Trond and Sylvi treated us to a day trip to Tautra, an island about 1 hour away from Trondheim. It is a wildlife and wetlands sanctuary, home to the ruins of a monastery from 1200, a cafe and gift store, and a brand new cloister. There are also small towns and farms right on the fjord. It was a delightful day and evening with friends, one of the last outings on our trip.
A long narrow bridge connects the mainland to the island. There is a large automatic gate half way across to stop animals from the mainland from entering the island via the bridge, to protect the birds and other species there.
We started at the monastery, and were thankful that the rain cleared up, the sky was richly blue, and the clouds were majestic.
The cafe was just steps away, so we stopped for a delicious lunch of monk soup (tasted like mushrooms, as one would expect a monk to taste), quiche, roasted pork with vegetables, waffles and cakes. The kids explored the grounds. Then we went to another part of the island that has a convent with a beautiful new building, built by some fancy Norwegian architects in 2006. The chapel is a beautiful sparse open space with intricate latticework in the ceiling so that the shadows shift as the sun moves across the sky through the day. The nuns there are part of a order that is dedicated to dialog between religions and host retreats, have a peace garden for meditation and contemplation, and many of the nuns come from the US and other countries. They raise money by selling soaps in the gift shop.
On the way back, we stopped for a bit at the fjord so that the kids could play in the water. When we arrived, we noticed a large group of girls in bikinis not far away…then they started migrating as a flock toward us! As they got closer, they were heard saying “it’s the wrong boy.” Haha! They alighted on an outcropping beyond us, then migrated back to their original party spot.
Then, of course, our kids had to get into the water! It was cold, and there were jellyfish, seaweed, and little crabs around. They didn’t go in too far. We went back to Trond and Sylvi’s house. The kids were thrilled to get to play on a trampoline! And a homemade pizza dinner hit the spot at the end of the day.