I was traveling north, on the Night Train but at Trondheim all the passengers were transferred to coaches and bussed passed a closed stretch of track. It was after midnight and one of those midsummer northern nights when the sunset and sunrise collide above the horizon in a blaze of fiery reds and yellows. The coaches stopped at a tiny railway station and we passengers obediently filed onto the platform. As the sound of the departing buses grew fainter we were left in the silence of the night which was only disturbed by the low murmurings of some of my fellow passengers. There was no train.
That was when I noticed the sign: we were at HELL.
|A favorite postcard image|
Surprisingly, a sign on a smaller building read:
Thankfully, a train did finally appear and it was with some relief, that I was able to continue my journey. However, I will always remember this first encounter with Hell.
|Did you know that Hell has a postal service?|
I have since passed through Hell many times, but not by rail. Instead, the road to Hell is via Hell Tunnel.
It is very long and dark but it finally emerges in this unremarkable place.
Indeed, the most interesting thing about Hell is its name. There is an airport there but, I suppose for obvious reasons, it is called Værnes. After all, who would chance boarding a flight to Hell. On the other hand, you can stay the night at the very modern Hell Hotel where I'm sure the staff are under great pressure to make their guests feel that they are in paradise - the alternative is too hard to contemplate.
As for that sign at the railway station:
It simply means: cargo handling.