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davidx Trondheim - A travel report by David
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Trondheim,  Norway - flag Norway -  Sør-Trøndelag
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davidx's travel reports

Time-honoured Trondheim and remarkable Røros

  13 votes
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Twitch, historians. Trondheim is the ancient capital of Norway from where the Vikings sailed to pillage and colonise. Røros deserves to be known in more recent economic and social history, a realm of copper.

Nidaros Cathedral
Nidaros Cathedral
Trondheim, at the mouth of the Nidelven river was founded in the 10th Century, in a time of Norwegian greatness and soon became the capital. Sadly, fires have destroyed all the earlier wooden buildings but anybody going to the city now and glancing at the mighty Nidaros Cathedral would recognise its importance and its longevity. In fact the building was started in 1070. Although much subsequent addition and rebuilding have made it seem very Gothic, the earliest surviving parts show its Norman origins. The adjacent Archbishop’s palace is about a century later and has also, in its time been the centre of Danish administration in Norway and a military establishment. Pictures of these and other Trondheim sites can be seen on http://www.idi.ntnu.-no/~roger /trheim/index.htm [no break] The island of Munkholmen, A boat trip away [regular service], had one of the country’s first monasteries in the early 11th century. In the 17th century it was converted into a prison fort and was later still a Customs’ House. The island doesn’t share the scenic grandeur of many of Norway’s islands but makes a very pleasant trip and much swimming is done there. Although Trondheim’s tramway system was closed in 1988, Trondheim does have one tram, re-opened two years later by a private company. This is a lovely trip through open country for much of its 8.8 kilometres. It starts in St Olaf’s Gate. Face the sea from the market area and you will see the outdoor lift of the Prinsen Hotel to your left on the shore side of the road. The tram starts shortly farther along and then right. The Ringve Music Museum is covered below but I make a plug here for the Museum of Applied Art. [see ] Lastly, don’t miss the Old Bridge and beautiful warehouses beside it.

Favourite spots:
Ringve Music Museum
Ringve Music Museum
I admit to having gone principally to fill in time. Am I glad I did? Unfortunately I can’t persuade its generally splendid website, [http://www.ringve.c-om/ english/index.html – without the gap], to cough up history at the moment so my recollections must suffice. The buildings date from the 17th century, although the main house is 19th. The rich collection owes much to a lady whose name I forget, wife of the owner of the estate. You are clearly given to understand by the guides that her methods of acquiring expensive gifts from men for the museum may have been interesting and morally dubious! It’s well worth waiting for a guided tour in English. Guides play on the old keyboard instruments which are seen as you go around. While you are waiting, you can go into the large old barn, which now contains a permanent exhibition. In total, the museum owns some 1800 instruments from the whole world, classical and folk. See final section for more on transport.

What's really great:
Church - ALL wood
Church - ALL wood
Røros is only a bit over an hour from Trondheim by bus or train but is also close to the Swedish frontier. The scenery is very attractive but not at all like the grandiose scenery of the fjords farther south or the magical Lofoten and Vesterålen islands farther north. Røros is a World Heritage site and its layout is that of a copper mining town developed in the 17th century. At this time Norway was under Danish rule and the entrepreneurs had to get sanction from the Danish king. From a wide area round the town people were moved in forcibly and provided with housing, in return for which they had to work in the industry. The mine itself is a bus ride away but there are substantial remains in the town itself, including the old smelting works. As interesting are the old houses and the church. The interior of the latter was built entirely of wood at a time when marble was fashionable. As the photo shows, they were not quite immune to fashion! See ‘sights’ below.

Smelting works, Røros
Smelting works, Røros
I did one thing in Røros that I’ve never done anywhere else, following advice in the Rough Guide. This was to take a guided walk from the information centre. It was excellent and highly informative. There was one family from the Netherlands and I on the English language walk. I remember particularly a story told by the guide about a very old lady who had lived in one of the really old cottages that are now uninhabited. When she was eventually taken to hospital. She became agitated at the idea of a bath. They undressed her and discovered why. Layer after layer of clothing came off until suddenly the woman uttered a squeal of delight. She reckoned they had unearthed a garment she had ‘lost’ long before.
You might like to look at both the sites below.

Main street, Røros
Main street, Røros
On the package I did dinner at hotels was included in the country [Røros] but not in cities [Trondheim] I tried eating cheap in Trondheim but it was not a good experience.
I stayed at the Scandic Prinsen, Kongensgt 30, Trondheim 7417 [Phone +47 7380 7000] There is a lift with glass sides going up the outside of the building. Rooms and breakfast were fine. I think cheapness may not be one of its virtues.
In Røros I stayed in Bergstadens Hotel, Osloveien 2, very close to the station. This was a really good choice of the travel firm and included an evening meal
Phone: 72 40 60 80

Old bridge, Trondheim
Old bridge, Trondheim
I wasn’t lucky in my evening meal at Trondheim but a prawn sandwich with fruit juice from a pub selected at random was very acceptable. If you want alcohol in Norway start saving now for next year!

Warehouse from Old Bridge, Trondheim
Warehouse from Old Bridge, Trondheim
The Bergstadens at Røros provided a splendid buffet for the evening meal – my first experience of being able to consume as much smoked salmon as I liked and I took full advantage.

Other recommendations:
King's Trondheim residence - wooden.
King's Trondheim residence - wooden.
A note of caution about transport back from the Ringve Museum at Trondheim. I usually reckon you don’t really need to know the language t read a timetable but there was a footnote to the bus timetable, obtained from the TIC. I came back to a different estate entrance through the delightful museum grounds but I wasn’t worried because i recognised a supermarket I’d past in the bus on the way out. I enquired about the footnote and , as I’d thought, it didn’t apply at that time. So I waited – and waited – and waited and it became inconceivable that buses were taking so long to reach me. Back to the supermarket and fortunately someone in the queue spotted my timetable and guessed the problem. In addition to the footnote, that part of the page was a slightly different colour and that signified a slightly different route! A 5 minute walk solved the problem!

Note the proximity of the Royal residence to street and bus stop.

Published on Saturday January 15th, 2005

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Sat, Jan 15 2005 - 09:23 PM rating by magsalex

another great addition to the site.

Sat, Jan 15 2005 - 08:21 PM rating by gloriajames

well done again david! 5*. u should win MOM or best report for Jan!!

Sat, Jan 15 2005 - 11:57 AM rating by britman

Yet another interesting article...forming part of the davidx library. At this rate you must get the Member of the Month award, you certainly deserve it for your valuable contributions. Keep them coming!

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