Friday, December 9, 2011

sculpture detail
July 11-14

Trondheim & Back

We arrived in Trondheim -- home to one of Norway's great universities, the most northerly Gothic cathedral in the world where the nation's coronations are held, and a shop that sells both chocolate and cigars -- after a three and one-half hour drive from Kristiansund, though at times it seemed longer, broken up by only one ferry.

Nidaros Cathedral is the the major tourist draw of Trondheim, Norway's third largest city. Although construction started in 1070 (not all that long after the Vikings gave up their heathen gods for Christianity), fires destroyed it and the oldest parts still standing date to about 100 years later. Like all great Gothic cathedrals it is an impressive and imposing structure. Most impressive of all were the stone sculptures adorning much of the facade. Because it is build over the grave of Norway's Patron saint, Olav, it was the destination of pilgrims until the reformation. Norway's crown jewels are also displayed on the grounds of the cathedral.

Just across the street from the cathedral grounds is Trondheim's Jewish Museum, where we saw displays recounting the history of the city's Jewish community. The building, which serves as the Jewish Community Center, includes a classic synagogue, the world's most northerly (lots of things are the most northerly in Norway).

Jean Sue at Stiftsgården
A block or two closer to the center of town from the cathedral is Stiftsgården, where the Norwegian the royal family resides when in Trondheim. While elegant and large, it hardly fits the image of a royal palace, especially due to its wood construction

Central Trondheim offers a pedestrian mall shopping area (and, of course, and enclosed mall). At a kitchenware store, Bob found art glasses which are from the Ritzenhof series of milk, shot and beer he collects. Nearby was another store where he bought some artisinal chocolates for Jean Sue, and then noticed they also sold cigars. What a combination!

Bob took his Cohiba Siglo VI (Cuban) to Norsk Aquavit No. 1 Bar, part of the Karl Johan restaurant. The bar only serves Norwegian made aquavits, and Bob's only regret was that with just a few days in Trondheim he couldn't make a dent in tasting them. They also serve Aquavit's natural accompaniment: many different herrings!

After two full days in Trondheim, we boarded the express train from Trondheim to Oslo, an eight-hour journey, but easier than trying to get to the airport. Instead of remaining on the train until it reached downtown Oslo, we detrained at the Oslo airport station, where we could check our heavier bags, then take a quick bus ride to our nearby hotel. That made getting to our flight back to Philadelphia the next morning much easier.

Thus ended a remarkable journey.

No comments:

Post a Comment