Spent the first week running around looking for long term accomodation. Initially I was in a Uni guest flat, it was quite nice but only available for a week. Eventually, after looking at a number of places, I settled on a rather nice basement apartment in the red house on the top of the hill. There are lovely views out the windows even so. Its also on the edge of town, with some lovely walks in the hills of Strindamarka, and down to the river nearby (once the snow melted of course :-). The flat was 35 sq m, quite comfortable for one, and was NOK3500 (about A$700) per month - which is pretty reasonable for what it is. Its fully furnished, with just about all the essentials including cable TV with the standard channels eg BBC World, CNN, EuroNews et al, as well as local channels, which gives me quite a number of programs in English. The only hassle is that its 5 km south of here and the city centre, so I have to use a bus to get anywhere, rather than being able to walk as I'd hoped. I did have an option on another apartment about 20 min walk south, but it was NOK5000/month and I didn't like it as much. Anyway, I was happy with my choice.
On Sun 9 Mar, Svein took me and a PhD student Haibo out cross-country skiing at Skistua in Bymarka above Trondheim (about 20 min drive away). We had a lovely day - the weather was great, fine and sunny, and the snow was still quite good - typical spring snow (and rather earlier than usual here - didn't last!). So it was a very pleasant couple of hours.
The following week, after a period of spring-like weather in my first week here, it started snowing, and kept snowing! They've had 40cm of snow in town, and its over 2m deep up on the hills. So I'm definitely experiencing Trondheim in winter conditions! Have had to help dig out snow from the steps down to my apartment, or I wouldn't be able to get in or out. Still it was very pretty at the time.
On Sat 15 Mar, I went into Sentrum (the city centre) where all the shops were having a big sale - and bought extra linen etc which I needed. Also got a very nice beannie ridiculously cheaply.
Sun 16 Mar was a pretty busy day - went out for a walk round where I live in the morning. Then my colleague Svein popped in at lunchtime and asked if I wanted to go sking - silly question :-) Frantically changed and dived out again. We started only about a 1km from my place, and ended up doing about a 14km circuit! It was mostly uphill on the way out. We climbed about 200m up to the top of a hill, where very conveniently located, was Estendstadhytta, where we had hot chocolate and chocolate cake (and boy did I need the sugar hit by then!). The return trip took a third of the time - all downhill. Only crashed a couple of times on the way down which was pretty pleasing, as I'm still nowhere near as confident on cross-country skies as on downhill. Still it was great fun, a very enjoyable afternoon. Got home in time to have a quick bite of tea, and watch Babylon-5 (about the one show I try extremely hard not to miss). Then raced out again to catch a bus into sentrum to go to the monthly Anglican service in the Chapter House of the Nidaros Cathedral. It was a pretty standard Anglican service, but in, for me, rather unusual surrounds - even though this was only a side chapel, it still had high vaulted ceilings and lots of stone work. Made for a great atmosphere. They had coffee afterwards, and it was great to meet some people, whom subsequently I would be socialising with a lot.
Monday 17 Mar, and it was back to work, thankfully the muscles weren't too stiff (though I'd a couple of decent bruises from where I fell over). Ah well. I popped into town at lunchtime to hear a brief recital of organ music in the Nidaros cathedral - which is quite magnificent; and then went to see a display of painted/decorated eggs at the museum - some really beautiful designs - apparently quite traditional over a lot of Europe, though not something I've ever seen in Australia.
Tues 18 Mar I went to a concert in Lille Sal (the little salon) called "Fra Setesdal Til Senegal", folk music from here to Africa - The group had 2 Norwegians and 2 Senegalese and it was a very interesting fusion of music, which worked surprisingly well. An interesting concert.
On Wed I went along to the local Scottish Country dance group with Priscilla Beck, whom I'd met at coffee on Sun and mentioned I was a dancer. So she invited me along to the group. There were only 5 couples and the dances were mostly quite straight forward, but it was nice to be in a group, doing stuff I know.
On Fri evening I went to see the latest "Romeo and Juliet" at the cinema - and quite enjoyed it - an interesting interpretation of the original language in a modern setting, and much more approachable than traditional interpretations. Well worth seeing.
Sat 22 Mar was still overcast, so I just went into town and did a bit more shopping - some slippers, moon boots for snow walking, skivvy etc. I was by now getting pretty well setup with what I needed.
Sunday, for the third week in a row, I went out cross-country skiing. The weather was magnificent, clear blue skies and sunny. I skied with Svein and Haibo again, and we did about a 14km loop round Bratsberg, about 7km south of home. There was not too much climbing, but some lovely views out to the hills and valleys around. All up it took about 4 hours, and we had a most enjoyable day.
The following week was pretty quiet, as people were heading away for Easter.