What can possibly be crazier than a bunch of Serbs deciding to get to Norway by train with little money and plenty of homemade alcohol? Perhaps the fact that those same people were responsible for disrupting the order in Trondheim, a perfectly maintained and organized city. The second day after our arrival there was an announcement stating that several unknown people brought alcohol to the famous student center. According to it they could have lost the license if the ‘problem’ persisted. Considering Norwegian prices and the age of participants it was the only logical thing to do, or at least that’s what I thought back then. It was my second time there, and I decided to prepare much better than the last time.
Unlike the previous time when I stayed in a student flat, this time I was assigned to a family, which meant I was able to experience living in a typical Norwegian household. For ten days I was part of a family consisting of a middle aged woman, her three kids and a huge dog. The five of them were living inside a large wooden overheated house with plenty of rooms, one for each child, plus a guestroom. The center point of the house was a living room with a huge window and no curtains. Since there is not much sun, Scandinavian houses tend to have large windows and curtains are uncommon. Besides, nobody stares at someone else’s apartment.
The student center – Samfundet was the main venue of all public events organized during the largest student festival Isfit, held biannually. It is housed in a round red modernist style building located on the corner of one of the main traffic corridors, near the river. Inside there are several cafés, restaurants plus bars and a pretty large multifunctional room adapted for different public events. Apart from that the legend says that the building hides an unusual member only area, which contains 43 underground spaces where everything is allowed. Naturally I tried to enter such a place various occasions, though unsuccessfully.
The old town Bakklandet, located in a small peninsula surrounded by the Nidelva River, occupies most of the city center. It is dominated by 18th and 19th century wooden buildings that can be accessed crossing the beautiful wooden bridge Gamle Bybro originally built in the 17th century. It is packed with authentic wooden buildings, the best being the old harbor next to the river, just north of the bridge. In the middle of the old town, the tall statue of Olav Tryggvason, the founder of the city, dominates the main square Torvet. Next to it the main commercial street Nordregate is the place where everything happens.
Trondheim’s main landmark and the largest church in all Scandinavia Nidarosdomen is located some 300 meters south of the square. The gothic style church was completed in the 13 century and today represents the northernmost medieval cathedral in Europe. It is surrounded by the Archbishop’s Palace, home to one of the best museums in the country. South of the cathedral, across the river the Norwegian University of Science and Technology occupies a large area with several interesting buildings. Less than a kilometer northwest the Kristiansen Fortress offers outstanding views of the city.
Trondheim is one of the largest cities in Norway, with a major University center. One of the oldest cities in the country, it was an important trading point, and even the nation’s capital until 1217. Located inside a large fiord, it has a pretty mild climate compared to the rest of the settlements on the same latitude. The numerous wooden houses and the vibrant cultural life result in a distinct warmth feel. Fortunately, in spite of its beauty, massive tourism has somehow avoided the city. And that’s an additional reason why you should visit Trondheim.