Day 23-2. Trondheim: wandering around on foot contd.
We made a cursory once over looking for something inspiring realising quickly that we didn't fit in this shop. From the absence of touring bikes and Rohloffs to the clothing code of all employees and customers, we would never fit in. We got the impression that this was a technically competent bike shop, but it didn't sell many products we wanted nor needed.
Another little disappointment behind us, we headed back towards the centre of town on the Kongens gate. We noted that the architecture here was now firmly in the modern era, until that, is we spotted a passage under a rather anonymous office block. At the end of the passage we could see an old white wooden house and with our curiousity aroused, we wandered towards it. Here behind all the modernity was Dronningens gate, a street that seemed to have been ignored by the passage of time. The houses painted in many colours of the rainbow looked cared for, with plants growing up the front of many of them. It seemed that the people who lived here liked their street. We smiled and carried on down towards the fjord where the industrial re-appeared in the form of concrete buildings, the railway line and ferries steaming up the fjord. There was not much else to look at here we decided so wandered back to the area near the cathedral and the tourist office.
We'd hit the last few days of the yearly summer Olav festival and today there was a big market behind the catherdral. Damae had wanted to visit it, so we walked past through the market earlier. However most of the stalls were setting up still then so there had not been much to see. Now the market was full of people and we had a quick walk through looking at the stalls selling all sorts of local and regional food products. It was a bit too busy for us and as we were leaving the following day, were not in buying mood. Damae's curiousity was satisfied at least and we headed to the Tourist bureau picking up some stamps and post cards whilst we were there. Damae wanted to ask about events later in the day, but waiting in the queue was too much for my patience.
Back outside I discovered an open Wifi network and sat reading my email for a while. Two women sat next to me on the bench: a Norwegian living in Trondheim and a friend she'd studied with from abroad. The Norwegian asked me about my EeePC as she was thinking of getting one with Linux on it for her mother. I mentioned the problems I'd had with the ASUS flavour of Xandros, but she was undeterred. Her day job was managing Linux-based servers and networks at the university so a recalcitrant EeePC would not be much of a challenge for her. While we were chatting I took the opportunity to ask her about Trondheim, how she liked it and if there were any areas of Trondheim where she wouldn't want to live. She was very positive about her town and enjoyed living there. There was nowhere she'd not want to live, but preferred where she was living to any other area of the town.
After a while Damae returned, and saying our goodbyes, we headed across the square to a nearby shopping centre. It was quite busy so we only had a quick look at the range of shops. This is something we did in many places we visited especially the places we thought we might be interested in moving too. There were plenty of shops of all sorts which was a good sign. We stopped for a moment to ask some questions about getting a pre-paid Norwegian SIM card. We heard the disappointing information that we would need a D-number to get a SIM card. (A year or so later we heard that this was not actually true and managed to get a SIM immediately). Still at the time it was a bit annoying.
It was by now gone three so we headed off to the cathedral to have a look at that. Anyone who heard we were going to Trondheim recommended that we spend some time inside the cathedral. The information we'd found said that it was open until four, and a half hour would be enough for a first visit. A rather disappointing moment followed as it turned out that today the cathedral shut for visitors at around lunchtime due to the cathedral being used as a sacred building. In summer people liked to get married there, so the tourists were kept out. We had to be satisfied with looking at the outside of the building which is quite impressive. After experiencing the stave church/wooden building vernacular architecture common to Norway, it was strange to see such an old large ornate stone structure. It would be much less out of place in Spain or even the Rhein area in Germany.