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Destination: a beautiful city in Norway.. close to Hell

The title doesn't lie. However, it conceals a cheeky wordplay, because I refer to the town of Hell (Norway), which is situated about a 30min drive from Trondheim. Of course, the English word 'hell' means something different in Norwegian. It translates to something like 'fortunate' in modern Norwegian, but the name Hell originally stems from the Old Norse word "hellir," which signifies a 'hollow under an overhanging cliff,' likely used as a shelter in ancient times.

'Hell' is situated right next to Trondheim Airport and has evolved into a tourist attraction. Visitors, (almost exclusively) from abroad, come to Hell train station to capture a photo of the sign with the place name and the sign reading "Hell Gods Expedition." This is the old spelling for goods expedition, and it holds a special meaning in English, namely "the expedition of the gods."

A norwegian train station

It has become a bit of a gimmick, but judging by the significant number of visitors, apparently enjoyable enough to stop for a few quirky photos while on the way from Trondheim Airport to the city center.

Therefore, here's a list of places where you can capture a hellish photo:

1. The station in Hell and the adjacent building 'Hell Gods Expedition.' The station itself opened in 1881 and is still in use.

2. Blues in Hell. An annual blues festival that has attracted a roster of legendary blues artists, including Johnny Winter, who also performed at the iconic Woodstock festival (the original one from the 60s). About 4000 visitors attend, which may sound modest, but given the location and annual lineups, it can rightfully be called a sizable blues festival. In fact, in 2010, Blues in Hell was declared one of the best Blues festivals in Europe, quite an accomplishment.

3. For a hearty lunch, you can head to Hell Grill. It's a tiny blue stall in an unassuming parking lot, and it won't surprise you that Hell Grill sells hundreds of thousands of euros worth of hamburgers annually.

4. If you fancy staying in Hell for a laugh, you can. In fact, it's about a 10-minute walk from Trondheim Airport to the Hell Hotel. It's an excellent hotel with modern rooms and a fantastic breakfast and everything one would expect from a modern accommodation.

If you're on a road trip and want to visit Hell, input the postcode '7517' into your navigation system. You can rent a car at both Trondheim Airport and in the city center. Since Norway has one of the best fast-charging networks in Europe, it's highly recommended, both in terms of cost and comfort, to rent an electric car. It's cheaper, as a liter of petrol costs about 2.50 euros here, and of course, it's better for the environment because you don't have to refuel at (S)hell. Have a hell of a time!


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