Yes, Trondheim is 1000 years old, and they've just had the big party.
Sat 31 May was the opening celebrations of Trondheims TusenÅr (1000 year) Jubileum. They date the town from its settlement by King Olav Tryggvason and his army in AD997. Then in AD1030, King Olav Haraldsson was killed in battle with the chieftains and farmers from Trøndelag and northern Norway. His body was brought to the city, and soon afterwards there were reports of miracles at his burial place. Subsequently he is canonised, and within a few decades Trondheim (Nidaros) became a major pilgrims destination. The cathederal was built because of this. Since then the place has had its ups and downs, but has always been a major centre.
For the festivities, they blocked off Torvet (town square) and erected a huge stage for the events. The event was opened by the king & queen (whom I managed to see in the distance), then they had an opening concert. It ranged over a pretty wide variety of music, and was rather enjoyable. There were perhaps 10000 people there. Later in the afternoon they had a "dance" concert, with items ranging from modern dance to ballet to traditional folk dance - which was interesting.
On Sun I visited the Trøndelagsutstillingen 97 (the Trøndelag Expo), an exhibition by various communes (municipalities), companies and groups from the Trøndelag region (the area of Norway around here). The last time they'd had such an expo was in 1930, and it was a pretty massive affair (overwelming after a while). Interesting, but nothing of major interest. That evening I had an Aussie guest arrive for a few days - Jem (a folkie from Melb) is travelling through Scandanavia on his way to England and then Ireland. He picked a good week to be in Trondheim (and lucky to have someone to stay with, as there was NO accom available at all!).
During the week there were concerts in Torvet every evening - several of which I got to. I should say that the weather was magic - fine and sunny for virtually the entire week. Like most of the locals, I was getting outside at lunchtime and whenever to enjoy lapping it up and getting my tan back up.
For something completely different though, on Wed I finally got along to a meeting of the local folk music/dance/historical preservation group BUL. I finally found someone who knew someone who could intro me. They've finished a lot of their activities for the year - but over summer have a weekly danceparty/session/meeting at their hytta at Lian (actually a decent sized building used as a kindergarden by day) up in the hills above town (I'd skiied past it several times previously). It was only a small group there, but one of their teachers kindly showed me the basics of the "Puls", a couples dance done in waltz time but with 2 steps/bar (similar to the Hambo we know in Canberra). They dance this to a variety of rhythms with variants. After a couple of goes I managed to keep up with the music, but it'll be a while before I'm proficient at it. Still it was great to finally learn a bit of the local folk tradition.
On Thurs evening I went for a final ski locally with a friend from the English church group - Lynda. There was just enough snow on the 5km loop in the trees below Skistua on the main hill east of town for us to navigate. With some detours and variants I guess we did 6km. Met a couple of groups of locals making the most of - though most Norwegians here (incl. my landlord) think we're quite mad! For them, skiing is something that finishes at Easter - skiing in June is clearly a sign of insanity (not to mention impossible most years)! But it was fun!!!
On Fri evening there was a production of Carmen in Torvet. Whilst not something I'd normally go to see, it was too good an opportunity to pass up. So I joined the thousands packed into the square, and it was rather interesting. I guess I should say that sunset is around 11pm here at present, and sunrise sometime after 3am - so it never really gets dark - which makes evening activities very practical.
Sat 7th featured an Historical parade of 10 groups, each illustrating an event in Trondheim's history from the settlement by King Olav Tryggvason, the death of King Olav Haraldsson, the growth of the church and the pilgrims, the black death, the various changes in soveignty (Swedish to Danish and back), to its more recent developments and industrial prosperity. It was all very interesting, and I managed to get a spot on the curb looking towards the old town bridge - great for some photos which I hope come out.
Finally the Jubileum celebrations ended on Sun with a massed church service in Torvet in the morning, and a picnic and display at the local fort in the afternoon. The service in the morning combined 10 churches (incl. the anglican church I'm going to) in a service celebrating the role of the pilgrim. Some 5000 people attended, and it was a great service (even if I couldn't follow all the details, which were in Norwegian of course). I then wandered up to Kristiansten Festning (fort) on a low hill just to the west of the city centre. The weather couldn't have been better - hot and sunny - topping 30C. There was a massive crowd out, and everyone was making the most of the sun (such a long fine spell is unusual I'm told). We sat on the grassy banks and watched displays by several marching bands, and then a historical reenactment of a battle - with lots of cannons and muskets being fired (making a large amount of noise & smoke - those battles would NOT have been a fun place to be!).
The follwoing week I actually started slowing down a bit - though I still went to church study groups on Mon & Tues, and up to BUL again on Wed.
Just in case some of you think I do no work - in amongst all of the above, I've been quite busy here consolidating the results of my discussions and presentations in Stockholm. I finished a draft of my latest 11page paper on my ideas " Towards a Safer Erlang" - which got quite a bit of reaction. So it was revised, and I'm now working on a major rewrite of my prototype implementation of the system. For anyone who wants the gruesome details, you'll find them linked off my SSP page (http://lpb.canb.auug.org.au/adfa/TR/ssp97/).
The weather has also cooled down and turned wet, so I've found time to pop into work and compose this letter.