Hello again readers!
This week’s post is about a trip I took two weekends ago up north, and yes, I know I’m already pretty far north, but just look at this map and you’ll see how much further Trondheim is. It was an extremely relaxing weekend and something I desperately needed.
I was able to visit Trondheim with Katie. Her great aunt and uncle live outside of the city so we spent three days with them at the beach house. That’s right, a beach house. They had just finished building it a few years ago. It was right on the water and I loved it. My future house is going to be based on Norwegian architecture.
We honestly didn’t do much while there. We didn’t really want to do anything but hang out and enjoy the scenery. Katie’s aunt and uncle, Carol and Leif, made us a lot of food (my favorite part) and drove us around to the little towns nearby. One of the first times we got in the car, Leif turned on the radio and American country music poured from the speakers. You may be in northern Europe, but you still can’t get away from your culture.
If you’ve ever been to northern Wisconsin, you’d have an idea of what this part of Norway looked like. Red barns and houses scattered between the trees and waterways made for a beautiful sight. Katie and I spent one part of an afternoon walking along the beach.
There were two cool pieces of history I learned about while in the Trondheim area that I would like to share.
The first is about World War Two. The Germans bombed an entire Norwegian town to the ground, leaving behind only two houses. Today the town (which I cannot remember the name of but it starts with an S) has rebuilt itself and expanded greatly. Carol told us a story of her brothers canoeing on the water one day and seeing one of the German planes fly overhead. It was on its way to bomb the town. One of the boys lifted up a paddle into the air, and the plane started to arc in the air, heading toward them, but the boys quickly put it back down. Apparently the paddle looked a little too much like a gun. We also drove by an cove where a German submarine hid out during the war.
The second bit of history we learned about dates back to 1030 AD. A man by the name of Olaf Haraldsson had been in exile for about two years. Before that he had been the king of Norway. He wanted the country to convert to Christianity, but there was resistance, thus his exile. On July 29, 1030, King Haraldsson came back to Norway from Russia to claim the kingdom. He went into battle in Stiklestad and was killed near a church we visited.
These two tidbits of history may seem slightly boring to some, but I was able to stand in the same spot a battle had taken place over 700 years ago and to look at a town that had been nothing but two buildings after a WWII bombing. I love American history, but it has very little compared to length and depth of some European history.
A few weeks back, Norway was voted the happiest country in the world, and I am not surprised at all. I felt an overwhelming sense of calm and contentment driving along the winding roads next to fjords and looking out at the mountains and the ocean. Norway is not only naturally beautiful, but the people have a way of life that just makes you happy. Norwegians love being outside, relaxing, and spending time with their family and friends.
I really enjoyed my time near Trondheim. Carol and Leif were wonderful hosts and being able to relax at a beach house after a stressful week was perfect.
Thanks for reading!