Some animals hunt prey and others graze. Mountains, fjords, rivers and unobstructed views. Some seek great photos and others a tasty meal. Both will be rewarded with a successful chase.
A bird with a huge wingspan flies down towards the surface at a tremendous speed and grabs its meal with razor-sharp claws. Four excited faces confirm the moment was captured on camera and in their memories.
An hour before the fish become eagle food, an alarm clock rings 10 minutes before the rooster crows. That’s a necessity for Ole Martin. He wants his guests to experience an unrivalled closeness to wild animals and experience the way of nature up close and personal. To achieve this, you must obey nature. If you are up early enough, the eagles offer a virtual guarantee: Ole Martin always find eagles.
Eagle man from Flatanger
Ole Martin Dahle, or the “Eagle man from Flatanger”, is one Trønder who is just as famous abroad as at home in Trøndelag – at least among nature photographers. Visits from Tokyo and Milan are treated in the same manner as visits from Trondheim and are almost as common.
Most people’s goal is to take great photos of the majestic white-tailed sea eagles that nest in the area.But the Eagle man will gladly guide you to a host of other birds and animals, such as the black grouse, moose and squirrel.
If you are in Flatanger and spot a man in a boat with goatee beard and a seagull on his head, it’s almost certainly the Eagle man. After all, eagles are not the only ones he has a close relationship with. “Charlie is my companion on virtually every tour,” says Ole Martin, showing us a photo of the herring gull Charlie, whose specialty is to sample food from Ole Martin’s cup. As soon as he enters the water, Charlie hovers in and settles on his hat – to the great amusement of avid photographers.
Entering the cave
Eagles are not the only ones hanging high in Flatanger. The Hanshelleren cave’s giant overhang protects the wall from the weather and allows rock climbing virtually year-round.
“The climbing route in the Hanshelleren cave is regarded as one of the toughest in the world,” says Magnus Midtbø, one of the world’s best climbers. Hanshelleren was relatively unknown until recently and many were surprised to learn that this spectacular cave was in Trøndelag. Many are now adding this natural gem to their travel routes.
You will find another spectacular cave formation at Halvikhula in Osen (pictured). Although this cave is the largest in Northern Europe, it remains largely unknown to all but the locals.
Trøndelag is home to nine protected areas; seven national parks and two nature reserves. From Børgefjell National Park in the north to Femundsmarka in the south, you will discover large natural areas filled with silence, great fishing, wildlife and rich flora. While encounters with reindeer and moose are relatively common, these areas are also home to animals few people get to experience, such as Arctic foxes and brown bears.
If you want a close-up experience with Norwegian animals, the Namsskogan Family Park is a destination worth noting. Experience Norway’s big four predators: brown bear, wolf, lynx and wolverine, as well as a wealth of other species large and small. You can join the daily guided tour at feeding time. The goats at the Children’s Farm always prove popular with the youngest visitors.
“Falling asleep to the sound of wolves snoring and waking up to wolves howling is an exotic experience”, says the park’s manager, Joe Halvard Braseth. He is referring to the “Predator Camp”, where you can stay in a wooden hut just outside the wolf enclosure.
In recent years, more hiking trails throughout Trøndelag have been marked so visitors can also find their way. The most popular routes include the Trollheimen Triangle and Storsylen in Tydal, which both offer hikers and nature enthusiasts landscapes alternating between the steep and dramatic and the flat and calm.
However, the most accessible walking route is the Gudbrandsdalen Path, a pilgrim route from Oslo to the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim. Thousands of pilgrims walk this route every year; some motivated by spiritual reasons and others by the chance to experience nature and sensory impressions along the way. Some people even walk all the way from the Christian pilgrimage site of Santiago de Compostela in Spain to
Wild and tame
Big fish and eagle robbery
Leka was voted as Norway’s geological national monument. The island consists of distinctive yellow and red coloured serpentine rock that is otherwise only found on the American north coast. The theory is that the two areas were connected before the tectonic plates cracked and drifted apart.
Leka attracts deep-sea fishermen from near and far, like the islands of Hitra and Frøya further south on the coast of Trøndelag. Many come to Leka to fish for halibut, where the record catch was 1.9 m long and weighed 230 kg. Several halibut caught here were so big that tractors were needed to get them ashore.
Cycling, hiking, Solsemhula (a 40m-deep cave with Stone Age paintings) and the legends of Lekamøya and the “eagle robbery” also attract people to Leka.
The latter relates to a two-and-a-half-yearold girl who was taken by an eagle and left in an eagle’s nest in the mountains. The incident took place nearly 80 years ago, and its authenticity is still the subject of debate among ornithologists and islanders.
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Word of the wonderful rivers of Trøndelag first reached England about 150 years ago. English lords with lots of money and few geographic restrictions travelled to Trøndelag to fish in rivers such as the Namsen, Gaula and Orkla. Some returned several times, paying good money to hire the best rowers. The number of lords who came to participate in this salmon fishing adventure grew in line with the favourable stories.
To this day salmon fishing remains an extremely popular activity, and several rivers in Trøndelag are still considered among the best in Norway. Increasingly more tourists are visiting Trøndelag to paddle canoes and kayaks, particularly in Femundsmarka south of Røros, which has many continuous rivers and lakes.
The river Nea, which flows into the Selbusjøen lake, is particularly popular among trout fishermen. You can combine a trip to the Nea with fishing in one or more of the 300 lakes in the Selbu area. This is a land of pure happiness for fishermen, but wilder rivers, including the Driva near Oppdal, have a reputation for extreme sports like rafting and canyoning.
Freedom on two wheels
The temperature, wind and the smells will gain your attention as you glide through the countryside on two wheels. Exploring by bike gives you a completely different sensory impression than travelling by car, bus or train. With pedal power, you can stop whenever you wish to take in the beautiful view, a meadow full of spring flowers or wild berries. You will find plenty of marked cycling paths in the region, everything from city routes in Trondheim to paths through beautiful cultural landscapes in Inderøy or Fosen.