Fjords, Glaciers, Bullfrogs

Saturday, July 09, 2005

A bridge in Trondheim
Today was a momentous occasion, for it marked my final day as a dishy (i.e. doing dishes). To celebrate, we did absolutely nothing, and what a great time we had! We left for Trondheim stopping first at a place called, seriously, Dumbass. Which was really just a souvenier stand/place to get some food and, in fact, the same one we'd stopped at on the way up though I didn't mention it then. We also stopped in Hell. Apparently, Norway has a bit of a confidence problem. It was a short drive to Trondheim, and we arrived with plenty of time to walk around.

Little building on the river
I quite enjoyed the city and would rather have spent more time here than Oslo, it's quite beautiful and used to be the capital of Norway once upon a time. I walked with Darren along the grassy riverbank (called a beach by locals) and admired the cute Norwegians. After exploring sufficiently, I found a camera shop that I was able to recover some of my hires photos that I accidentally deleted, though I ran out of time at the end. The guy who ran the store didn't charge me for using his computer or using the internet while the recovery software was running, which was very nice of him.

One of the best parts of Trondheim is that we were in a hostel near the centre, which means going out without having to worry about metro shutdown times or cab rides home. We went back to the hostel and changed for a night on the town, and for some reason I didn't bring my camera with me, but most of us headed out for all you can eat pizza (a big competition between Gord & Juaquin ensued with Gord finishing 12 pieces in 20 minutes and Juaquin edging him out at 13) and then some 10 pin bowling. Both were a lot of fun, even if I was near the bottom with my awe-inspiring score of 76. We hit the town and partied together, then thanks largely to Juaquin's maneuverings, he, Gord, Rob and I wound up chatting with seven very cute local girls. I somehow ended up with the cutest, at least in my opine, whom we all agreed looked a little like Kate Hudson. I walked back to the hostel with Nick and we watched the sunrise at around 2 AM and then I hung out with Emma and Catherine in the lobby and chuckled impolitely at a couple girls' misfortune at discovering bedbugs.

The idyllic spot we picniced
The next day, July 7, was a long trek to Mo I Rama, broken up by a beautiful picnic spot. We were sitting right on the river with our feet in it admiring the tranquility when someone received word on their cellphone of terrorist bombings in London, it was a very surreal moment to be in this place of nature and thinking about the jungle of society and the degenerate scum that inevitably appear within. In any case, the lunch was nevertheless beautiful and we all did our best to thoroughly enjoy our stop there despite the news. As I sat there I suddenly saw something whiz by my face. A grape! I returned fire and then decided I would try to catch the grapes in my mouth from the riverbank. Soon there were several people doing it, though I succeeded only once.

View from our cabin
We had a beautiful cabin in Mo I Rama, right on the river. There was a big room and a small room, or rather, a closet attached to the washroom where someone had somehow fit in two beds. Darren saved me from this by claiming the top bunk in the big room as mine. The river was from a glacial melt in the nearby mountains, and no more than 7 dergees C, so some of us went swimming in it. It was bloody cold, but good fun. I had a competition with Melissa which I managed to win, somehow, and stayed in for about 20s before the stabbing sensation was too much. That night there was an 80s party hosted by Emma & Catherine that was a lot of fun! We sat on their porch and chatted and drank while listening/singing to 80s music and admiring the view. Towards the end of the night, the party was winding down, and I felt it my responsibility to revive it. So when Joy To The World came on, I 'sang' the first line at the top of my lungs...

Jeremiah was a bullfrog!

Apparently, it was funny, and I suppose I can see how given that it was pretty quiet at that point and, to everyone else, came out of nowhere. It became something I was famous for, put it that way, and the number of times I would hear this moment referenced throughout the remainder of the trip has become more uncountable than pi.

The hike to the glacier
The next day was rather relaxed. We left for a beautiful walk to see a glacier. We had to get on a ferry, cruise down a fjord, and then hike through some really cool metamorphose (thanks, Lee) rocks to get there for about 30 mins, but it was completely worth it. We were warned by the Chadster to not approach it nor stand on it (or do so at our own peril), but when you see this thing in person, you realize that you must.

So I did. I walked up there, ran into Lee, and we both touched the glacier. Then I decided to get in one of the caves quickly for a photo. I got a couple photos all of which were great. The glacier creaked overhead (Lee has a picture of this as well, she probably thought it would be an action shot of my demise) and I got out of there. Then I decided to stand on it and Lee again took a photo, but neglected to get in my feet so it looked like I was just standing in front of it. We became mortal enemies at this point (I sometimes think she took me seriously) and then hiked back together and joined the rest of the group.

At the Arctic Circle
Since it was a free day, Chad thought we might seek out some gocarts, and we looked for them but to no avail. It was a fun adventure through nowhere, though. We also crossed over the arctic circle and stopped at the Arctic Circle centre today since tomorrow was a long drive. So now I've done it. I've joined people like the Sea Captain in The Simpsons in crossing the Circle. We had a so-called beach party to which noone turned up looking remotely in the theme, but it was fun anyway. I had a good chat with Catherine, and Darren stumbled into the room drunk and singing as was his way, so I made sure he drank a lot of water and went back to the campfire for a bit before hitting bed. I also got to teach some people how to roast marshmallows properly and went through the entire bag I'd bought for the occasion rather quickly.

1 AM in Ramfjord
It was a good day to get no sleep, because the next day was called Marathon day, the longest single day trip of any in all the Contiki tours. I managed to sleep 3 hours of it on the bus for the first time, perhaps aided by Gord who is no stranger to a little sleep on the bus, as he was sitting beside me. We made it to Ramfjord and Darren, Emma, Catherine, and I played cards in the cabin before calling it an early night around 12. I wandered out of the cabin around 12:30 in my pjs because the sky was so cool and got a nice shot of what 1 AM looks like this far north. Tomorrow would be another long trip to Hammerfest leaving at 6:30 AM, so I toddled to bed shortly after.

<Trondheim/Mo I Rama Photos>
<Ramfjord Photos>

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