For centuries, we have been fooled. Tricked into believing that Santa and his lovely wife resided somewhere in the arctic realms of the North Pole. But strolling down the cobbled, snowed-in streets of Trondheim, past the most enchanting wooden houses, you’ll soon realise you’ve been mistaken. There’s no doubt: this must be the Claus’ true hometown.
Tucked right in the heart of the Trondheimsfjord, the former capital of Norway outshines the flair of European cities easily. With a population of just under 180,000 beautiful Viking descendants (who all speak impeccable English), Trondheim’s cosy charm is sure to warm your very core – even at -10 degrees.
Its jaw-dropping Nidaros cathedral shames the beauties that are Notre Dame and – dare I say it? – Westminster Abbey. A stroll over the Gamle bybro (Old city bridge) spoils you with a breath-taking view on a rainbow row of old storehouses. Prepare for some serious gasping.
If you’re a high-speed stroller and have a day to spare, renting a car for a little outing further afield is an absolute must. With Norway’s sluggish 50mp/h maximum speed limit, even inexperienced right-hand drivers will be more than all right. And trust me, it will be worth it. Having spent the majority of my life in the midst of the Austrian Alps, I’m borderline immune to glorious sceneries. But driving further north – along the spectacular fjord, of course – was still astonishing. I was welcomed by a serene nothingness – and unbelievable sunsets.
In early spring astronomy aficionados might even get a glimpse of the Northern lights in Trondheim’s latitudes. Which probably makes for a stand-alone reason to hop on the next plane. Speaking of planes: But don’t worry, the tarmac will appear. At some point.
Trondheim’s only downfall? Santa was nowhere to be spotted. But since it’s off-season he’s excused for taking a well-deserved break in Thailand. Or maybe feeding his face at Chicken Shop.
Words & Photos: Sarah Leo @misssarahleo