The old Trondheim post road is a historic postal route built around 1780, connecting Trondheim and Bergen.
Back in the day, the 700km route took over two weeks to travel. The first section of the route, started in Bergen, passed the IKEA store, and continued on to Salhus (past the knitting museum), where the postie would then take a ferry for the next leg of the journey.
Today the postal route has long since been discontinued, and although the IKEA store remains, the road now serves as a fint tramping and cycling track.
The section starting from Bergen can be broken into two parts:
1) The bit before IKEA
2) The bit after IKEA
The second part is usually considered the best part of this track section, taking around two hours. It was this part that we decided to walk with our neighbours on this gorgeous Saturday afternoon.
Getting to the track start is easy, you just need to take the IKEA bus, or the number #4, and get off at Nyborg, IKEA.
Once you have disembarked the bus, don’t let the inviting blue and yellow colours tempt you. Don’t venture into the parking lot. Don’t be tempted by 10NOK meals at the IKEA cafe. Just keep on walking.
It is possible.
It may sound crazy, but head straight past the IKEA store. This is important.
Then, immediately behind the store, and the moat separating IKEA from the countryside, you will find yourself in idyllic norsk farmland.
Norsk-red farm houses in the distance, crammed with towering subsidized tractors and other impressive machinery, admidst lush pastures, grazing sheep, lakes, and snowcapped mountains in the background.
The people living here must be the luckiest in the world, and they even have an IKEA in their backyard.
The postal road is easy to find, and on this section of the track, is relatively well signposted. If you manage to get this far, you will see the postal road winding its way into the mountains. There’s only the one, it’s hard to miss.
We were on our way, rambling up the hill, stopping too many times to take photos, and enjoying the sunshine whilst discussing politics, all things norsk, and the occasional bit of work.
The track itself is gorgeous, with many historic stone buildings, bridglets, walls and other stone building remnants along the way.
It even comes with real live norsk cows and sheep.
There is a detour path to the mountain summit (a bit like Ngauruhoe on the Tongariro Crossing), but we opted to continue straight ahead, saving that tramp for another time.
The track end was a little unclear, but as we crossed the mountain down the other side we were rather taken by an impressive bridge in the distance. Closer investigation was in order.
As we ventured to the point, we discovered it was also the site of an extensive Nazi fortification, complete with tanks, engines, lights, subterranean chambers, and things called hedgehogs in Russian, but for which we didn’t know the name of because we don’t really have land wars in NZ(see photos).
But the bridge is what’s really cool. That and the mountains.
Summary: Gorgeous walk, and a great way to spend an afternoon, if you are strong enough to avoid IKEA.
Distance: Approx. 10km
Difficulty: Stroller friendly
Awesome scale: 8/10
Why not 10/10: Had to take a bus to get there, and signage could be a bit better. Also track didn’t end at pub.