Monday, August 01, 2005

Day 4 and Half | Trondheim | Sepia Tints

Here we were at last. The city of B's birth. At 64 degrees north, pretty darn close to the edge of the world, Trondheim it was. We reached at about 4.30 pm, and one of the 1st sights that greeted us was "Jadab's Indian Restaurant". Quite amazing! Turned out later it was run by Pakistanis.
We then passed by a bright red building which turned out to be the "Studentersamfundet", probably a student center, perhaps one where B's dad used to hang out!

At 1st glance it looked like any little town in northern Europe. Not the prettiest of towns, with old wooden houses and shops that had stood still in time, but different. The 1st thing i did when we checked into our Hotel - the Radisson SAS Royal Garden Hotel - was checkout the drapes. Yes, they seemed to be thick enough, and we had a room facing the inner garden, so I was getting some sleep tonight hopefully! No more sunlight!

I was soon to be proved partly wrong about the 1st impression of this city, probably best known as the first capital of Norway and a renowned university. We set out to see some of the sights, saving some of the more interesting parts for tomorrow which, Mary, an old friend of B's parents, was to show us around.

We started by walking out towards the Nidaros Cathedral and the Archbishop's Palace. The cathedral was beautiful, as were the surrounding gardens. The cathedral is really quite old, apparently started out as a stone church at St. Olav's burial site around 1070, and it is assumed that the Cathedral was finished in all its splendour some time around the 1300s. Though one must admit, living in such close proximity to the St. Jan's cathedral in our very own Den Bosch had spoilt us - St. Jan's seems so much more striking than most cathedrals I have ever seen!
The Archbishop's Palace was more impressive in many ways- for one it gave one a feel of the architectural style of the place, especially the east wing that is well preserved. From the palace one could go down to the river Nid - which offered us a wonderful sunset view.

We later stumbled across the Tourist information office - very friendly folks, especially once they discovered B was born in Trondheim! Also gave us a couple of maps - and insisted we visit Munkholmen. B didn't pay much attention to that, he seemed preoccupied in trying to recall something of this town, but was unable to! Not surprising - he was 2 when his parents left with him for India.

We walked on - it was unusually hot. It was hard to believe we were at 64 degrees north. Also the sun showed no signs of abating as yet. The Royal Residence, “StiftsgĂ„rden” much touted as the largest timber palace in Europe turned out to be something of a disappointment. We then arrived at the Market Square - which was dominated by a statue of the founder of Trondheim, Olav Tryggvason.

Finally the long drive to Trondheim and the daylight took its toll- and we headed to the Elvehavn area- recommended by the friendly boy at the tourist info office. The area was reminiscent of the reclaimed docklands in many other cities - with old and new blending in to create a hip new area filled with shops, restaurants and modern apartments.

We found ourselves seated at a Tapas restauarant, Ajo (wrong part of the world to be eating Tapas) but getting a seat in this busy restaurant area was akin to winning the super grand slalom!

Some Tapas - surprisingly good (the chef was spanish), local beer, lots more sun, a short walk and we were home. Nothing about the hotel made it feel like home, but for B it was close enough to the 1st home he had ever known, here in Trondheim.

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