The more eagle-eyed of my readers will have noticed I spent last weekend in Trondheim. The many colours of Trondheim post was a bit of a giveaway 😉
Despite Trondheim being Norway's former capital and third-largest city by population, it's remarkably different from Oslo. For starters, it's small. The population is just 155,000 and the city centre is very compact, separated from the more residential parts of the city by a beautiful river. It's much further north, delivering a different climate although I was lucky to experience some sun during my visit! Academia dominates Trondheim giving it a laid-back feel, but the focus on science & technology ensures an element of vibrancy.
Getting to Trondheim was incredibly easy. The lengthy alternatives of the train (7hr) and coach (10hr+) means most people fly. A choice of 26 daily flights from SAS and Norwegian, a 40-minute flight time and a cost in the region of £75rtn makes flying a no-brainer.
My weekend kicked off on Friday with a memorable trip on the Flybussen along the fjord in the late afternoon sun. On Saturday my gracious host Gerry gave me a whistle-stop tour, starting off with this spectacular view from his 11th floor office at NTNU (Norwegian University for Science & Technology):
A highlight for me was the stunning Nidaros Domkirke, a beautiful gothic cathedral that I hope to see more of next time I visit. We also enjoyed a picnic atop Kristiansten fortress with more great views across the city that just don't come across on the photos. We spent the rest of the day wandering past the coloured houses and warehouses dotted around the city and the cobbled streets, boutique shops and cafes that reminded me so much of an English market town.
Sunday was a little more relaxed and despite Norway's policy of shutting down on Sundays, we managed to find a nice cafe near the waterfront to indulge in the Norwegian tradition of “kaffe og kake” (coffee and cake). With the fjord and the river encasing the city, you are never far from water. This means birds and lots of them. Sadly, this also means bird poo. I'll gloss over that point.
I will be returning to Trondheim frequently and I have a wish-list of things to do in future visits:
- Take a tour inside the Nidaros Cathedral
- Visit Oppdal, the winter sports resort
- Take a train journey to Hell. I will feel like the ultimate dickhead tourist, but I can't resist it
- Visit the Lerkendal Stadium, home of the current Norwegian champions Rosenborg (don't tell Wendy & Dave)
- Take a boat out to Munkholmen, a former execution site, monestary and prison. Despite it's chequered history, the island is supposedly a delightful summer retreat!
- Ride the Kystekspressen ferry from Trondheim to Kristiansund
I flew back to Oslo early on Monday morning and took the airport bus straight to my office. From a 6.40am flight I was at my desk in Oslo before 9am. From the bustling airport it's obvious many people live in other parts of Norway and commute into Oslo on a Monday to work, returning home on a Friday. On the basis of my weekend away, I can understand why.