Sunday, October 4, 2009

Røros

We decided yesterday we'd go to Røros, an old mining town in a lovely setting. Pam visited two years ago, but I had never been. Maggie was afraid we'd go to the museum with the plastic people; they gave her the creeps, she said. We apologetically told her that we'd probably indeed be going to the museum with the plastic people, trapped forever in their underground caverns. Luckily for Maggie, we never made it to the plastic people because the town shuts down so early.

We bought train tickets online, and walked down to the Trondheim train station for a very reasonable 9:50 a.m. departure. The trip took 2.5 hours, a nice length with lovely, if not spectacular views.

When we arrived at 1220, it was snowing. Our first real snow we'd been in this fall. The temperature hovered around +0.5°C.

Our first stop was at the tourist office, the first thing you see walking into downtown. We discussed options with the lady at the tourist bureau -- one option was to take a taxi for the 3:00 tour of the old copper mine up the hill, the other was an easy walking tour, up the street of artsy shops with a few choices for lunch, and a tour of the smelting facility right in town. We went for easy.

The town is very cute and the streets are charming and inviting. We were hungry, so we checked first at the Kafe Stuggu, a bistro that serves up traditional Norwegian lunches. They have outdoor seating in the summer, but on this chilly Saturday all of the tables were full and the line was long and the food looked exactly like what I eat everyday at the office, so we tried elsewhere. Lauritzen & Bruse was easy to find, a restaurant with warm rustic atmosphere and very good pizza. Try the #4. Mmmmm... Then we strolled up and down the street poking in shops that were indeed, artsy and folksy. We explored the church grounds, and wandered over to the museum. It was now 2:45, and we were dismayed to find that the museum had closed at 2:00. So instead we hiked on giant piles -- hills, really -- of stones rich with copper ore. The snow was blowing hard in the air, not sticking around on the ground but making for beautiful effects looking out over the city through the white flurries.

We found an old building with a long row of icicles, and the kids had to climb up to grab a few.

Back downtown, everything was closing. The tourist shop was already closed -- it had closed at 1230, just 10 minutes after the morning train from Trondheim arrived. How can a town that totes itself as a tourtist destination close down so early on a Saturday?

Our tickets were for at 7:30 pm return, but the only options for activities that we had now were hanging out in a restaurant or bowling. We checked back at the station and could use our tickets for the 4:30 train instead, and so we returned. A total of 5 hours on the train for a 4 hour visit, but it was nice.

It was a lovely and not at all expensive day trip, but I think Røros is probably best to visit in the summer when things stay open later, or near Christmas when they offer horse-pulled sleigh rides and toboggoning, and the reindeer petting park is open. I think we'll watch for some Jul activities this winter.

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