The train from Oslo to Trondheim was right on time, just as it was in the 1985 record by The Sir Douglas Quintet. In the song Texas rocker Doug Sahm never makes it past Hamar. We, however, slept our way all the way in the cozyness of compartment # 85. Very small indeed, but having done our basic training on the Trans Sibirian we are not the ones to complain. If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.
We went to Trondheim to celebrate the birthday of the most upright and agile 90 year old we have ever known. DHs dad still goes alone on his own boat the 800 kilometers up the coast to his arctic hometown of Bodø, just for the fun of it. Why stop half way if the sea is calm and you can continue all the way?
He does not do it in winter however, and it sure was winter now. Half a meter of snow is by no way extreme in these parts, but it is enough to make us wrap up in scarves and caps and coats and heavy boots. The white sheets makes the town look beautiful on sunny days, but it also makes it look rather miserable on a grey day after the plough has turned the snow into a roadside heap of salted sand and graveljuice.
You can wade knee high in the snow loving the clean freshness, or you can curse it because your toes turn cold and the walking turns heavy. People love it or hate it, depending on which scenery sticks on their minds. We decided to love it for the two weeks we intended to make Trondheim our home. We now were on our sixth home since selling our house in Bariswil some 9 days before arriving.
Apart from wading thru winter the two weeks we spent in Trondheim were about seeing old friends and celebrating birthdays. And again, like in Oslo, it was about admiring the winter lights. The muddy streets of downtown can look pretty even when the snow is dirty, provided you turn on the evening neons and let the shadows hide the gravel.
Heading for of Asia in the middle of winter is a change, and doing it from the north feels like the best way. The Swiss winters of Berne are rather half hearted, the rain usually killed the snow long before our garden was properly covered. Not so in Trondheim, where three weeks of frost before we arrived had given the landscape a coating fit for the season. Travelling from such a place, the transition to the tropics is more proper. The change in climate is as big as the change in culture, and in all honesty we were looking forward to both. We can love winter for a time, but we will not pretend that we will miss it for very long.