As you will recall, my 17-year-old son, Joseph, and I are in Trondheim, Norway, attending the annual FPGA Forum. I gave the kickoff presentation this morning. If only you could have seen the rapturous applause and standing ovation and heard the chanting “Max, Max, Oy-Oy-Oy… Max, Max, Oy-Oy-Oy…”
Actually, I would have liked to have seen and heard that myself, but the Norwegians tend to be a little more reserved than this. However, I could see the desire to start chanting twinkling in their eyes, so that was alright (grin).
All joking aside, I flatter myself that my talk went rather well – several people have come up to me afterwards and said they enjoyed it, and they didn’t have their fingers crossed behind their backs (I checked), so I think we will have to take them at their word.
After a while we bumped into Jan Anders (see my Previous Blog), who is scheduled to speak later this afternoon. The first words out of his mouth were “Max, I thought I was going to faint!” My initial reaction was that he’d had some form of epiphany that had been triggered by something I’d said in my talk … but it turned out that he’d lost his presentation, which had become corrupted on his computer (he managed to recover it later).
Joseph and I stayed for a while listening to the talks, but since they were all in Norwegian things were a little difficult to follow. Thus, following an amazing lunch, we went for a stroll around Trondheim. Once again we were really grateful for our warm coats and waterproof boots, because it’s a bit of a blustery day here in Norway.
First we wandered across the street to the post office to get some cash from the ATM. It always amazes me when you are in a strange country and one of these machines asks if you want instructions in the local language or in English. Then we hiked down a street called Munkegata to the Nidaros Cathedral.
We took lots of pictures. I would like to say that the image above was one of them, but we were actually being buffeted by driving snow and gale-force winds, so I think my photos will turn out to be a little different to this one, which I snagged off the Wikipedia.
Work on the cathedral started in 1070 and was finished sometime around 1300, which means it is 700 years old. This is an absolutely beautiful creation. You have to stand in front of it and see the detail in the stone sculptures to believe it.
Following the cathedral we walked (actually, it was more like we were blown) around the corner and travelled along the side of the river until we crossed the street with our hotel. Now we are back in our room recovering from the icy cold winds
This evening we have the official conference dinner, and tomorrow we catch the train for a six-hour ride down to Oslo, which is the capital of Norway. More later… watch this space…
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