Trondheim, Norway, 335 mi/540 km north of Oslo, was Norway's first capital and is a must-see city that dates back to AD 996 (it was the Viking capital). At least two nights are needed to really absorb all of it.

Among the sights are the Wharf District and the Market Place, or Torget, where you can see the statue of King Olav Tryggvason, founder of the city. Another interesting sight, the Stiftsgarden, is a baroque wooden manor and the official residence of the Norwegian royal family when they're in town.

Yet another sight is the Ringve Museum of Music History (, which houses one of the most impressive collections of musical instruments—more than 2,000—in the world. Local university students serve as guides and play many of the instruments as part of the tour. The museum also has a children's room with toys and art games.

We really like Nidaros Cathedral (, a popular destination for pilgrims during the Middle Ages and the site of Norwegian coronations. Erected in the 11th century, it's the repository of the Norwegian crown jewels.

For something a little different, drive a few miles east to visit the small town of Hell, after which you can say you've been to Hell and back. Some 75 mi/120 km to the southeast is Roros (, a former copper-mining town with remarkably well-preserved buildings, now a UNESCO World Heritage site.

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