Lesson learned on Hurtigruten:
When you book a tour, you should check the time.
I did not pay attention to this detail, and we had one tour at midnight and the one this morning at 7:45 a.m. The ferry runs all night long, so the tour goes when you happen to be in that town.
So I admit that we did grumble a bit as we had to set the alarm for 6:30 a.m. in order to have breakfast before the tour.
But boy, was it worth it.
We docked in Trondheim, Norway’s 3rd largest city.
It was beautiful, full of old wooden houses along with modern apartment buildings. (Apologies for the pictures – taken from the bus by a sleepy photographer!)
But the reason for our tour – Niardos Cathedral.
Simply spectacular – considered one of the great cathedrals of Europe.
The story goes that a boy named Olaf was just 12 years old in 1007 (over 1,000 years ago) when he joined Viking chieftains on raids from Finland to Ireland. In England, he was introduced to Christianity (Norway at that time believed in Norse Gods). At age 20, Olaf brought Christianity back to Norway and built a small church on this site.
But Olaf was a bit of a tyrant and executed anyone who didn’t follow Christianity and was eventually killed in battle. However, pilgrims still flocked to his grave on the banks of the river and swore that miracles happened there. The church investigated and opened Olaf’s grave to find his body was perfectly intact after all those years – even continuing to grow his long red beard. So the Catholics canonized him as St. Olaf and built a silver shrine to him in the Cathedral. Pilgrims continued to come from all over to pay their respects.
Then the Protestants came . . . and wanted nothing of this Saint and the pilgrims who traveled to honor him. In 1537, they melted down the silver shrine for coins and let the cathedral fall into ruin. St. Olafs’s supporters moved his body to a secret place on the grounds – no one knows where.
Eventually, Norway recognized the importance of the Cathedral and restored it. Today it is the site of royal coronations and is considered an ecumenical house of worship – meaning it is open to all faiths and is a working church.
(No pictures were allowed inside, so I took these from the Internet. )
Highlights are the huge stained glass rose window (which had to be repaired a few years ago after a local boy kicked a soccer ball through it – how terrible would that be?!).
And two pipe organs – one with 10,000 pipes!
Back on the Boat
The afternoon turned out to be rainy and chilly with rolly seas, so we happily just stayed in our cabin and alternated between watching World Cup –
And the Bridge Cam –
This is the life!
Norwegian Cheesecake with raspberry sorbet – sourced from raspberries grown by a lady named Astrid at one of the stops along the way (I loved that little detail!)