A visit to Trondheim, Norway

In October I was invited to Trondheim, Norway, for a workshop at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology on the 25th and 26th October. I was lucky enough to be able to fly out on the 21st October and spend the weekend in Trondheim as a tourist prior to the workshop at the university. Although not strictly speaking a holiday, nor a coding related post, this post aims to serve as a digital memoir of my brief visit to the Norwegian city.

Day 1 - 21st October

Flew out on the 20:05 flight to Trondheim from Gatwick. Left the house at midday and took the train to Gatwick, stopping off for lunch at Reading. Spent a few hours in the airport before boarding and worked on some code. Was lucky enough to be given the seat 1A on check-in, which turned out to have a lot of leg room which was nice. Flight was delayed leaving Gatwick but we eventually landed in Trondheim at just gone midnight (Norway time) on the 22nd.

Day 2 - 22nd October

Took the bus from the airport to the city centre (approx. 25-30km) in the early hours, arriving at the hotel (P-Hotels Brattøra) about 01:30am. Checked in, unpacked and slept. In the morning breakfast was delivered to the door in a little bag, consisting of a sandwich (Ost & Skinke (ham and cheese)) and a bottle of apple juice. Although it doesn't seem much, it was rather filling and the sandwich was tasty enough. I looked online for what were the things to do in Trondheim and set out for a walk around the city centre, heading south from the hotel.

Ost & Skinke (ham and cheese) breakfast with apple juice

Ost & Skinke (ham and cheese) breakfast with apple juice

I ended up visiting a library that had an event on for a literature festival occurring that weekend and attempted to read a Harry Potter book but it was all in Norwegian so I quickly put it back, before continuing south towards the Cathedral. It was a nice sunny day so the views were very nice. I continued south past the Cathedral towards the university, though I did not venture onto the campus just yet. I detoured round past the athletic centre that was hosting the Northern European Gymnastics Championship that weekend before heading back towards the city centre to find something to eat.

The championships being held in Trondheim

The championships being held in Trondheim

It was here that I realised prices in Norway are quite a bit different to England, with a 500ml bottle of soft drink (Diet Coke or similar) costing around 30-40NOK (Norwegian Krone) - approx. £3-£4, nearly double the price in the UK. So dinner was a half sub from a local Subway type shop before returning to the hotel for the night, having walked a total of 13km.

Cathedral in Trondheim

Cathedral in Trondheim


The view from the road next to the hotel

The view from the road next to the hotel


Slight Cybermen vibe going on here...

Slight Cybermen vibe going on here...

Day 3 - 23rd October

Having explored the city fairly easily on the Saturday, I opted to head towards the Ikea on the outskirts of Trondheim on the Sunday. It was about 3-4miles from the hotel and the walking route would take me through some of the residential areas, so I viewed this as a chance to see how Norwegians live and how their houses look compared to English ones. I got lost several times en-route to the Ikea which was fine as I wasn't following a map and was happily exploring the east of the city centre. I finally got the Ikea about 2 hours after leaving the hotel only to find it wasn't open on a Sunday! Doh! Should have checked before leaving the hotel, but I might not have seen the different houses if I had not ventured towards the Ikea.

Some apartments set into a hill

Some apartments set into a hill


Ikea isn't open Sunday's like the UK...

Ikea isn't open Sunday's like the UK...

On the way back to the hotel, I went a different route and stumbled upon a fort in the middle of a park. The fort was used during the second world war by the occupying German forces with some history notes dotted around the fort. It was free to walk around and though it was a bit windy on top of a hill, it was nice. Walking home took me through a bit of the harbour side of Trondheim which looked like it might be busy with shops during normal opening hours before returning to the hotel having walked 17km. Sunday evening was then spent reading up about the Norwegian invasion during the war and its consequences (as is typical with such things, what started out as a half hour bit of reading turned into several hours of research).

Some monuments of the fort

Some monuments of the fort

Some monuments of the fort

Some monuments of the fort

Day 4 - 24th October

Monday was a rest day of sorts, as there was work to be done and meetings to be had back in England so most of the day was spent in the hotel. However, I did go for a short walk to the west of the city centre and up to the university to find the building I would be in on the Tuesday, so I still walked about 12km.

Some night-time lights in the city centre

Some night time lights in the city centre

Day 5 - 25th October

Tuesday was the first day of the workshop at the university, so I spent most of the day up there. I walked to the university in the morning and met with Johan van der Zwart, the researcher who had invited me to Norway. In the morning I gave a presentation of my research to some MSc students before discussing the reason for my visit with Johan, Aneta (a fellow researcher with Johan), and Dominique (from Switzerland).

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Day 6 - 26th October

Wednesday was my final day in Trondheim and it was primarily spent at the university for the final part of the workshop before taking the bus back to the airport and flying back to the UK on the 18:00 flight to Gatwick. The workshop was good and interesting meeting with St. Olav's as well. An uneventful journey home (where I managed to acquire seat 1A in the self check-in for extra leg room again) turned stressful at Gatwick when they took forever to get the bags onto the belt (and when they had, they had managed to break part of it again.....) but luckily the 20:03 train from Gatwick to Reading was delayed by 4 minutes so I was able to catch that train for a return home.

Overall Trondheim was a nice place to visit, with some different architecture and views. The weather was nice, it was sunny all of the days I was there and it wasn't too cold (for me anyway). I'd recommend a visit, but if you're going from the UK save up spending money as the price differences between the UK and Norway can catch you out a bit! But overall, an enjoyable visit to Norway, and a wonderful networking opportunity with fellow researchers on the mainland of Europe.

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