We had been planning to take a holiday for the family Christmas get-together this year but had not fully settled on the destination (too many choices we are blessed with during this job assignment). However, the long weekend in Oslo that Mike and I enjoyed in early September made us want to explore more of Norway so we decided to head to a smaller city a little further North with the kids. I started second-guessing the decision a little because some questioned it with comments related to wintertime/darkness. But plane tickets and accomodations were already arranged . . . so off we went to Trondheim!
It was pretty wonderful, peaceful and calm, with lots of sparkly white Christmas lights and sparkly white snow. We arrived very late on the 22nd and most businesses closed early on the 23rd (1pm early), not reopening until the 27th. Many places are actually closed until the new year. And so we nestled in to Time Together, and enjoyed some winter walking around Trondheim, the Bymarka, and Røros, which is a ways inland. We weren't there long enough to partake in history/museusms or to get our fill of Trondheim; we were a little sad to leave and very willing to return for more someday.
I asked The Family what their favorite thing was about Norway and here's what I got:
Natural Beauty/Winter Wonderland - every single tree had a coating of thick frost and snowflakes. We noticed it on our walk outside Trondheim (came across this cute little cafe in the middle of the woods).
And then it was really apparent when we traversed to Røros through miles of forests. Mike said he's never seen anything like it - and we used to live north of Edmonton Alberta, another winter wonderland . . .
Clean - probably the most vivid visual I can give you is that we saw zero trash along highways and that the well-lit highway tunnels were absolutely spotless.
Wool & knitters - This was the first time I've been in a place where people were seen knitting in public every time we went somewhere. Also, yarn shops were easy to find (the supermarkets are located in malls, there were two of them close to us, and each this fantastic franchise yarn shop):
(And in Røros, the tiny World Heritage site historic mining town there was also an excellent independent yarn shop, Kreativ Garn in the mall/grocery store situation).
Lots of well-loved handknit sweaters on people were observed in cafes and shops. Also, our Airb&b hostess had a lovely and tidy basket of knitting, and sweet hand crafted ornaments on their tree.
People talk about the Scandinavian "Hygge" and I think we got a sense of it in the short time we were there - yarn shops, knitters and handknits, many stores for pretty functional homewares all located in a busy shopping areas where everyday shopping is happening. The cozy factor is easy to create when wool is so convenient (and it must be in the DNA)!
We head back to reality - a few more months of teaching in Ecuador for our oldest, second semesters for the other two, a big year work-wise for Mike, the living on two continents bit for us . . . but feeling very inspired by what I saw in Norway and hopefully able to translate some of that inspiration to the Yarn Bar in this new year.