This morning we awake just before we arrive in Trondheim. I have no expectations and we are charmed by the delights of this beautiful city. It is the third largest in Norway. We are blessed with another absolutely glorious day and more blue skies and sunshine. A short ten minute stroll from the boat and we find ourselves in wide shop lined avenues, selling stylish Norwegian goods.
I tell my husband that I’m sure I was Scandinavian in a past life as I love the window displays and feel an affinity for the warm browns and copper tones of the clothing layered on the models, scarves draped decoratively over shoulders and lace up cosy waterproof boots to keep out the snow when it falls. Interspersed amongst the clothes shops, we find shops selling cups, saucers and large jugs for flowers in Farrow and Ball hues and heavy fluffy blankets that I can easily imagine throwing over my shoulders on a cold Winter's night. We are saved from ourselves by it being a Sunday and nothing being open but I am sad about not being able to shop among the loveliness and vow to return here for a couple of days when the town is open and our bank accounts are healthy.
We walk down to the cathedral and enter through grey padded doors, probably insulated that way to keep in the warmth. As we swing open the doors we are greeted by the sound of angelic voices as a local choir of Norwegian girls rehearse for a future performance. Their sweet, young and pure voices make the hairs stand up on the back of our necks as their voices echo around the giant arches and columns of the cathedral. It is warm and welcoming in here, unlike some of the churches I have visited in the UK. The stained glass windows are also darker, making the religious visions somehow more dramatic.
Leaving the cathedral, we follow a path down to the river and cross a bright red and decorative bridge to the old town. We wander down narrow streets, with rickety clapperboard houses, some in pastel shades and others in brighter oranges and browns. As we approach 11 am, the town’s population begins to gather. We pass women with babies in buggies, energetic runners and slightly hung-over looking young Norwegians. The cafes in the old town burst into life and as the weather is unexpectedly glorious for the time of year, people take seats outside and sip cappuccinos chatting to one another in the sunshine.
My latte comes topped with a tiny milk heart, tables have heathers displayed in pots and hanging over the chairs is a blanket to put over your knees in case the temperature should suddenly dip. This is what I love about Norway; things are done with style and with an appreciation of the ever-changing weather. They know it will be cold and live their life accordingly. As the saying goes, “there is no such thing as bad weather in Norway, just bad clothing”. I decide that Trondheim is my new favourite place and a definite must-return-to destination.