Easy Ride to Trondheim
Soon after that, I met Hallstan, who promptly answered "Yes, yes, I am going to Trondheim" and agreed to take me with him. He was a pretty cool guy, a systems engineer, and quite geeky man I feel, but he has a boat and a Russian girlfriend. He's just returning from a holiday where he went boating with her. He was going home to a place north of Trondheim, so it was great for me, making it all the way there with one ride.
We did make a great backtrack because he was afraid he was going to run out of fuel. I went to the bathroom, and it was funny watching him jump around while filling his car with gas because he hadn't realized he too needed to go to the bathroom so badly.
After a 4 hour drive through the sunny day, we got to Trondheim, and hit a traffic jam as it was the city. I was excited to see another city, after a few days in the wilderness. We said our byes and Hallstan dropped me off at a corner, and I had to find my way to the train station to catch a bus, to go to my couchsurfing host Hanne, whom I previously told I was going to be 2 days late because I was going to stay with a house builder. Communicating via SMS, she said she was just chilling out with her friend drinking beer at her place, and that I was welcome to join them. Sounds like a good plan, so off I went to find the train station.
I didn't rush to get there, having a look of the city and its sights. Hallstan had dropped me off at the Nidaros Cathedral, so I was in the right spot as a tourist. But with my backpack I didn't feel like going inside, so I decided to do that the next day. The city itself was charming, I felt, with old wooden buildings that were built before everything had to be symmetrical; so there were unstraight lines and misaligned wooden planks, making the whole thing more natural and human.
Walking from the church towards the city center, I ended up wandering into a mall - or the only mall of the city, probably - looking for an ATM machine. It was amazing to see the hustle and bustle, maybe I had just been in the "wilderness" for too long.
I then walked to the train station - the most northerly stop of Norway's rail network NSB, although the Swedish rail company goes to Narvik which is much further north in Norway - trying to find out the schedule for the no. 52 bus that would take me to Hanne's place. It was going to be a wait, but the day was getting warmer and I was tired from carrying my backpack, so I didn't want to walk around the city anymore - so I decided to wait there. I got a sausage and a cold bottle of Coke and rested a bit.
For the Geeks
I was too cheap to pay to surf on dodgy Internet Explorer'ed kiosks, and it didn't want to take my money anyway, so I decided to find a way to get to Google on the tourist information kiosk. After a while, I found one way:
- On www.trondheim.no's "Tourist Info" menu item open About Norway
- On the right hand side there's a link Travel Guide to Norway. Click on it. It directs you to www.visitnorway.com
- On that page there's a link to a currency converter. If you convert some currency, you end up on gocurrency.com. Which happens to have a lot of ads. On the right hand side, there's the famous "Ads by Google". Click on that link.
- You're now seeing Google's information page about AdWords... do you see where we're going?
- And then, there's a link ("Home") to go to Google's Homepage at the bottom of that AdWords page...
For some reason I also needed to use the internet - actually it was to find out the directions to Hanne's place which she sent me per Email, which I cleverly enough did not write down before leaving Oslo. There were 3 kiosks inside the train station, two of them providing access to the internet for a lot of money per minute, and one of them providing access to tourist information, but without any way to enter your own URL, just clicking on links with www.trondheim.no as your starting point. But there were otherwise no restrictions, so I found my way to Google, and I could enter any URL I want in the Google search bar!
So I got a bit of net-surfing done, mainly checking CouchSurfing for hosts on my next stops of the journey, and getting the direction to Hanne's place. After this, I went back to waiting for the bus. I remember feeling dead tired at that time. Finally the bus came, I got in and wondered why it smelled like Durians in there!
After the bus ride (crossing a highway for some reason), and what for me seemed like a long walk (in the sun with my backpack), I arrived at Hanne's place. She's a student, but surprisingly she owns (if I recall correctly) the apartment, a nice place with 2 bedrooms and a large living room. One of the bedrooms is hers, and the other is for couch surfers. Wow, a guest bedroom, I was impressed!
Hanne was hanging out with her friend Anne-Marie, talking and drinking beer. They were friendly and very welcoming, and it was great chatting to them. Later that night another friend of theirs showed up and joined us. I told them about my plan of hitch-hiking to Nordkapp. They asked me if I was going to visit the Lofoten Islands. It wasn't in my original plan, so I said, "Probably not.". But they persuaded me to do so, because otherwise I would miss a great part of Norway.