would do well to copy. The place was full on arrival, but luckily a German van moved off after a short while and we were in.

The weather has now changed and it is sunny and warm. What a difference this makes. We headed for the Tourist Information centre to get a city map and an idea where to go. That done we headed up to the viewpoint of the Kristiansten Fort, then down into the Bakklandet area. Known as Trondheim’s old town, Bakklandet’s streets are lined with old, colourful and picturesque houses. We stopped for evening meal at Bakklandet Skydsstation - an old fisherman’s house done up as a cafe. It is rated as one of the best in The Lonely Planet and National Geographic have described it as ‘one of the most cosiest cafes in Scandinavia’. It was certainly buzzing when we arrived, with most of the customers outside enjoying the sun. We ended ended inside and enjoyed fish soup (me) and salmon, while we both went for the cheesecake with blueberries for pud. Delicious.

Our evening meal venue

Evening light catches these brightly painted old fish warehouses

We wandered back to the van in the evening sunshine, enjoying the vibrant atmosphere being created by student’s on their ‘fresher week’. All manner of activities were taking place, with young people in all sorts of attire. We saw some messing around on the Trampe, the world’s only bike lift, where the cyclist puts their right foot against a metal shoe, which runs in a rail right up a steep bank, thus propelling the cyclist to the top. Ingenious, but we saw some people making a hash of it - so perhaps that why it hasn’t caught on elsewhere.

Our pitch for the night overlooks the athletic stadium, and ever since we got back to Monty there has been people jogging around, just watching them makes me feel tired. Let’s hope tonight will be more peaceful that last night.

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