Now Mr X has a lousy track record when on trains. He begins with good intent and motivation which both fail him miserably as soon as the first carriage begins to rattle along those tracks. As the first leg of our Norway in a Nutshell adventure meant a 6.5 hour train trip from Oslo to Trondheim, Mr X was expected to stay awake! And he did! Whilst the scenery along the way provided enjoyment, it was the passengers who were the stars of this trip. We fear Kathmandu and The North Face have no remaining outerwear stock in Europe as EVERYONE was decked out head to toe. From multi- zippered pants to fleeces, scarves, jackets, shoes and interesting shirts, our fellow tourists had obviously all previously agreed on the clothing brief. THEN there were the backpacks, daypacks, Nordic walking poles- and all this is just their summer ritual. The mind boggles as to what winter would bring.
Our favourite passengers were:
- The family with the 2 teenagers- never seen so many zips and pockets in one place on only 4 people.Never seen teenagers so happy to be wearing matchy matchy with their parents. Intriguing.
- The dog who joined us along the way. Such a European passenger. He looked like he was a regular who loved taking in all the scenery.
- And the “girls”. A group of 4 who were decked out and equipped with all their hiking and camping gear who got off halfway to hike into the sunset. What made them so special? Maybe their average age of 85! This didn’t look like it would be their last girls’ trip away either.
What a find Trondheim turned out to be. After a ‘choose your own adventure ‘ route from the station to the hotel courtesy of Google Maps, we enquired as to whether the Wi-Fi was working in the hotel? The reply: ‘it works fine in every room just not in 405 which is you room’. We asked to be moved please which was arranged however there was pay-back. Despite not asking for a sauna-like room , we ended up in one. No air-conditioning and a teeny weeny window however, very good wifi🤷🏻♀️
Highlights of Trondheim:
- the very big fancy St Olaf’s Cathedral which is ecumenical. Lovely. They have all sorts come and hold services. Ms X loved it. Mr X not so sure.
- the old bridge which led into the old part of town where cute little coffee shops and gorgeous houses were found. There was even a STREET LIBRARY!
- a clever innovative automated bicycle lift. Now Ms X thought that the lack of one of these in Maribyrnong was holding back her cycling career!
- some great food at the fish market as well as Mr and Ms X’s new old favourite bar and bistro where they people watching was enjoyed.
Fjord hopping on the way to Bergen
The isolation of those Norwegians living amongst the numerous little islands and fjords off the east coast of Norway is amazing to see. Whilst cruising along you start to imagine the stories and adventures that the western coastline could tell. The remoteness of the villages is something we will never forget. What’s their jobs? Hospital, schools, supermarkets, entertainment and other people?? Lots of unanswered questions about these little hamlets. I guess they are happy and Ms X is very thankful for all the salmon, prawns and mussels she’s been eating that she is sure they are responsible for.
Once you have been on a Viking river cruise, it’s hard to “go back to coach” as Jerry Seinfeld would say. Our fellow passengers were very serious fjord-fans who sat gazing at them for hours and hours in complete silence. Hmmm. If that’s your thing, then ok. Now don’t get me wrong, the fjords are impressive and pretty however we were missing something or maybe it was someone. What was missing was commentary by an engaging program director. There’s a job waiting for someone here in the middle of the Norwegian Sea to liven the place up!