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During my travels newspaper columns were published weekly in the Dutch daily newspaper
Dutch newspaper Spits

This project has been supported by these great and warmhearted companies:
Netherlands: Paping Buitensport, ODLO, IPtower.nl, AVRO Dutch Broadcasting Org., Travelcare, TunaFish, Book A Tour, StadsRadio Rotterdam; UK: Lazystudent, KissFM, The Sunday Times, The Guardian; Isle of Man: SteamPacket/SeaCat; Ireland: BikeTheBurren; Belgium: Le Temps Perdu, Majer & PartnersAustria: OhmTV.com; Norway: Scanrail Pass, Hurtigruten, Best Western HotelsSouth Africa: eTravel, British Airways Comair, CapeTalk, BazBus Spain: Inter Rail, Train company Renfe; Australia: Channel 9 Television, Bridgeclimb, Harbourjet, SeaFM Central Coast, Moonshadow Cruises, Australian Zoo, Fraser Island Excursions, Hamilton Island Resort, FantaSea Cruises, Greyhound/McCafferty's Express Coaches, Aussie Overlanders, TravelAbout.com.au, Travelworld, Unlimited Internet, Kangaroo Island SeaLink, Acacia Apartments; Malaysia: Aircoast; Canada: VIA rail, Cedar Springs Lodge, BCTV/GlobalTV, St. George Hotel, VICKI GABEREAU talkshow, Ziptrek Ecotours, Whitler Blackcomb Ski Resort, Summit Ski & Snowboard Rental, High Mountain BrewHouse, Cougar Mountain Snowmobiling, Whistler Question Newspaper, Snowshoe Inn, First Air, Nunanet.com, Canadian North Accommodations by the Sea, DRL Coachlines Newfoundland, The National Post and Air North.


Reports

Sunday, 9 September 2001
Ålesund --> Trondheim (N)

How much more lucky can I get when I get stuck in Trondheim after I could not find a place to stay but receive an email to stay in a hotel?

Hopefully luck will follow me around the world, no matter what might happen...

The Hurtigruten coastal steamer arrived docked in Trondheim at 7.30am.

I was waken around 6 am by a big (big!) lady in lederhosen who just opened my cabin door with a single knock and slammed the door open. She yelled something in Norwegian.

When I opened my eyes I wanted to say: “Ah, room service!”, but she had already left in a blink of an eye. I hoped she doesn’t exist; it would be terrible for all the other people on this boat to be waken like this.

I had a shower and filled my stomach with the last breakfast I would have on the boat. I even made myself a lunch package as I would not know what this day would bring to me.

At 7.30 I returned in my cabin key card at the reception. They thanked me for my staying on the boat and hoped if I would do it again. “Well, that depends on your marketing manager,” I said to them and we laughed.

As I walked off the boat the big (big!) lady in lederhosen was waiting at the shore to say goodbye to everybody who was leaving.

Be careful, she does exist!

I got on the Hurtigruten boat which would take me to this place in Trondheim where I had two people inviting me over. The problem was: they were not answering my phone calls…

So… I was kind of stuck.

But I wandered through this deserted town centre as it was raining a bit. With my luck I found an internet café called Dataport and the guy there offered me to use the internet for free.

After reading all the incoming emails, I published a previous report and uploaded the pictures. But then I had to find myself some accommodation for tonight, in Trondheim!

Trondheim is a very atmospheric city; the antic centre is still intact. This city has been the main supplying place with a harbour at the end of a wide and fertile valley.

Also here, fire destroyed the city centre in 1681 and a military engineer from Luxembourg, rebuilt Trondheim centre on a gridiron plan, with broad avenues radiating from the centre so people could act fast if I fire would break again.

Timber warehouses line along the river Nidelva and doughty stone structures are dotting the main streets.

Trondheim is Norway’s 3rd city where, according to my sources, life is slow and easy. The complete city centre can be walked from one side to another in just 10 minutes.

Torvet is the name of the main city square, being under heavy construction at the moment. Honoured by a statue, the Viking Olav Tryggvason, Trondheim’s founder, is perched on a small stone pillar in the middle of it.


Interesting info, Ramon, but where do you sleep tonight?

Good question. But I had no fear, as I am not feared that fast.

My good luck followed my tracks from Bergen all the way to mid-Norway and arrived in my mailbox: A lady from the Norwegian Best Western Hotels offered me to stay for a day in one of the fine Norwegian Best Western Hotels. In my mailbox!

The first thing I did was checking if there was a Best Western Hotel in Trondheim and bingo: The Chesterfield hotel was found.

But the lady could arrange an hotel for me, so everything would be arranged when I’d arrive. But today that would be impossible: it was Sunday.

I decided to just give it a go and printed the complete email I got. I thanked the guys at Dataport for using the web and walked to The Chesterfield hotel, just a few blocks away.



Of course, the lady looked up with a surprised face when I told her my story and handed over the email. She had never had such a customer before!

But she understood the project and after she called someone else by phone, she arranged me a room in the hotel.

With the key of room 3 on the 7th floor, luck had brought me a place to stay for the night with a view on the city centre, cable television, a big bed, a bathroom and a mini bar!

Tomorrow I’d leave town again, so I was very satisfied!

I had a little nap and zapped along every television channel for a while.

The lady at the hotel reception told me that they did not do any dinners, so I had to find one myself.

My pockets had some money left of the 200 Kroner that Anna Margrit Grindheim in Bergen gave me before I left her place.

I walked through the city centre and saw some more life around than earlier today and decided to go for a meal at a hamburger giant.

I visited the Dataport internet café again. Someway a city to stay without a real host, always attracts me to a place with internet. To be connected someway, I guess.

It was clear to me that I was lucky today. Very lucky.

Tomorrows destination had been arranged too, but then in Mo I Rana, four hours up north by train.

Now it just had to stop raining all the time!

Good night Trondheim!

Ramon.




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