Rail route of the month: tracking St Olav from Sweden to Norway

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Our slow travel expert train-hops coast to coast from Sundsvall to Trondheim, following a pilgrim trail based on the life of the 11th-century king

Religious purists probably assert that a pilgrimage requires walking rather than taking a train. I wasn’t inclined to spend three weeks walking to Trondheim. So I decided to give the train a shot, showing up one morning at Sundsvall railway station in Sweden for a solo three-day pilgrimage by rail.

The railway from Sundsvall to Trondheim casts a 287 miles (463km) thread across central Scandinavia, for long stretches paralleling the pilgrim trail known as St Olavsleden (St Olav’s Way). Whether by train or on foot, this is a gorgeous transect through a deeply rural region. The route extends from the Swedish shore of the Gulf of Bothnia to Norway’s Trondheim Fjord, where St Olav’s Way ends at Trondheim’s Nidaros Cathedral.

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