We are getting into the groove aboard the Midnight Sun.
Our excursion today was to the town of Trondheim, founded in 997 by the Viking King Olav, and the home of the world’s northernmost Gothic Cathedral. We decided to walk to walk to the Cathedral from the ship. The so called 20 minute walk was more like 45 but it was a beautiful sunny day. We enjoyed the walk and made a friend along the way. 🙂
Nidaros Cathedral is sometimes referred to as the Notre Dame of Norway. There are some superficial similarities in architecture (see below) but Nidaros is actually the older of the two; its construction began nearly one hundred years before that of Notre Dame.
Nidaros Cathedral (1070-1300) Notre Dame de Paris (1163-1345)
The interior is beautiful and, not surprisingly, features stunning uses of wood. It is more elegant than opulent and inspires reverence and respect. Its history is fascinating and the fact that it even survives is remarkable. Catastrophic fires in 1327, 1531 and 1708 destroyed all but its exterior walls. It sat on the verge of collapse until 1869 when sufficient funds were found to begin a 132 year restoration project that was finally completed in 2001.
As we headed back to the ship I was keenly aware of a few gaps in my traveling wardrobe. The most serious omission was blue jeans which I had understood to be an absolute no-no anywhere in Europe. Well jeans are omnipresent on the decks of the Midnight Sun and the white capris I brought (what was I thinking?) would have looked absurd. So after carefully briefing my traveling companions on the route back to the ship in time for its scheduled departure, 45 minutes hence, I peeled off to find jeans.
The first store I visited wanted $300 USD for a pair that was about two feet too long. (“Petite? What’s that?”) I was about to give up when I spied a shop (up the street and around a corner) that looked like it might have what I needed. Time was running short, but I searched until I found a great pair of jeans and was so encouraged that I also poked around for a much needed sweater. As I was checking out, I noticed that I had 20 minutes to make it back to the ship. Easy. I knew the route. Except I didn’t! The directions I had so confidently given my companions were from a location up the street and around the corner. Nothing looked familiar. I took out my phone and asked Google for directions to the pier. Bingo. Relief. Pier 1 was just 10 minutes away. I walked briskly and reached the pier. Pier 1. No ship. NO SHIP.
Looking frantically up and down the waterfront, I spied our ship far in the distance. Rechecking my phone I discovered that my ship was at Pier 2. Pier TWO. Eight minutes to go and .8 miles away. The last time I ran a 10 minute mile was in 1985. But I was driven by the knowledge that delaying departure by showing up late is the worst sin, other than jumping into the sea, you can commit on a cruise. And it shames your traveling companions. So I ran like I haven’t run in 34 years. And gasping for breath and sweating like a Florida tennis player in July, I stormed up the gangplank and shoved my ID at the steward at 2:59 for 3:00 departure.
My reward was dinner. And what a dinner! Just when you thought you had all the lingo right, along comes a new term. In this case it is “short-traveled”, which, at least for the Hurtigruten fleet, is the new “locally sourced.” Whatever it is, tonight’s meal may have been one of the best I have ever enjoyed.
OK the barley soup with parsley oil was not among my top 100, but the “Short traveled Norwegian salmon from Aukra with lukewarm potato salad, whipped sour cream, dill and lemon” made me want to lick the plate.
And the Tjukkmjolkpudding (thick milk pudding with raspberry sauce and hazel nuts) rivals any dessert I have ever tasted. Ever. I devoured it before I thought to take a picture!