Friday 27 April 2012

Trondheim to Alesund via the Atlantic Coastal Road

The annual Norwegian Workshop presented me with the opportunity to take a short tour before joining the business sessions in Fredrikstad near Oslo.

I chose to go somewhere that I had not been before and met up with a group of fellow travel professionals from around the globe in Trondheim, Norway’s third largest city. Trondheim has managed to preserve the intimacy of a small town with impressive wooden buildings and colourful wharves and has many other options and excursions available.

After checking into our Hotel (Rica Bakklandet) we were whisked off to Norway's National Museum of Rock. Not knowing what to expect we arrived with intrepidation at a large unassuming building, with what looked like a suitcase perched on top - not quite what we were expecting !

The museum is called Rockheim (presumably a pun on Trondheim?) and despite the name is not limited to rock music, but excludes classical, folk and other non mainstream music over the decades from 1950 through to current day.

Rockheim in Trondheim
It's an interactive exhibit and is extremely technologically advanced, using motion sensors to activate the exhibits. For example on the top floor we were presented with a massive curved wall of video screens which we were able to control using hand movements to choose, start and stop music videos by decade.
This is where things became more obvious, in that, unless you are Norwegian you probably don't know any of the music on offer with a couple of notable exceptions. A-ha from the eighties and Elvis from the 50's. Why Elvis ? Apparently there was no "popular" Norweigian music at this time and they needed to shop where all the inspiration came from!

Despite this, you are able to see the changes through the decades as you move through the museum and you learn about Norwegian most famous music exports , other than A-ha : they even have the original drawings from the famous video (if you're old enough to remember).

Apparently Norway is famous for "Black Metal" and they are extremely proud of a band called "Immortal". Certainly not my style of music, and akin to a electric static storm at full volume shouted by a gentleman in black leather trousers & white makeup. Each to their own !!

Interactivity continued with us being able to record a hip hop rapping session, guitar playing in a recording studio, and many other things that we did not have time to experience.

Hunger set in, and we headed back and set out for a lovely fish restaurant just around the corner from the Rica Hotel called Havfruen ( Well worth a visit with fantastic food and a river setting.

Thursday 26 April 2012

Journey to the centre of the Earth

Did you read or watch Journey to the Centre of the Earth when you were younger? It always intrigued me, and now you have the chance to see for yourself this summer in Iceland where they have opened up a new tour "Inside the Volcano".

As the name suggests you can lower yourself into a volcano. Thrihnukagigur is the only place on earth where you can go into a magma chamber of a volcano. Luckily this volcano has been asleep for the last 4,000 years but they still don't guarantee that it won't erupt again. I think it's a fairly safe bet though !!

Currently this is only available for a short 12 week period this summer this is an interesting addition to any visit to Iceland.

Located about 20miles from Reykjavik it is easy to reach and will give you a spectacular insight into the volcanic activity that forms part of Icelandic everyday life. For those that may be claustrophobic, there is no need to worry, the Magma Chamber is (in their word)s 'huge' and could fit the Statue of Liberty inside a number of times over.

More details can be found at Inside the Volcano or you can ask us to add this on to your tour.