Saturday, 14 June 2008

Trollfjord not ideal for slumming

I made it onto the M/S Trollfjord at 01:45 this morning after hanging around in a seafront bar in Kristiansund until closing time to take advantage of the patio heaters (quite cold outside otherwise).

Not sure this is the best ship for slumming it on, it is the pride of the fleet and ALL the cabins are taken. I'm booked for TWO DAYS to Stamsund in the Lofoten Islands. Since it is the best the company can offer, most of the deck space is reserved for private suites at the rear of the vessel, and the sundeck is where I ended up sleeping from 02:45 to 04:50, wrapped in my 1000g sleeping bag and stretched uncomfortably over two deck chairs. The ship is immaculate - there was a man carefully painting the one remaining slightly rust-stained stanchion on the sun deck while I dozed nearby, presumably all maintentance staff have to hide during daylight hours, like me. There's space to stretch out on a shelf in the left baggage room, which passengers can open with their pass key - but everywhere else is very public! So I had a 02:00 Commando Shower in the Gentlemen's Toilets on Deck 8 followed by a doze on the deck chair, and then a bit more of a sleep in the Panoramic Lounge once the temperature in there had dropped back to 25° - being glassed in, the temperature soars when they turn the air conditioning off when everyone else has gone to bed.

A free frokost in the main salon this morning was a good compensation, and the ship is currently docked in Trondheim, so I have spent the last hour pounding the streets to the Cathedral, which is a beautiful soapstone building dating mostly from the 13th century, well worth a visit (although much restored after 35 fires inside the building during its history!)

I'm writing this standing up at an internet terminal at Trondheim public library, so I'll keep things brief because I'm dizzy with fatigue (the floor seems to be rocking!). The city is now my top choice of location were I to choose to live in Norway - many fine squares and public buildings, with plentiful trees and a sophisticated air missing from Kristiansund and the other smaller coastal towns I have visited.

Anyway, wish me luck and the discovery of a passkey to the broomcupboard or a loose lifeboat cover for when I get back on board!

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