Well, time didn’t actually forget Røros, but, amazingly, most of the wooden houses and businesses which were built here from the mid-1600s onward due to the success of Røros Copper Works, had never burnt down. This, to me, is especially surprising since there was a fire going constantly at the smelting house. The older part of town is centered around two main, parallel streets with alleyways/tiny streets connecting the two and many additional roads winding outwards. The site of the old smelting house and factory along the river is now a top notch museum, which, fortunately for us, was open for three hours on our first of two full days of touring this charming town.
But first we had breakfast. I really enjoy breakfasts. I especially enjoy them when I do not have to prepare them. This is the typical Norwegian spread that the Solheim Pensjonat set out for their guests on the mornings that we were there:
And this is what Paul and I chose for our breakfast: (coffee and tea choices were in the buffet outside the picture)
The Rørosmuseet Smelthytta (Røros Museum Smelting House) was awarded the Best New Museum in Europe in 1990. It consists of several levels, going down, with two special collection exhibit halls and one large permanent exhibit detailing the extensive process of copper mining and production. What makes it understandable is that they had painstakingly created a 1:10 model of every point of the process; from digging out the copper ore by fire, hammer, and chisel, to the finished product of copper plates or bars. It took us about two hours to tour the entire museum along with an English language audiotape.
Well, the remainder of our two days of touring Røros were spent slowly walking the streets, with a coffee break each day, and a lovely meal in the evenings. We planned to attend the Good Friday service at the 235 year old church in town, so that was something to look forward to for Friday evening before dinner. I thought that it may be full for the service, but we were surprised to see only 22 other attenders there. The large pipe organ was played several times throughout the service, and we tried to follow along by glancing at the older lady who sat in our pew and using the songbooks that she was using. The service lasted for one hour.
For our second evening’s meal, we chose a small place that advertised an Easter lamb dinner plus coffee and lemon cheese cake and Live Music, which always piques my interest. I thought that since it only had two seatings, one at 5 pm and one at 7 pm, the place would be packed. Nope. We arrived at 6:45, the first ones, and, as it turned out, the only ones for the meal. The owner was the hostess, and the cook brought out our meals immediately. We had a delightful evening chatting with the owner well after our meal and the musicians were finished.
The last day was relaxing as well as we visited the owner of the restaurant, Ann Elise, at her art gallery and slowly meandered through the town once again. We were really getting to know this town! We bought an original watercolor painted by Ann Elise to remind us of our time in Røros and of the beautiful people we met there. The oldest restaurant in town, Kaffestuggu, served us a very generous cheese fondue for dinner, and we finished off the evening with a long visit with Johanna, one of the owners of the Solheim Pensjonat. It was from Johanna that we learned that, in Norway, a verbal agreement is a deal, not to be broken by any whim that comes along. She and the other three co-owners of this inn, had made a verbal commitment with the seller to buy the inn, and they took one year to earn the money to buy it. No signatures. No lawyers. And everyone kept their word. Such is Norway.