Wednesday 2 August 2023

Norway Day 12 - Wednesday 2nd August - Bike ride along the Telemark Canal cycle route

We awoke to a bright sunny day but the forecast was for thundery showers from 1:00pm. Our accommodation in Dalen is near one end of the Telemark Canal cycle route. Unfortunately, whilst boats can cross the lake the cycle path does not follow the shoreline and the route would have involved a along climb at 12.5 percent gradient. That idea was vetoed and a more sensible plan was to drive to Kviteseid and cycle a section where the route follows the shoreline.  The journey would normally have taken 50 minutes but a road closure mean we had to take an alternative longer route.

A  stop at a Joker supermarket sorted lunch. Dough balls filled with a Bolognese sauce and cinnamon buns. The latter turned out to be on special offer and the person on the till pointed out to us it was cheaper to buy 3 rather than the two we had selected. We parked near the Kviteseid bygdetun history museum. Our ride along the shoreline was surprisingly hilly with around 1800 feet of ascent in 22 miles. When we reached the first tunnel we realised we should have brought lights. However, the road was not busy and the tunnel short enough to be able to safely cycle though.


We stopped just after 10 miles for lunch. An old diving platform forming a handy seat and offering good views of the lake. The dough balls and cinnamon buns were really tasty and we will buy then again. The sky had started to darken so we retraced our steps back to the car. The road was wet in places but we had missed all the showers.

 We then drove to VrÃ¥dal. We had spotted in the morning that that the ride route was sign posted on the opposite bank of the lake to the main road. We followed the route of the cycle route looking for somewhere to park. The tarmac surface changed to gravel but was being used as a road. We eventually found a quiet parking spot off the road. The clouds looked very dark and whilst we waiting for them clear we were joined by 3 vans and 2 large trackers that were cutting back the verges. Chairs came out and the workers all sat round for a break. The spots of rain stopped and we set of riding towards the end of the lake where the track rejoined the main road. Rain started on our way back. It was initially light spots but with 3 miles left to cycle we stopped to put on our waterproof jackets. We got back to the car and just ahead of a really heavy downpour.

We returned to Dalen, stopping at the supermarket on route. The trip boat that  runs from Dalen to Skien docked at 18:30 so we returned to the port to get a some photos. The cruise takes all day one way and costs just under £100 per person.

View looking down to Dalen


A vegetable curry was prepared for tea. Diaries and blogs updated and before watching a couple of vlogs on YouTube

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