Day 23-1. Trondheim: wandering around on foot.
Well the day hadn't exactly started as we'd hoped but we were determined to make the most of our day exploring Trondheim. After breakfast we enquired at the reception if they had a room for tonight. The good news was that they did, having had a cancellation but we couldn't stay in the same room. We explained what had happened during the night and if we could have a quieter room. The receptionist was apologetic and offered us the last room right at the end of the corridor. This was as far away as you could get from the toilets and even better we could move our stuff into it straight away, as it had been made ready for the guests who had cancelled. We paid up there and then, moved our bags and then headed out into the changeable weather. It was grey outside, and felt a bit like it was going to rain but it was not too cold.
Seeing as our bikes were happy in the cellar and Trondheim was not a big place we decided to explore on foot. There appeared to be plenty to see besides the old centre.There was a big fort on the hill above the youth hostel, which seemed like a great place to start.
In the car park there was a ratty old American station wagon with lowered suspension so low that we wondered if it had any ground clearance at all. A bit further up, past some fine large wooden buildings, there was a Mark 1 Honda Accord. I took a picture of Damae next to it as Mia (her mum) often complained about receiving pictures of landscapes or interesting buildings without people in them. A picture of a Mark 1 Honda Accord should be fine given that Damae was in the frame and smiling broadly.
A bit further up we encountered the outside of Kristiansten Festning which, not surprisingly did not look too welcoming. As we got closer we saw just how tall the walls were and once inside just how thick and strong the outer defences were. The keep was a dominant feature of the whole fort and quite impressive. Damae got interested in doors whilst we were there: she liked the contrast between the black paint, white frames and grey stone. I decided to take a panorama shot from one of the outer walls. I ended up taking two sets as I hadn't noticed that there was a drop of water on the lens whilst taking the first set. In a moment of distraction I then carefully deleted the good second set only realising what I had done some time later. Oh well. The view was not that impressive today with grey clouds threatening to rain.
We decided to head down the hill and have a look at the centre. On the way down we tried to find the 'world famous' bicycle lift. We thought we'd seen it on the way up to the youth hostel and found it quickly. This interesting piece of technology allows (local) cyclists to ascend a hill that it is impossible for mere mortals to cycle up. I guess hard-core mountain bikers might just be able to make this hill, but not us. You pay your money and get on your bike. The power of the lift is transferred to the cyclist via the right foot, just imagine that Damae has a bike underneath her bum and you get the idea. The detailed instructions for use were in Norwegian only, but there was a sign, in both Norwegian and English with some more general information about the lift. This was an interesting idea, however we passed it a few times during the day and can't remember seeing anyone using it.
We then crossed that Gamle Bybro once again pausing to admire the warehouses lining the Nidelva. The buildings looked similar to the waterfront of the old town of Bergen except for the fact that these warehouses were right on the water's edge. As with many places the state of repair of the buildings varied greatly with some looking spick and span and others looking like they needed a lick of paint.
Trondheim was turning out to be quite appealing as a town, even given the indifferent weather. As part of our research we wanted to find the best bike shop in town to see what it had to offer so we headed along the back end of the warehouses and alongside the Vestre Kanal on the Sandgata. The cute buildings ended, to be replaced with rather more industrial looking architecture. We followed the road away from the river and finally saw the Sykkelsenteret bike shop. We walked into the shop and realised that this was one of the sort of shops that cycle lift eschewing hard-core mountain bikers would feel entirely at home in. Besides the second-hand student-beater bikes outside and a few town bikes just inside the door, the shop was a mecca for all thing high-tech, derailleured and 26" wheeled. It was slightly curious that, despite all this very expensive bike hardware, there wasn't a single Rohloff in sight.