Are you interested in going to Hell? Well, I certainly was, and I did! That is, Hell, Norway, of course!
Hell is a small village of approximately 1,500 inhabitants in Stjørdal in the Nord-Trøndelag county of Norway. It is located about 30 minutes away from Trondheim, by train.
I jumped to Hell from Trondheim since I wanted to see the iconic small train station that has become a minor popular attraction in recent years.
It is very easy to get there since there’s a regional train passing through Hell every hour. While at the train station in Trondheim, it was kind of awkward for me to say such things like: “One ticket to Hell.” and “Is this train going to Hell?”
Wouldn’t you feel the same?!
People, of course, responded in a serious way, but with a hint of a smile since they understood how I was playing with the homonym.
Going To Hell
Once on the train, the train conductor got my Eurail Global Pass (which screamed tourist, instantly!) and without even looking at it he stated (not asking);
You’re going to Hell.
He noticed I’m a foreigner, of course, and most foreigners on that train just go to Hell. And, to make things more interesting, the woman sitting next to me decided to have some fun of her own. She noticed I was looking through the window at each stop, to know if I was there or not. So, at one point she said with an evil look (making fun, of course),
Don’t worry, I’ll tell you when you’re in Hell.
After 25 minutes or so had passed, the train entered through an ominous looking tunnel. Everything turned dark but the cabin lights lit up soon after, and at that point, she turned to me to say,
Beyond this dark tunnel, you’ll find Hell!
The long, dark tunnel passed, and the train stopped at a small station with a small wooden yellow building. I recognized this was my stop, so I grabbed my stuff and hopped off the train, but as I did, the woman bid goodbye to me with a,
Have fun in Hell!
Look at that, I had an entertainer all the way to Hell! Had she been more enthusiastic she could have easily dressed as the devil and thrown me out of the train with a poke of her trident. Oh well, she was fun!
Upon looking at the small wooden station I could see the famous sign:
Hell. Gods – Expedition
It’s curious how the game of words played here.
Hmmm… Gods make expeditions in Hell?!
Well, not exactly.
Let me give you some background on these words. They are all Norwegian words. Hell doesn’t actually mean the “fire burning hell with the devil” we know. The name Hell stems from the Old Norse word hellir, which means, “overhang” or “cliff cave”. The Norwegian word hell in its everyday usage usually means “luck”. Now, Gods – Expedition is the archaic spelling of the word for “cargo handling”.
As any other regular tourist, I took a few pictures in front of the station, walked around a little bit, and then headed back to Trondheim.
While I would like to say that the village is a fun as the train ride and the Norwegian’s humor, I can’t. The station is pretty much the attraction and the rest is a regular village and nature. But, if you’re interested in enjoying Hell in a different way, every September there’s a blues festival that takes place at the train station, and it is called… drumroll… “Blues in Hell”.
So now, would you go to Hell?
PS. Don’t worry, it’s not as hot as people think, in fact, it snows in Hell!