Travelling has always been in my blood. From my first flight when I was 3 months old to the trips I’m planning for the future, I love the feeling of exploring. It’s the exciting anticipation of the unknown; strolling through the labyrinth of buildings not knowing what’s around the next corner. This year I decided to expand my horizons and swap the rolling hills of Somerset for the snowy (or rather rainy) peaks of Scandinavia. Booking places to stay in Trondheim, Bergen and Oslo, Norway will be my home for the next few weeks, before moving on to Sweden (Stockholm), and finally Denmark (Copenhagen). Finland will have to be saved for another time, but for now let’s get this show on the road, starting in Trondheim.
Often know for its dry climate, and hilly terrain, Trondheim can be found on the west coast of Norway. It’s a compact town, with the ‘bryggen’ in the old town being one of the main attractions, and boy are they beautiful. On our first full day, we awoke to beautiful blue skies and crisp winter air, just what you’d expect on an April day in Trondheim. And after passing a number of different places on the way down to the wharf, we started scouting out shops and restaurants we wanted to return to. Healthy living is at the precipice of the Norwegian lifestyle, and so it wasn’t a surprise that there were gyms and fitness suites on every corner, and all the locals walk everywhere. I mean everywhere. A robust pair of trainers and a can-do attitude when it comes to steep inclines are all you need to gain Norwegian citizenship, it seems.
We were told about a modern vegetarian cafe, across the road from a yoga studio (surprise, surprise) and with my friend being vegan, and Norway being a very fish-centric country, we were relieved to find somewhere with tasty, wholesome food that could be enjoyed by both of us. After finding it just off one of the main bridges, we discovered it was currently in the process of expanding, and with reason too.
Much like the rest of Trondheim, ‘compact’ seems to be the word that comes to mind when you first step through the door. With only a few tables, we were lucky to beat the lunchtime rush and plonked ourselves down before looking at the menu. With a range of sandwiches, and wraps for a light lunch, or burgers for a heartier appetite, this place has something for everyone. We both adore anything with avocado, so went for the ‘avocado og tomat’ (avocado and tomato) sandwich. We were not disappointed. Sandwiched between slithers of rye bread, this sandwich has to be one of the best things I have ever eaten. Full stop. The crunch coming from the cabbage, and slight chewiness of the rye bread was absolutely delicious, not to mention the perfectly ripe avocado which almost turned to guacamole as you munched your way through. And last, but by no means least, the veganaise dressing: it brought a slight tang to the table which contrasted perfectly with the sweetness of the sliced fresh tomato, but wasn’t by any stretch overpowering, and instead woke up your tastebuds at every mouthful.
I wanted to try everything on the menu. But alas, we didn’t have enough time (or money for that matter) to partake in such an exercise, so I settled on just one more thing – a fresh juice. A ‘Rød’ juice to be precise. Chosen because of the intriguing combination of beetroot and pineapple, this juice was the definition of revitalising. The acidity of the pineapple with the earthiness of the beetroot was such a unique pairing I had never tasted before, but complemented each other so beautifully. The deep purple colour was so vibrant, and was brought out further by the freeze dried raspberries scattered over the top.
Such an amazing little cafe, that lead to an impromptu trip to a vegan mini-festival, and as a result, to some amazing people and organisations. All I can say is thank-you, Trondheim. You’ve been a beaut.