This particular story of the series takes place in the city of Trondheim on the coast of Norway. Frederick meets Nikolina, a girl of Viking heritage, and Erik, a Sámi boy who teaches him about this area of Scandinavia in the Land of the Midnight Sun.
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Spin the Globe: The Incredible Adventures of Frederick von Wigglebottom
Fjords, Vikings and Reindeer
By Edward Moldenhauer, Kenn Yapsangco
Trafford PublishingCopyright © 2014 Edward Moldenhauer
All rights reserved.
Velkommen to Trondheim
Each time Frederick awoke from a spin, he knew it would be a totally new and incredible adventure. This time he could sense that he was very near the sea. The air was cool, had a salty smell, and he could hear seagulls somewhere in the distance. "Oh, I must be somewhere in the northern seas," he exclaimed.
When he opened his journal, there was a map of the Kingdom of Norway, home of the Vikings. Norway is part of Scandinavia, a group of countries in Northern Europe, way up near the Arctic Circle.
As always, Frederick knew he needed to find a new friend to help him figure out exactly where he had landed.
Just then a cheerful-looking girl came strolling by. She had long golden-blond hair that was woven into braids which fell over her shoulders and sparkling eyes as bright blue as the sky.
"Hello," Frederick called out.
The young girl heard Frederick and walked over. "Velkommen, may I help you?" the girl replied.
"Yes, my name is Frederick. What is your name?" Frederick asked.
"Eg heiter Nikolina. Oh, I will speak in your language. My name is Nikolina, but my kompis, or friends, call me Nikki," she replied.
Frederick said, "I seem to be a little lost. I know I am by the sea and that I am in Norway. What I am not sure of is exactly where I am."
"You are in my home city of Trondheim on the river Nidelva. You are correct that you are near the sea, the Norwegian Sea to be exact. Trondheim is a port on the Trondheimfjord. Do you know what a fjord is, Frederick?" asked Nikki.
"Not really," responded Frederick, just a little embarrassed that he was not quite sure.
"Well, a fjord is a body of water, like a bay. Fjords are usually very deep, with narrow channels and steeply hilled sides. They were formed by glaciers," explained Nikki. "Fjords make for excellent protection from the icy winds that can come from the north. That is why the Vikings settled in these areas." Nikolina continued, "Norway is famous for our fjords and a coastline of over fifteen thousand miles."
"Gosh, that is a lot of coastline," exclaimed Frederick.
"So what brings you to visit Norway?" Nikolina inquired.
"Well, I am an adventurer and explorer," Frederick explained. "I travel the globe looking to meet new and interesting people just like you. Plus, I like learning about new cultures and lands."
"That sounds like a lot of fun," said Nikki. "My family has lived in Norway near the sea for many generations. My family descended from what most people refer to as Vikings, even though most Vikings did not sail the seas in longships."
"I am very interested in learning more about the Vikings and other cool facts about this beautiful country," replied Frederick.
"We can learn more about Norway at the library here in town," Nikki said.
"Trondheim, whose ancient name was Nidaros, was founded in the year 997 by the Viking king Olav and was the capital of Norway until 1217. It is also famous for the Nidaros Cathedral. The original church was built over a thousand years ago over the burial site of Saint Olav."
"I was just heading to the library to meet my friend Erik, and we walk past the cathedral on our way. Would you like to join me?" asked Nikolina.
Frederick was excited to see the sites and also to meet another new friend.
"Sure. How far is the library from here?" he asked.
"Oh, it is just down the street. We will walk by the cathedral and by the landmark we call Gamle Bybro, or the Old Town Bridge. Every visitor to our city needs to see it!" Nikolina replied proudly with a big smile.CHAPTER 2
Strolling through Trondheim
As Frederick walked along with Nikolina, he noticed just how clean the city was and that the air was so fresh. Frederick was glad that he was here in early summer because he was sure it got pretty cold in the winter. The skies were so blue, and the sun seemed just a little brighter here, too.
Frederick asked Nikolina about the seasons in Norway.
"We just love being outside, whether it is summer or winter. But in the summer, from May to July, it can be a lot of fun because the sun stays up almost all day long. With that much sun, we can do quite a bit of hiking and biking to stay active. Bicycling is really neat here in Trondheim because we are the first city in the world to have a specially designed bicycle lift called a sykkelheis. We call it the Trampe and it takes you up the steep hill near Gamle Bybro," Nikki boasted.
"A bicycle lift, just like a ski chairlift?" asked Frederick.
"Ja, except you stay on your bike and the lift pushes you up the hill. It is great and saves walking your bike up the hill!" Nikki said.
"In the winter, the sun sometimes never totally comes up, or it seems like it is always twilight," she went on. "In the winter we still go for walks, but we also snow ski and ice skate."
"Erik is from the most northern part of Norway called Finnmark. When we meet him, he can tell you more about our amazing seasons and the northern lights," she stated.
"The northern lights, what are they?" asked Frederick.
"Well, the northern lights are really called the aurora borealis. At nighttime, energy from the sun sort of wraps itself around the North Pole. This energy creates all kinds of beautiful light patterns across the night sky. The lights are very bright where Erik is from, but we see them here in Trondheim too," Nikolina described.
"I know that there are some very nice photographs of the northern lights at the library. I will make sure that I point them out to you," she said.
"What do you and your family do here in Trondheim?" asked Frederick.
"I study piano and take lessons at the music school," she replied.
"My mother is a teacher, and my father works on an offshore oil-drilling platform, way out in the Norwegian Sea. He works there for a couple of weeks, then he is home for a couple of weeks," she continued. "He says that he lives on the sea just like his Viking ancestors did, except he takes a helicopter out to the platform instead of having to row out in a longship!", she chuckled.
"He says that the sea can become angry when the weather turns bad, and he is always happy to get back home. When he is home, our family will take a drive into the country and go for a hike and picnic," she continued.
"That sounds like fun. There is probably a lot of interesting things to see," Frederick replied.
"We enjoy seeing the scenery and sometimes animals, but we make sure to keep our distance. There are brown bears, wolves, foxes, and lynx. Also there are very large elk—what some people call a moose—regular deer, and tiny roe deer. It is always exciting to see beautiful creatures, and my father says we see heldig villdyr or lucky wild animals that connect us to nature." Nikolina glowed at the thought.
"Are there reindeer here in Norway, seeing that you are so close to the North Pole?" Frederick wondered out loud.
"Yes," replied Nikolina. "Actually, reindeer are located in the northern part of the country where Erik is from. Erik's family actually has a reindeer herd. You can ask him all about them when you meet him. He is very proud to talk about his heritage and his reindeer. Oh, there he is now!" she said.
Excerpted from Spin the Globe: The Incredible Adventures of Frederick von Wigglebottom by Edward Moldenhauer, Kenn Yapsangco. Copyright © 2014 Edward Moldenhauer. Excerpted by permission of Trafford Publishing.
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