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July 13, 2007 | 2 Comments

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Sorry that this University of Minnesota grad ('79) won't be standing on the pier to welcome you to Trondheim, Norway when the MS Veendam ties up to our shores. I'm off on my own cruise, celebrating the completion of chemotherapy with 100% success. But I can vouch for your route and tell you that you have a great trip ahead of you!

I wanted to point out a few local sights and trivia for the interest of you and your 1,200 fellow travelers.

You will be greeted by Leif Eiriksson, whose statue stands on the pier in front of my workplace, the Leif Eirksson Center. As the adjoining plaque states, the statue was given by the families of many Norwegian-Americans descendants on the occasion of Trondheim's 1000 year celebration in 1997. You might also be on the lookout amongst the grandeur of Saint Olavs Cathedral for a likeness of another Minnesota native. During the 1960's while the sculpture of the archangel Michael was being chiseled and hammered, the face of Bob Dylan was chosen as an expression for the sculptor's support of Dylan's opposition to the Vietnam War. Look for it on the top of the tallest tower at the West Front of "Domkirka". (It's also described in the pamphlet sold in the visitors center). Norwegian-Americans have given another wonderful gift to the City and to the Cathedral. Back 80 or more years ago, midwestern congregations collected pennies, nickels, dimes and dollars to create a cross that stands on the alter under the great spire ... a large cross of silver, perhaps over 200 pounds of silver if I remember correctly. Quite stunning.

Be sure to stop at the town square market and pick up a pint of the best strawberries in the world. Just ask my better half, Grethe.

Trondheim, Norway

We're all looking forward to Trondheim and to Flom and Bergen and the Sognefjord and the sights of Norway — and also the long days as we steam north. As I write this, I'm in a hotel in Copenhagen, waiting for the bus to take us to the ship. Everybody flew in yesterday (except a few of us wise old birds who know enough not to cut these trips too close and to allow a day for queasiness) and the lobby was crowded with wan faces and a few stricken ones — about sixteen of the travelers had the misfortune of getting involved with a particular Major American Airline which sent their luggage off to Dahomey or some place and these folks are now having to purchase clean underwear at Illums department store. But this is in the nature of big trips — you have to deal with small catastrophes. And once they reach Trondheim, they will be all right, I'm sure.


Thank you for posting as you get ready to set sail! One of my best friends and her new husband are sailing with you on the Norway cruise for their honeymoon!! If you get the chance, please toast Toni and David with good wishes and happiness!

Just watched you on the book channel speaking to the American Library Association. Wonderful !!
I'm a former member having worked as a volunteer at the Bison, Kansas Library... actually, it started in my garage when a lady in Lacrosse, Ks dropped off a truck load of discarded books from a neighboring library. Then we moved quickly to the basement of the bank as my husband wanted to get the car in out of a impending storm. Later we moved to the city building... with a walled off section done in chicken wire and l/12 shelves. Oh, dear my point...
Now, I live in Salina, Ks. and we have a large wonderful library, but some people are complaining that the homeless are sitting in, often snoozing, and taking up space.. Where are they supposed to go... the library is the last place on earth where they can "think" and perhaps learn, or plan a way out of their situation.. I only hope the complainers watched your speech.. I love a library... and I too, try to go and think..when the world seems to get too heavy on my swedish, danish shoulders... thanks a bunch!

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