The Nordlys docked at Trondheim this morning allowing us time to lace ourselves into our snowshoes (snøskoene) for a hike through the deep snow covered forest of Bymarka to a viewpoint at Olavspranget. The view from the top across the Trondheimfjord was peaceful with a bright blue sky to set it off. Walking in snow shoes was a new experience – it is slow going and a very good work out for the legs. The winter sun was out in force today and made the large mounds of snow along the path glisten like mounds of jewels. We could have opted for a walk around Trondheim, visiting the cathedral, but how often do you get the chance to try out snowshoes and walk in snow as deep as your knees?
This part of the coast is known as the coast of contrasts, offering wildlife, mountains, pastures, snow white beaches and fiords. For centuries – since the Stone Age in fact – people have made a peaceful and good life here farming and fishing.
The coastal kitchen is working hard again today serving for dinner: Inderøysodd (a soup made of beef, lamb, carrots and meatballs); Norwegian salmon from Aukra (caught fresh this morning) and Tykkmelk Pudding (made from a traditional soured milk).
Early tomorrow morning, we will cross the invisible border of the Arctic Circle into the land of the Midnight Sun. At 66 degrees 33 minutes north, we will reach the southernmost point at which the Midnight Sun shines for 24 hours a day on Midsummer Night’s Eve. On 22nd December, the sun reaches its lowest point. However, even when the sun doesn’t shine above the horizon, the days are not totally dark. Days are characterised by dusk and a blueish tinged twilight with a clear flicker of light spread across the sky. The chances of seeing the Northern Lights in Winter also increase sharply beyond this line (fingers firmly crossed!).
The Norwegian trekking association – DNA for short – (Den Norske Turistforening) offers a service where for 695 NOK (about £6), you receive a key which gives you access to 550 trekking cabins across the country. The cabins are well stocked with wood and food and operate on an honesty basis – you take what you need and pay for it after your trip. The love of the outdoors and respect for nature that is so much a part of Norwegian life means that the system works very well – I wonder if it would work so well in England?