Back-Tracking

Currently stopped for 30 minutes in Kristiansund – what a change in the weather – sunny, low 60s, and no wind.  I wish we had more time here as it looks to be a lovely little town.

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Church in Kristiansund, Norway

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From the MS Mitnatsol, Hurtigruten Line, Norway

And now back-tracking a little since I seemed to have started this travelogue in mid-trip.  We started out in Germany, arriving in Frankfurt on Sunday, 28 September.  The plan for Germany was to drive through the central and northern parts to places where my Brunnemann family was from since we’ve been to Bavaria twice before.

Day 1 was Frankfurt, Koblenz, Bonn, Koln, and Dusseldorf.  My third great grandparents were married in Koblenz and he was an officer stationed at the garrison their at Ehrenbreitstein.  My second great grandfather, August Brunnemann, was born in Bonn.  We stopped in Ehrenbreitstein and got some good photos and toured the Festung.  In Dusseldorf, we stayed at the Breidenbacher Hof, a very nice hotel.  Getting there was my first white-knuckle driving experience down packed, narrow cobblestone ‘roads,’ but not my last.

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Deutsches Eck, Koblenz, Germany

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View of Koblenz from the Festung Ehrenbreitstein, Germany

Day 2 was Dusseldorf to Hamburg through Munster, Lubbecke, and Bremen.  Lubbecke is a tiny little village, but my third great grandfather was a federal prison inspector there.  Munster was the highlight of the day – a well-restored medieval town center near the Dom.

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Munster, Germany

Day 3 was Hamburg to Anklam, where my Brunnemann ancestors originated from when they left Sweden in the 1640s.  We began the day in the medieval town of Lubbeck which, unfortunately, was mostly under renovation. We toured the Mecklenburg family palace in Schwerin and then drove on to Anklam.  This part of Germany had been in the German Democratic Republic during the Cold War and you could certainly tell.  (We had the most interesting pizza for dinner in Anklam at a tiny cafe.  Brian got the ‘stark’ which we took to mean spicy, not anticipating much.  It was blow-your-head-off hot.)

Day 4 was Anklam to Leipzig via Poland and Dresden.  My sixth great grandfather, Christian Daniel Brunnemann was the rector at the church in Klein Rischow, which is was in German Pomerania but returned to Poland after the second world war.  Klein Rischow lived up to it’s name…tiny.  I wonder what the 10 or 15 inhabitants thought of two Americans driving through town to take pictures of the church.  Dresden was really amazing.  It’s hard to believe the town was razed during the firebombing of 1945.  Leipzig was equally as nice.  We stayed at the Steigenberger Grand Hotel only blocks from the Thomaskirche where Johann Sebastian Bach was the Kapelmeister.  We were assured by the folks at the Steigenberger that our room was the one always requested by George Clooney when he’s in town…lol.  But I certainly didn’t complain about the champagne they had for us.

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Dresden, Germany

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Thomaskirche, Leipzig, Germany

Day 5 was Leipzig to Berlin via Quedlinberg and Wittenberg.  Quedlinberg could have been the backdrop for several Grimms fairytales.  Medieval wood-beam and lathe houses and at least three gothic churches.  I could have spent hours there.  That evening in Berlin, we saw the Magic Flute at the Deutsches Komische Oper.  A modern setting that was surprisingly very good.

Day 6 was Berlin to Kirchenes, Norway via Oslo.  It just so happened we were in Berlin on 3 October – German Reunification Day – the 25th anniversary.  Since it was a national holiday, nobody was about so it felt as if we had the city mostly to ourselves.

In Trondheim

Today was a city tour of Trondheim, Norway’s third largest city and home of the ‘national cathedral,’ the Nidarosdomen, built on the burial site of Norway’s patron saint, Saint Olav (King Olav Haraldsson, canonized in 1031).  King Olav was quite the christian zealot – apparently an adherent of ‘my way or the highway.’  The Norwegians of his time weren’t particularly inclined to conversion, but the axe and forced baptisms seemed to have changed some hearts and minds.  As the French say, plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

The Nidarosdomen was begun about 1320 and is an excellent example of Romanesque, Norman, and Gothic styles.  Unfortunately we weren’t able to tour inside, but here are some photos from the outside of the cathedral.

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Nidarosdomen, Trondheim, Norway

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Niedarosdomen, Trondheim, Norway

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Niedarosdomen, Trondheim, Norway

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Saint Olav, Nidarosdomen, Trondheim, Norway

We made our way back to the boat via the Nida river, with its many warehouse warfs, the oldest dating to 1750.  (The tour guide was quite distressed that none of the vast amounts of oil money Norway has amassed to be set aside to renovate this old shack.)

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Warehouses along the Nida River, Trondheim, Norway

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Oldest warehouse in Trondheim, ca 1750

Trondheim is essentially the last time we can leave the boat until the voyage’s end tomorrow afternoon in Bergen.  Cruising today through more fjords – currently over Norway’s deepest at 600 meters.  Today’s weather is windy, gray, darkly overcast, and spitting rain.  I hope the soup at lunch is as good as yesterday’s; I need a good warm-up and this is perfect soup weather.