Saturday, 8th June – Oslo to Kragerø

We’ve loved every minute of our AirBnb in Oslo. It was so lovely and the incredible views over Oslo Fjord we won’t forget for a long time. We had one last meal under this very fancy light fitting then packed up to make the journey from Oslo to Kragerø via SkienIn.

Keith was doing some research during the stay in Oslo and found an interesting outer suburb of Oslo called Holmenkollen. A lovely 30 minute drive outside of the city and you arrive at Holmenkollbakken – a large constructed ski jumping hill which can hold up to 70,000 spectators. It also boasts various other ski jumping facilities as well as zip lining, the oldest ski museum in the world, many athletic centres, Kollentrollet (a huge troll sculpture) and most interestingly for us, incredible views across Olso.

On top of the hill is the Holmenkollen Chapel which was originally built in 1903, however it was destroyed by arson in 1992 by Black Metal musician Varg Vikernes. Varg was convicted of burning about 6 churches with most of them being eventually rebuilt. He is also notorious for killing his guitarist, Euronymous landing him a 21 year jail sentence.

When the Holmenkollen Chapel was rebuilt, it was fashioned after the original Stave Churches of Norway’s Golden era. The rebuilding project of the chapel was completed in 1992.

We had to remind ourselves that we still had a 4 1/2 hour drive to reach our final destination. Driving through Norway is such an experience because the country is so beautiful. We found ourselves stopping often at areas such as this to stretch our legs and look around.

Our next stop was the Heddal Stave Church and during the 100 minute drive there we experienced weather just like home in Melbourne – sunny, raining, windy and then sunny again! Unfortunately for the couple getting married at the Stave Church as we arrived, it was absolutely pouring! We found a park and were rewarded for waiting as the rain eased up and we could get out and have a look around.

The Heddal Stave Church is the largest stave church in Norway at 25m long and 17m wide. With 3 turrets and standing 29m tall, it has the impressive appearance of a wooden cathedral. The building is constructed of ore-pine timber, some of which dates back to around the year 1000.

A stave church is a medieval wooden Christian church building once common in north-western Europe. The name derives from the building’s structure of post and lintel construction. The majority of the remaining stave churches are located in Norway and we had arranged most of our journey through Norway to intersect with their locations.

As mentioned there was a wedding taking place and so we didn’t get to look inside, however as the rain started to come down again we were happy to continue on our way.

Our next stop was the Telemark Canal in Skien, a gorgeous spot despite the rain. There was a cafe conveniently located right on the canal and so we enjoyed a hot chocolate and some cake before walking around the canal to take some pictures.

 

With only an hour to go to get to our final spot today, Kragerø, we took our time and really enjoyed what was an incredibly beautiful part of the world. Though there were some ‘interesting’ sections of road, there was little traffic and with some sunny periods on the way it was a really enjoyable drive.

 

Our hotel in Kragerø was an actual resort, complete with day spa and swimming pools. In fact, the indoor swimming pool had special doors to allow you to swim to the outdoor swimming pool, spa and sauna. We shared the resort with lots of couples, wedding parties and group bookings. It was a relaxing stay with a very fancy dinner and spectacular views.

But, still no Moose!

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