Easter Reflections from Trondheim

Last weekend's changing of the clocks marked the start of my favourite time of year in Norway: the transition from the long winter into spring. During this time the days become noticeably longer, leaves return to the trees, flowers come out to bloom, and everyone is a couple of notches happier as we race towards constitution day on May 17. It's not an easy transition though. On Thursday, I awoke to find the first snowfall in over a month:

Snow at Easter

But within three hours, it was all gone.

Snow gone

As I wrote in the five seasons of Norway, this changing of the season tends to be focused around Easter week.

“Hang on, did you say Easter week?”

Yes, Easter week. For in Norway, the majority of people take the entire week leading up to Good Friday off work. It's as important a fixture in a Norwegian's calendar as Christmas and the July vacation. Technically, Monday to Wednesday is working time (and perhaps Thursday too, I'm not sure to be honest) so the week off should cost employees at least three days of their holiday entitlement.

Even after almost four years in Norway, I'm still not used to taking the whole week off so never make any plans. I simply don't think about Easter until it's upon me, because in England it was never anything more than a long weekend. Perhaps one day I'll remember to make advance plans!

Many Norwegians take the opportunity to head to the hills for one last skitur before the snow disappears, or down to the Mediterranean for some much-needed sun after the darkness of wintertime. Me? I've been taking long walks around Trondheim to reflect on a few things.

Trondheim is finally my home

Time flies. In just a few weeks I'll have been living in Norway for four years. An even bigger realisation was that in those same few weeks, I'll have lived in Trondheim for longer than I lived in Oslo. I felt at home quickly in Oslo, perhaps it was the thrill of moving abroad, or the number of people who visited me from England, or the friends I made, or the big city life (big being a relative term here, of course!), whatever it was I felt comfortable there.

Not so with Trondheim. It took me a lot longer to feel settled here, to feel it's a place I could spend the next few years, let alone the rest of my life. Over the past few months me and Gerry have started to plan a house purchase and that's driven me to look at Trondheim in a different light. I'm just back from a stroll around the city and you know what? I live in a really lovely place.

Trondheim Easter

Trondheim Festning

Kristiansten Fortress

Writer's block is no longer a problem

I've blogged a lot less than usual lately. To be honest, I've struggled with what to say, because having lived here for almost four years I've covered the majority of things that newcomers notice: brown cheese, hja! and cross-country skiing, for example.

What I notice now is a lot more detailed: the quirks of running a limited company, the differences in tax law, the differences between the political parties, regional dialects, and so on. I feel less motivated to write about things like this because I can't imagine there's many people interested in them.

Maybe I'm wrong, but in any case, the last year has been an experiment in having other writers contribute to Life in Norway, chiefly Whitney, Carmen Cristina and Dave. It's been a big success. Hearing the stories of other people of different nationalities, living in different cities and doing different things with their lives is giving you, my readers, a much more rounded picture of, pardon the obvious, life in Norway. If anyone else wants to contribute, especially anyone living in Bergen, Oslo or the Arctic region, just let me know.

Happy Easter, everyone!

Happy Easter

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About the Author: David Nikel

Originally from the UK, David now lives in Trondheim and was the original founder of Life in Norway back in 2011. He now works as a freelance writer for technology companies in Scandinavia.


  1. Hello David!

    You write: “the quirks of running a limited company, the differences in tax law, the differences between the political parties, regional dialects…I can’t imagine there’s many people interested in them.”
    Write about this themes. It is quite interesting, not only for people that is interested in how to run a small company in Norway, or interested in your views about the tax, politics and dialects in Norway (As I am). But also for us Norwegians who whish to have your reflections on the comparison between Norway and England. We love England you know! So WRITE! 🙂

  2. Do continue to write about the less obvious characteristics of Norway. It is really interesting and helps to give a different perspective of living in the UK. My wife Celia and myself are heading to Norway for our 10th trip on May 11 to go to some fjords we have not been to before. We are also going to our 4th Norway Day, this time in Tromso. Previous Norway days were in on Hurtigruten, in Tromso and Stavanger. It is a beautiful country and as a landscape photographer I find the drama and light awesome. We are already booked for a repeat trip to Northern Norway and Svalbard in 2016. Some of my photographs from the trip are on the website overseas section of blackdogwhitewall.com or on my Facebook site. Keep posting. Best Wishes David Maughan, York, England.

    1. I envy you if you are seeing 17 May actually in Norway. I live in UK and will be visiting fjords this year for the fifth time. I fell in love with the country in 2005. Although it has its problems,like any country, I believe there is much we in UK can learn. For example, pride in one’s country, caring for our surroundings, and a society based on equality.

  3. Dave, I enjoy your website a lot and it helps me to keep in touch with my son and family who live in Oslo. I am keen to know what’s in the news in Norway, how Norwegians react to world news and what’s new in Norwegian living. Also anything about Norwegian culture, history, architecture, or language, and also interesting places off the beaten track – in fact anything you don’t get from tourist brochures! You do lots of this already and I really like reading about it, its hard to get real news of Norway in the UK. Thank you for your work, I hope you don’t give it up.

  4. Hi David,

    Please do not be discouraged from writing because you think people are not reading. Some of us are depending on what you guys write to make a life changing decision. I do feel like there could be more content about Trondheim for people who want to move there or are about to face the decision of moving there. If I end up moving there I would love to contribute in some way to add content for those to follow. So keep it up!

  5. I agree with all above about continuing to write! You never know when some pieces of information about moving there can be useful to someone! Thumbs up and keep writing!

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