“I need to pick up a car in Eastern Norway. Would you like to come with for the weekend?”
This was the text I got from my boyfriend the other day. I don’t even understand why he asked. When have I ever said no to something that could turn into an adventure?! Unlike him I’m always up for a roadtrip and the possibility to do some sightseeing along the way.
We decided on doing a round trip, spend a least one night and take everything else as it happened.
THE HARDANGER FJORD
Road constructions. You meet them everywhere in Norway, and probably in most other countries. Having to wait is usually a hassel when you need to get somewhere in time, but you have no other choice than to wait in line.
It is not that bad when you can take a walk to a fjord beach, spot lines for skiing in the mountains and watch apple farmers trim their trees.
From Odda we continued up on mt. Haukeli. The car was loaded with two sets of skis and boots for the both of us, but as we were already running late for the car dealer in Porsgrunn I had to admire the white landscape and spot for reindeer from the car…
A NIGHT IN SKIEN
Skien has not been on my list of places to see in Norway, but it is definitely worth a night or two if in the area. It is one of the oldest cities in the country, and it used to be a wealthy town due to wood industry. Wood from the whole county of Telemark was transported down the Telemark canal to the port in Skien.
Thon Hotel Høyers offer nice rooms to a reasonable price in the midst of the town centre, with great service and a large breakfast buffet.
After a sunset walk along the canal and through the town centre, we shared a bottle of red in our room. Did you know that new cars come with a bottle of wine? We didn’t, as this was the first brand new car any of us had bought… What if we were sober alcoholics? Luckily we are not, and it was well appreciated.
If you like Indian cuisine, I recommend stopping by New Agra. Probably the best Indian I’ve had in Norway.
THE MEDIEVAL VALLEY
Numedalen valley, between Kongsberg and Geilo, is also known as the medieval valley due to all its stave churches. Btw, after a few hours on the road the brand new car did not look as new anymore. And for the record, the pick up is the new one. The one behind is mine and not at all new…
One cannot drive through the entire medieval valley without actually seeing a stave church, right?
Reaching Uvdal, the last village in the valley, I called him in the car behind; We were having lunch by Uvdal stave church. He didn’t have any other choice than to follow me…
A few kilometers from the main road the beautiful church loomed on hillside above us. A church very different from any other I have seen. It is a centre-column church, meaning it streches out from a column in the middle. Built in the last half of the 12th century and the main church of the area until a new was opened in 1893.
Being a Saturday in mid-winter we were the only ones there, and could walk around as we pleased. Our brought lunch was enjoyed on a bench in front of a medieval store house, and oh, how much I love blue sky and a sun that actually warms you up! The church, store house and multiple of other buildings are now a museum and I believe it is a popular sight in summer.
COFFEE AT UVDAL SUPERMARKET
Uvdal centre is a few kilometres from the stave church, it’s only a few small shops and a small supermarket that got “everything”. In need of coffee we asked the cashier if there was a coffee machine somewhere. It was not, but if we could wait five minutes she could put the cettle on. Five minutes later she filled up our large reusable mugs and denied any charge for it. That is when you know you are in a nice, small village!
The coffee may not have been the best we have tasted, but we still enjoyed it walking around the “new” church that opened in 1893. This one was a copy of the stave churches that we are used to.
SUNSET SKI TOUR
The road from Uvdal took us up on Mt. Dagalifjell. This time it was him who called, now in front of me asking; “fancy a ski tour?”
It was a landscape I cannot remember to have seen on a mountain plateau before, and the thought had already crossed my mind. My car was loaded with two sets of skis for the both of us, wouldn’t it be stupid to drive all the way back home without using at least one of them?
We stopped, put our boots skis on and walked. Probably the best idea on the entire trip. We were still at least four hours away from home, and sitting in a car hour after hour is not the best thing one can do for our bodies.
The landscape was facinatingly flat and beautiful. The feeling of stretching out after a day of sitting was almost heavinly. So great that both of us smiled at the same time on a rare selfie!
The trip continued past Geilo, where we waited an hour for a pizza take-away that was supposed to take ten minutes. And yes, pizza. One of my big loves in life. The first and probably last time my celiac, nutrition therapist suggests pizza. It was gluten free off course, but still… Anyhow, Peppes’ Pizza has a gluten free pizza that is almost as good as a Italian stone oven baked pizza.
Just make sure they cut it in slices if you are planning to eat it in the car…