Norway - trolls, pine trees and beautiful lakes
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Arriving in Norway at 2am, we made use of the liberal camping laws to find a quiet carpark behind a Plantasjen (a type of IKEA garden centre)
Driving into Porsgunn and Skien that Sunday morning, gave us the feeling that we were driving into two ghost towns. The small sleepy towns didn't seem to rise that morning. Having the streets to ourselves we casually drove through on our way up to Vrangfoss to see the Telmark Canal Locks in action. Vrangfoss has 5 gates in succession up a steep hill which are operated manually. It is quite special to see the force of the water and the historical poetic method to open and close the locks. After 90 minutes running up and down the locks, capturing multiple photo’s, our stomachs beckoned some food and we left for the town of Lunde to make lunch and Canoe the river.
In Lunde, we started the 'Oslo club’ (a tradition of jumping into a freezing river to invigorate the soul) and canoed along the river looking for beavers (sadly none found). Free camping that night next to the lock was great, with a fire built and guitar out... we relaxed to the sound of rushing water.
Next morning we packed up and headed to Gaustabbanen, one of Norway’s mountains at 1883 mtrs tall
On route to Oslo, we stopped in a campsite for a cheeky shower only to be caught by the owner. Opps.
Oslo we saw some sites (Vigeland Park, National Museum) before catching up for dinner and a few drinks with, Ida and Ann (a few friends Soren meet in Asia – hopefully we can twist their arm to visit us in Australia sometime soon). Dinner near the new Opera house (designed around the shapes and angle of ice bergs) we then wondered the town for a coffee. Great company.
The next day, we visited the Viking Museum and were amazed to see the size of these ships - even more amazed to discovered that they were all made and measured by the naked eye no plans or drafts.
Heading over the border to Sweden we couldn’t help but think how much we will miss Norway and will be back to explore the northern part of this breath-taking country.