Day 7 |
Jun 14, 2011

 Trondheim, Norway

By Dr Toby Musgrave, Botanist


Co-ordinates: 62*26’N –010*28’W
Weather: Lovely sunny morning degenerated into overcast afternoon with heavy showers.
Air temperature: +18°C

At 09.30 this morning we came alongside in Trondheim to be greeted with a delightful early summer day - warm sunshine, clear skies and a gentle breeze. With the ship cleared I, like many guests took the opportunity of a free morning to potter into the city centre a gentle half-hour’s walk away. The start of the walk was not particularly pretty — but then ports never are — but once into the centre, the attractions of this city became clear. Pretty wooden buildings, a busy shopping street and tree-lined avenues - but no sign of the 30,000 students all of whom had gone home for the summer. The locals were most friendly and helpful, and I was even presented with a free smoothie!

I walked back to the ship by a different route and arrived in time to see three coaches departing for the first of the optional tours — to the magnificent Niadros Cathedral, then by the antique Fanrem train to the copper mines at Loekken. I, meanwhile, sauntered back on board, enjoyed a delicious lunch and prepared for my afternoon activity. This was a botany and bird hike (the latter in care of Klaus) in the nearby Bymarka. Literally on the western doorstep of the city, Bymarka is an area of hilly nature that provides not only a wonderful recreational resource - hiking in the summer, skiing in the winter - but also extensive panoramas down over the city and out over the surrounding countryside. However, embarking the bus at 14.30, we were none-too-happy that the weather had turned against us and not only was it raining but the gun metal grey skies were looming.

After a 20-minute drive during which we encountered the most neurotic street-sweeping lorry that held us up for five minutes while the driver polished the tarmac, we arrived at our trailhead. And from then on it was up hill. First through Norway spruce forest to a (closed) ski lodge. A breather and a look at the view and then it was onward and upward, now past a picturesque lake and onto a smaller more uneven track liberally bespattered with mud. We continued undaunted, viewing the occasional bird and the delightful flora (including cotton grass, common butterwort, violet, wood anemone, bog bean, blueberry lady’s mantle one-flowered wintergreen and bog rosemary) until we reached the summist at 1,500 m having climbed some 200 m. The 360o view was spectacular — we could see the city and the fjord we had sailed through in order to get to Trondheim, and to the east the forests that reach to the Swedish border. We added to the stone cairn, and did not linger too long for the wind was fierce and driving the, by now, heavy rain in our faces. But at least it was now downhill back to the bus. Here we split for an extra 15 minutes to explore. Klaus and his band went in search of feathered things, I and mine took a stroll around the little lake, which was just delightful, and at the end of the circuit we watched a very eager puppy learning how to retrieve a tennis ball from the water.

By now we were most moist and enjoyed the warmth of the bus as we headed ‘home’ and to a hot shower. Recap & Briefing at 19.00, dinner afterwards and now we are setting out for a day at sea during which we will cross the Arctic Circle en route for the Lofoten Islands where we land the day after tomorrow.