A therapeutic mini- break in Trondheim

A therapeutic mini- break in Trondheim
For those considering escaping the trials and tribulations of life in the fast lane, Trondheim, Norway’s historic capital, features tranquil waterways calmly flowing past colourful warehouses, wide streets and a partially pedestrianised centre, which creates a sedate atmosphere in what is now Norway’s third largest city. This charming city offers an intriguing blend of the ancient and the contemporary with bustling cafes and restaurants, popular museums and a magnificent Gothic cathedral.
On arrival, I checked into the Britannia Hotel, which dates back to 1897 and is located on Dronningensgate in the centre of the city. As expected in a high end hotel, the check-in procedures were ultra efficient and I was escorted to a signature suite measuring 81 square metres. The high ceilings enhance the space and the spacious seating area is comfortable and modern and features luxurious drapes, an inviting plump sofa with soft, cosy cushions and a glittering chandelier. The gorgeous Carrara marble bathroom presents a large bathtub and I was easily persuaded to relax, soothed by overflowing bubbles. Climbing into the enormous bed and snuggling under the down duvet I succumbed to a deep and restful slumber.
Up with the larks I made my way to the beautiful Palmehaven restaurant and indulged in a first class buffet breakfast and I planned the day’s agenda whilst surrounded by palm trees.
I began my explorations with a visit to Scandinavia’s largest medieval building, the splendid Neadros Cathedral, which was built over the burial site of the Viking King Olav II who reigned from 1015 to 1028 and who replaced Norway’s pagan beliefs with Christianity and became the nation’s patron saint. Construction began in 1070 and over the following 230 years the cathedral was substantially completed with works continuing until 2001. The impressive western façade is embellished with the most intricate carvings and sculptures of biblical characters and Norwegian bishops and kings and the glass rose window, which symbolises Doomsday, is made up of 10,000 pieces of glass and is quite simply mesmerising. The Norwegian regalia, housed in the vaults of the adjacent Archbishop’s Palace, are not to be missed. The regalia, which were acquired by Charles XIV, who was crowned King in the cathedral in 1818, includes the king’s glittering 20 karat crown festooned with amethysts, pearls, a stunning selection of green chrysoprases, a topaz and an alexandrite and on the front sits a fabulous green tourmaline, and the king’s sceptre and sword complete this stunning collection.
For those of us with a thirst for art, the Trondheim Art Museum is a stone’s throw from the cathedral. Permanent exhibitions include modern Norwegian and Danish art from 1800 onwards and I was delighted to view a fabulous collection of lithographs by Norway’s most famous artist, Edvard Munch was born in Ådalsbruk in 1868.
Stepping out into the nippy Norwegian air I headed for the Old Town Bridge, which dates from 1861 and is the gateway to Bakklandet. Whilst crossing, I paused to admire the colourful hues of the wooden buildings of Kjøpmannsgata and the tranquil setting of the Nidelva River, which meanders around the cathedral, the archbishop’s palace and almost the entirety of the city. I wandered along the cobblestone streets of Baklandet, which simply oozes with charm and nostalgia. Feeling rather peckish I was drawn towards the Baklandet Sdydsstation, a cosy café, which offers home cooked food and was the 2012 recipient of National Georgraphic’s ‘café of the year’. I ordered a deliciously steaming hot cup of cocoa and two succulent pancakes with blueberries, which were served with aplomb.
Fully sated, I embarked on a short walk to Nidarosdomen and hopped on a local bus headed for the Rockheim Museum, located on Brattørkaia. Norway’s National Museum of Popular Music opened in 2010 and features a fascinating exhibition with music and stories communicated through interactive technology. The Time Tunnel is the museum’s permanent exhibition divided into a number of rooms dedicated to popular cultural beginning with the 1950’s and up to the present day.
With aching feet due to my arduous explorations, I returned to the Britannia Hotel, headed for the indoor pool and took a few leisurely laps. I then made my way to the spa and selected the Elemis salt scrub; a cleansing treatment using coconut, bergamot and almond oil combined with ginger and lime. With mild Japanese camellia oil providing the finishing touch I was rejuvenated and ready to take on the world again as I headed for the Britannia Bar. Striking up a conversation with the bar tender I was easily persuaded to order the Moonshine 1945, a meadowsweet moonshine dandelion and pine cone vermouth, which, I was informed, was created to celebrate the German surrender in the spring of 1945 when the Norwegian Resistance Movement took back Trondheim alongside English and American soldiers who distributed flyers in the streets declaring ‘Our struggle is crowned in victory. Norway is free at last.’
I sipped on the delicious cocktail and then held up my glass to make a toast to Trondheim and my therapeutic visit and all that was on offer in this delightful city.
For a true Nordic experience, visit Trondheim, you won’t be disappointed.

Images, excluding accommodation, courtesy of VisitNorway.com
‘Top Tip’ Fly direct to Trondheim from London Gatwick – flight time 2 hours 25 mins. For more info visit Norwegian.com

Pools at Britannia Spa

The facade of the historical Britannia Hotel in Trondheim, which re-opened in April 2019, following a three-year, $160 million top-to-toe refurbishment and became a member of the prestigious Leading Hotels of the World network the same year.