The tedious trip to Trofors and the tantalising tones of Trondheim.
The train ride from Bodø to Trondheim is a long one. So long in fact, I decided to break it in half and briefly stop off in Trofors for a night and see the wonderful waterfall Laksforsen. Except it’s not in Trofors. Despite being listed as the city’s main attraction, Laksforsen is a 20-minute drive north of it (and in my case, a 3 hour walk). So instead, I took a couple photos of the river and set up camp early to get some extra rest.
I didn’t have the greatest sleep, but ‘oh well’ I thought, ‘I’ll get some more shuteye on the train to Trondheim’. And if it wasn’t for the cancellation of that train, perhaps I would’ve. A transport replacement bus came to the rescue (albeit late) and made its windy way south – PTV would be proud.
Arriving in Trondheim, although a little lackluster, was a comforting sight. I noticed many a traveler with luggage varying in size, and the locals didn’t seem put off by the grey skies. In a way, this arrival was similar to that of Bergen; it was an overcast Saturday evening, people were out and about, and I didn’t particularly feel like going out for a drink. And once again I felt like I should, it was my last Saturday in Norway after all. This time, however, I didn’t. For the first time in a while, I simply didn’t have the strength to – and that wasn’t a great feeling. But the thought that I wasted the evening soon excused itself and I managed to finally catch up on sleep.
Having less than 12 hours to explore a city means you have to pick out only a few sights to see and things to do (which is more than okay with me). In Trondheim, my picks were: Bakklandet (the old town), Bymarka (the city forest), and Rockheim (the music museum). Strolling down the streets of Bakklandet is a warm and colourful journey, especially when the sun’s out. There are many quaint cafés and shops to pop your head into, and the Old Town Bridge gives you great views of the neighbourhoods that sit along the river. The time I spent in Bymarka, though very short, was lovely and a refreshing change from the city center. My favourite attraction, however, was Rockheim. The museum offers interactive exhibits that take you through time in (mostly Norwegian) pop music, and I had some fun playing with the guitars setup on the lower floor. Little did I know this wouldn’t be the last time I had my hands on a guitar that day.
Since it was my last night in Trondheim and second last in Norway as a whole, I convinced myself that it was okay to spend a little more money than usual (and I’m kind of glad I did). I never thought I’d enjoy a chicken salad as much as I did sitting in this little café in the old town, with the sun coming through the window and gleaming off my locally-brewed beer. I would have to say that meal was worth the extra cash. Directly across the street sits a bar called Antikvariatet.
On the surface, Antikvariatet is just a standard pub with less than stellar beer prices and a kitchen that closes too early. But through the hallway inside, you find yourself in a cosy lounge with a library of old Norwegian books (plus the rare English text), and a small selection of instruments in the back corner. The bartenders informed me that Sunday is open mic night, and anyone can go up to play before the show. So I did. And I immediately felt a little more comfortable being in there by myself. Unfortunately, the place was still a little empty and the open mic show wouldn’t start before I got through another beer – which I didn’t have the money or even the stomach for. So I left.
There are some things you simply shouldn’t do when you’ve had a few to drink – I’ve had a little experience with this – but going back to a bar in a foreign city to have a jam on open mic night is fortunately not one of those things. And this is exactly what I did, because I knew I would regret it if I didn’t. It may not sound like a big deal, but for me it took a whole lot of courage to turn around and pick up that guitar in front of a full bar (yes, the beers definitely helped). It was great. I mean it didn’t sound great, but it certainly felt great. Even the seagull that attacked me on my way back to the hostel couldn’t damper my spirits.
I’m now returning to Oslo for a brief stopover before heading out to Iceland. Norway, you’ve been alright.
Travel tips from Trondheim:
- Don’t worry if you don’t get to see everything.
- It doesn’t matter what locals think of you if you’re leaving the next day.
- Seagulls in Norway are bigger than their Australian kin.