Norway 2011: Trondheim

The coach trip up to Gatwick was uneventful, apart from the man in the seat behind me who grunted and sighed every ten seconds for the entire four hours.

Check-in was uneventful.

I had breakfast in Giraffe – toast and orange juice – and then went through the brand new shiny gate to security – there are lots of machines and you scan your own boarding card just like on the Underground – obviously, there were many people who had major trouble doing this.

Security was slow because the machine wasn’t working properly but I achieved getting through without being searched and then escaped into departures where I found Dixons and spent five minutes playing with an HTC Flyer (which is *beautiful*) before setting off for my gate. The plane was delayed ten minutes but we got on – big queue because as usual, the people in the front few rows were determined to get on first and spend forever putting their luggage away and blocking the aisle completely. Most of the flight was uneventful but as we descended over Norway, fields and pine trees and mountains and lakes became visible and as we came down over Trondheim, there seemed to be nothing but water with big rocky cliffs around the edges. I knew we weren’t actually going to land in the fjord but I hadn’t realised how close the airport is to the water – we were almost skimming the surface and it turns out the runway does slightly stick out into the water so even when we were nearly touching the ground, we were right up against the fjord.

Got through border control, got through baggage reclaim, found my bus, got on it, bought a ticket (doesn’t need validating!). The journey was lovely – 20 or so miles of pine trees and water and the occasional lump of bare rock and four tunnels. The first tunnel was Hell Tunnel – very long, quite dark and had at least five phone boxes in it. Out in the fields, there was farmhouse after barn after farmhouse – all rectangle, wooden, painted dark red and straight out of Mrs Pepperpot.

Obviously, there had to be a slight misadventure with getting to the hotel. In this case, I hadn’t realised there was more than one Thon Hotel in the city – I jumped off at Thon Hotel Gildevangen, not Thon Hotel Trondheim. I took my reservation inside, told the lady at reception I seemed to be in the wrong place and how do I get to this one? She gave me directions – turn right, turn left, follow that road until it ends at the main square, turn right again. There’s a statue. 8 minutes walk. Foolproof. I walked along the seafront – I now know exactly where to go in Trondheim if you want to buy a drysuit or a rubber dinghy – and followed the road round to the main square and there was the correct Thon Hotel.

It’s exactly as hostelly as I should have expected but it’s nice. My bed has a sloping ceiling over it which slopes so low I’m likely to kick it all night. The windows have clips so they only open half a centimeter but the clips are very easy to undo and there are hooks outside so you’re clearly allowed to open them wider. My view is mainly the roof of the shopping centre next door but behind that, there’s a nice church (which doesn’t just dong, it plays music on its bells. If I’m in at 6 tomorrow night, I’ll try to film it) and behind that, I can see the city on the hills.

I went back outside to find some food. There’s a supermarket in the shopping centre, literally two doors down and they have bread. I have cheese slices although they’ve apparently suffered during their flight. Never mind, there’s not enough real cheese in them for much harm to be done. I have chococolate milk which I’m trying to drink slowly over a few days and I have very strong sour cream and onion crisps which I’m probably not going to have finished before I get home because they are so very oniony.

I had a quick look down the road. There’s a McDonalds between the hotel and the supermarket. There’s a Burger King round the corner and next to that is another bigger supermarket. I went down to the harbour, took a photo of a drain cover on the way – no doubt the Norwegians don’t even notice them but I do – and tomorrow I’ll go and explore properly.

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