Leif Pettersen's Travelogue

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Posted on 7/2/03

Trondheim's main square with a huge phallic column in the middle.

From Bergen I took the aforementioned 14 hour, over-night bus ride to Trondheim. I was a total mess when I was dropped off at 6:30 in the morning in the rain, after only having dozed for about an hour. With no map and no clue where the hostel was located, I grabbed the first cab to shuttle me there. I chose the “dormitory” room in Trondheim for two reasons. One, I absolutely had to cut corners, what with all the travel costs adding up on my trek north. Two, I was getting sick of eating dinner alone and the best way to meet people is in the multi-bunk bed rooms.

Sure as schiznit, I acquired a friend from Switzerland later in the day and seeing as how it was Saturday night, we decided to paint the town red together. The nightlife in Trondheim was much like every other Norwegian city. Since drinking is almost prohibitively pricey, when the Norwegians decide that they’re going to tie one on, they really cut loose. Everyone was arriving at the clubs stinking drunk. People that drunk are usually turned away at the door at clubs in most other countries, but everyone understands the drill in Norway, so people are encouraged to limp in (after paying the huge cover charge, of course) and let the insanity unfold.

Trondheim is overrun with the usual hoards of gorgeous women and statues. The big attraction, and I mean really big, is the Nidaros Cathedral. This is one big effing church. Even with my camera’s photo stitching to assist me, I could not get the whole thing into one frame. A huge, poorly placed line of trees kept me from backing far away enough to fit the whole thing into one picture. Construction of the cathedral began in 1070, but after having burned several times and being rebuilt over and over, the oldest surviving part of the cathedral is only from the middle of the 12th century.

After having purged myself of partaking in a shameless tourist trap, I moved on to bond with the locals. Trondheim was sunny and in the low seventies each day and the place to be in this weather was the huge grassy knoll down by Nidelva River, where young people go to sun themselves, play soccer and check each other out. I spent a lot of time in knoll.

While wandering around the neighborhood near my hostel, I ran across a large group of people playing a game I had never seen before. It appeared to be a cross between bowling and horse shoes. Each player had the opportunity to throw three round, flat metal discs at a set of three pegs standing lengthwise on the other side of a long sandbox. Points were accumulated depending on how many pegs one could knock down in his or her three tries. It looked damn hard and just like in horse shoes, the old guys were always the best.





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