Day 28: Somewhere in Norway.
We’ve done 4 weeks in the van! Total nights spent in Doris now racks up to over 50. How awesome is that?! Total we’ve done around 80 days living in a van with time spent in New Zealand and Iceland.
The van life isn’t all sunshines and rainbows. Nice beaches and cute meals outside, sometimes van life is worse than home life. But it’s the price you have to pay when you’ve a home on wheels.
We’re in a tricky stage of our journey now. With our home date looming and some miles to cover we’ve spent some days driving, stopping, driving, stopping and not much in the way of adventuring or hiking. But it’s OK some days are meant to be like this and somedays set you up for those adventuring and downright awesome days.
We picked a spot by the lake, set up camp and by that I mean closed the curtains, pulled down the bed and put tea on. We were joined by some other vans and a really, really, really loud and obnoxious HGV driver who must have assumed no one could hear him through his van’s speakers.
That said, we had a fairly decent night sleep and were in a nice position to tackle to last 150KM towards Trondheim, our next stop. In the morning.
Day 29: Trondheim, Norway.
After what seemed like a decent nights sleep, despite loudspeaker Larry blaring his TV all night we got up earlyish and cracked on with the coffees. One of my favourite parts of the day is climbing down from the bed, drinking coffee and enjoying that 30 minutes of nothing. It doesn’t matter if it’s 6AM or 10AM, we’re in no rush.
The drive towards Trondheim was made all the more exciting by spotting not one, but TWO moose! We were so excited that we spun Doris round and tried to get a closer look at the giant beasts. Unfortunately, Doris was too giant and they managed to sneak back into the woods and became elusive again.
They really are magnificent creatures. For me, of course, their appeal comes from Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit where Elves ride them into battle. They are so out of this world that even something as mythical as LOTR features them. How cool is that?!
11th Century Trondheim
Luckily for us it was Sunday, which meant free parking. And a quiet city. Which is good because Doris isn’t the easiest girl to get around a city. Let alone finding parking that is good enough for her highness.
Trondheim is a beautiful city. With the incredible Nidaros Cathedral standing tall and demanding attention as soon as you’re in the city. It’s quite a remarkable feat of strength and resilience as it was once a ruined wreck. Now a magnificent cathedral in the centre of a historical city.
Although Trondheim only has 190,000 people living inside it, it’s still Norway’s third largest city. Crazy isn’t it? Saying that Norway only has 5.3 million people in its entire country. Of which by the way, is 1.5x bigger than the UK and it’s 66.1 million people.
Imagine that? The country is 1.5x bigger than the UK and has 12x less people living in it. Reason 891394 why I am absolutely in love with Norway.
The old town bridge with the bright and vibrant buildings lining either side of the river. Very Scandinavian and Nyhavn-esque but beautiful in its own way. The old town and across the bridge is more of the same. Wonky wooden buildings each with their own character and charm. I love places and streets like these, you can almost let your mind and thoughts wander as you think back to the people who once walked these streets.
High above the city sits Kristiansten Fortress an important part of Trondheims history. It was built to protect the city from attacks from the east and it fluffed its purpose when Trondheim was attacked by the Swedish army in 1718.
Not only offering a great insight to the history of this battle and how they defended from the Swedish forces, but also offering an incredible view of the city below. Definitely worth a visit if you’re in Trondheim. But be careful if you go inside the building as the 3rd floor is tiny!
Trolls Wall, WOW.
After a quiet night in a sports centres car park, we did the usual routine of coffees and showers. On the road and heading towards Trollstigen.
The famous road you’ll have likely seen in Norway. The one that has LOTS of hairpin bends and ascends 800m up through the valley. It’ll certainly be a test for Doris but we’re determined to see it.
Tonight we’ve camped just shy of the trollstigen, and right in front of trolls wall. Unfortunately there is some low cloud so we can’t actually see it but it’s a 1700m high peak that rises straight from the valley floor. It’s the highest rock face in all of Northern Europe and is incredibly impressive, albeit a little scary.
1700m is just shy of being TWICE the height of Snowdon. And considering Snowdon typically starts around 200/300m above sea level anyway, it’s closer to 3x it’s height and is just a sheer rock face.
Here’s hoping that the cloud clears in the morning so that we can see the trolls wall before leaving and getting Doris up the incredible trollstigen, let’s hope we make it.