HELL ON EARTH IS ACTUALLY A CUTE LITTLE TOURIST DESTINATION TOWN IN CENTRAL NORWAY
Hell on Earth is one of those expressions we take for granted and tend to use as a vast understatement. Remember high school? That is hell on earth for everyone, depending on the day. But all dated kidding aside, there is actually a hell on earth. It’s actually a cute little town in Norway. Hell, Norway, is a place where about 1,500 people live. It gets rather cold in winter, because it’s Norway. But Norwegians likely don’t think that -13 °F is too bad. New York residents had that recently. To be fair, they thought it was hell on earth at the time!
HELL MEANS SOMETHING ELSE IN NORWAY, BUT THE WINTER COLD IS NORMAL THERE
So of course, the cute little town of Hell has made it’s moniker a draw for tourists. Locals often smile when they see tourists posing for pictures under the rail station sign which says, “Hell- God’s Expedition.” The town’s name comes from the Old Norse word Hellir, which actually means overhang, or cliff cave. Oddly, the modern Norwegian version of the word means luck. Of course, the actual Norwegian word for hell is actually helvete. But if you’re curious for a different Nordic travel experience, you can find Hell in the Nord-Trøndelag county in Central Norway.
THERE’S AN ANNUAL BLUES IN HELL FESTIVAL AND HIKES TO STONE AGE ANIMAL CARVINGS
Hell the cute little town is a classic Norwegian community, with classic Scandinavian houses, picturesque domestic gardens, and children playing in the streets. If you visit, you’ll see that “God’s Expedition” sign when you get off the train. But the sign isn’t a play on words for tourists. It’s an old way to spell the Norwegian word godsekspedisjon, which simply means “freight forwarding.” So aside from the classic Nordic tableau, what is there to do in hell? In September, there’s an annual festival, “Blues in Hell.” You can also take a short hike from town to Helleristninger, a site of animal carvings dating all the way back to the Stone Age.
So think twice before you tell anyone to go to hell. They might just have a great time!