From my previous post about my week in Trondheim, Norway, it may seem that I crossed an ocean and stopped just south of the Artic Circle simply to see, eat and drink everything this Scandinavian Haven had to offer. I wish I could say that was the case but the reality is I was there to attend a ship simulator at Ship Modelling and Simulation Centre SMSC.
The training center has 3 impressive full scale ship simulators (in addition to other smaller scale simulators) with screens that would make any video game aficionado fantasize over the possibilities. Where else can you navigate an 800 foot tanker into Boston harbor and not have to worry about the consequences of spilling 500,000 barrels of crude oil in Massachusetts Bay. The fact that my classes started in the late afternoon and spilled into the evening gave me the opportunity to see Trondheim during the day. This schedule also probably saved me an unsaid amount of money, with a beer costing 12 dollars each, no one in Norway is a cheap date. After walking Trondheim all day, trying not to crash into anything at class I was drained and only up for a beer or two.
The last day of class started in the morning and let out at lunch. I had a flight that night so I grabbed my headphones and hit the streets to squeeze in a last bit of Norway. I made my way across the Nidelva River (Leif Errickson sailed from this river to discover America) to the Old Town section of the city. Old town had narrow cobble stone streets and the feel you would expect from one of Norway’s oldest cities.
Earlier in the week I had noticed a fort sitting high on the hills above the city. I decided to wind my way up the streets until I came to Kristiansten Fortress. After catching my breath I took in a the view of the city and it immediately made sense why someone would build a fort here, to keep all of the scoundrels from getting the best piece of real estate and a great place to lob cannon balls at anyone trying to take your city. Such was the case when the Swedes were sent packing after trying to take the city during the Great Northern War.
When the zee Germans occupied (and by occupy I don’t mean a few stoners posted up in tents conducting drum circles) the city during WWII the Nazis used the fort to carry out executions of Norwegian patriots. When the war ended it was one of the four sites in Norway where the execution of convicted traitors and war criminals took place. When I visited, repair work was being done and the fort seemed like a city park where people could come and go as they pleased. At the time, I was just exploring and unaware of all the history that had taken place in its walls especially during World War 2.
After snooping around the fort I made my way back towards sea level, winding through some neighborhoods, I crossed the Old Town Bridge towards the center of city where I planned to have my last meal in Norway. I wanted to eat some classic Norwegian food and asked the hotel staff where I could find it. I was told to head up to Grenaderen Restaurant located on the grounds of the Archbishops Palace.
Grenadern is housed in a building that dates back to the end of the 18th century when it was a blacksmith. The décor in Grenaderen was rustic and I appreciated the way the wood floors creaked. The old table cloths, curtains and stuffed wild game on the walls were something that would have given Gordan Ramesy hives and a heart attack (in that order) but I found it interesting considering their theme.
Keeping my plans of the day in staying old school Norwegian I went with the Roasted Reindeer Filet. I never venture far of the beef path when it comes to red meat so this was moving outside the box for me. The dish came with pears marinated in red wine, orange marmalade, broccoli, mushroom stew, red wine sauce and potatoes. I expected a huge difference in the taste of beef and reindeer but it didn’t have that gamey flavor I expect and usually avoid.
I finished the meal of with cloudberry pairfait. I picked this dish because it is made with a cloudberry which can withstand temperatures down to -40C and it is indigenous to Norway and other cold climates. This was served on a nut meringue and cloudberry sauce. This was pretty good but almost tasted like had been taken from the fridge then refrozen and left with a bit of freezer burn. despite that little hiccup I like the taste of cloudberrys and the crunchy bottom of this parfait.
After my meal I grabbed my things from the hotel and made my way to the airport. I had never been this far north in the world before and its wasn’t the dark, cold and unforgiving place I imagined (then again I haven’t seen the place in the dead of winter). Trondheim was a great introduction to Scandinavia and I hope I get a chance to come back soon.
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