4th August 2016. Trondheim, Norway.

It’s a beautiful day today.  I hung some washing out to dry and we watched a seagull fiddling around with a little red starfish while we ate breakfast.  He kept picking it up and dropping it back on the floor poor thing, then he got fed up with that game (I’m sure the starfish had tired of it much sooner) and swam off.

There were a family of oyster catchers wandering aimlessly around the beach, the mother seemed very stressed and kept trying to keep the two youngsters near her, I assume the other adult was the father because he wasn’t at all bothered about their whereabouts.

We took our coffee with us to the beach and sat on a boulder in the sun watching the yachts coming and going.  I had a paddle in the cool clear water and looked for starfish but they’d obviously taken note of their poor mate and moved off to deeper water, I did see two teeny jelly fish though.

We’re off to Trondheim today, we’ve changed our plans again last night.  We were going to make our way into Sweden for a while so that we could go to Tännäs to see the Musk Ox sanctuary but now we’ve decided to just carry on through Norway and try to stick to a plan.  I’d like to see Ålesund with the stone built buildings and I’d like to see a stave church at some point on this trip, they seem to be on the West Coast.

Along the way we stopped at a tømming station to empty the toilet cassette.  I’m only mentioning that because as we drove down the driveway to it there was a tank in a field and when we got to the ställplats there was another tank parked in there.  We thought it might be a tank museum but there are no signs to say that it is, very strange!

We’ve driven through a lot of farmland in this part of Norway and I’ve noticed that the grains that were still green with silver heads as we came through Sweden a couple of months ago have now ripened and turned to gold.

We’ve just driven through a very long tunnel,  I think it was 3.4 k.m. long, as we came up to it we could see dust puffing up above the tree line so we closed the windows, I’m glad we did because the dust was coming from the tunnel!  The road surface was being renewed and was just the rough sub-base which was basically a dust trail  There were no ventilation fans that we could see.   It wasn’t a very nice experience driving through that, I’m glad Darren was driving.  The next tunnel about 600 metres further along was 1.7 km and that was nice and clear and had ventilation fans in it.

We finally found a ställplats just outside Trondheim to stop in.  It was full of motorhomes with Italian number plates and we thought we’d had a long drive to get here!  We were parked by a sports field and there was a sign up for training sessions with Liverpool Fotballskole.

We cycled into Trondheim through an industrial estate to get down into the city, we free wheeled for most of the journey in, which was wonderful, but the thought of the cycle back to the van filled me with horror!

Trondheim is a very pretty city.  We remembered that we had a new plan, which was to find the Tourist Information shop instead of bumbling around the city completely uninformed.  We followed the GPS to Tourist Information but fell at the first hurdle, it turned out to be a notice board!  However in the process we did see a beautifully sculpted bronze of two Seamen dedicated to the memory of the sailors who died during the two World Wars and we saw the outside of the camera obscura, the door was locked.

Darren went into the Radisson and picked up a map which showed us where the actual Tourist Information shop was and we cycled there.  He asked the lady at the information desk where she would recommend we visited and she kindly marked some places on the new map that she gave him (apparently the other map we had was just advertising restaurants).  There were three cycle routes so we followed one of them.  It took us past some beautiful old buildings and along the river to the huge and ornate gothic cathedral.

We came up from the back of the cathedral where we only saw a couple of people walking around but when we went round to the front it was heaving with people. Around the side of the cathedral in the museum we could hear a band playing at a festival, apparently Tom Jones was going to be performing at some point. We stopped for coffee and ice cream by the cathedral, what an extremely daft idea!  It said it was an ice cream buffet (which turned out to be help yourself whippy vanilla ice cream with sprinkles which cost 65Kr each, over £7!).  Darren consoled himself with the thought that at least he’d had the experience of using the whippy machine and it gave him the opportunity to have two ice creams!

We started to cycle to the Old Town down a very steep twisty hill beside the bridge, unfortunately we were almost at the bottom when we realised that we should have been going over the bridge to get to the Old Town.  So we cycled along the gravel path until we came to the next bridge where Darren somehow managed to wheel his bike up the gully beside the steps (it was very overgrown and steep) and I couldn’t get my bike to move so I carried it up with Darren protesting that he’d come down and do it for me, how lazy would I look then!

We cycled round the Old Town and went to look at the bike drag lift which took you up a steep hill.  Of course we had to arrive with our bikes just as a German tour group turned up looking for someone to try it out.  That turned out to be Darren’s job, they thoroughly enjoyed watching him try to use it.  The tour guide was giving him instructions on how to do it but it was far easier said that done.  He gave it four goes but it was impossible without lots of practice.

We watched some twenty year old lads trying and they couldn’t do it initially either.  One of them managed it on the fifth attempt but the other two pushed their bikes up.  One man managed it in his business suit on the ‘normal’ setting but it still looked like hard work (we’d been using ‘beginner’).  We assume that he’s a local. 

I chickened out but after we cycled off over the bridge Darren managed to persuade me to go back and try it.  I waited until the audience had moved on then just as I was about to do it I acquired a new audience. 

Luckily my audience consisted of only a few people not the thirty odd people Darren had watching him.  I didn’t manage the first time but I managed to go a reasonable way on the second go before my foot overtook me and I had to stop.  I was very pleased with the distance I’d travelled though and so were my mini audience. 

We were going to cycle the long route but I noticed black clouds looming on the horizon so we went back to the van the fastest way possible, spying a pied wagtail bathing in a puddle, we’re sure he’s following us around Europe.  

As we started our drive to Oppdal it poured with rain, perfect timing. It was a two hour drive to Oppdal, Darren had three ställplats there programmed in the GPS as there didn’t seem to be any en route.  However while we were chatting about our plans I discovered that I’d unintentionally agreed that we were no longer going to Røros, as we weren’t going to Tännäs after all so we didn’t need to go East.  After ‘another chat’ we changed our plans again and set off for Røros.  Luckily for me we were very near the turn off to the 30 that went there. 

We were getting slightly worried that we wouldn’t find anywhere to stop as lay-bys seem few and far between on smaller roads.  We finally found a rastplatz at 9 p.m. thank goodness because I was getting hungry and we still had another hour to go before we got to Røros.  It was a nice quiet rastplatz surrounded by trees with just one French registered campervan and a Norwegian motorhome parked there, a lorry turned up later and parked out in the lay-by beside the road.

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