Kragerø – Rjukan
Date: 19 May 2016
Distance: 211 km
Welcome to Kragerø and Tour of Norway!
It is a great pleasure for me to wish you welcome to the art- and culture town Kragerø, and to an exciting start of the second lap of this year’s Tour of Norway. We are very proud that our charming small town has put such an effort in this happening, and made it a part of Kragerø’s 350 years anniversary.
Everybody knows Kragerø. Everybody has a relationship to Kragerø, and everybody has been in Kragerø. It is something us Kragerø-dwellers hear every time we travel outside the municipal borders. We have everything in Kragerø, according to ourselves. And we, that love our town, don’t really lack anything. The town has a vibrant cultural life, with missionary societies, choirs, corps and sports – including handball, to mention one of our cultural beacons. We have nice places to mingle at cafes and restaurants. Places that on its own are small cultural centers that gets filled with music and other cultural activities all the year around. In the summer, festival season is here; with music of all genres that attracts tens of thousands of people.
Kragerø has a building environment with narrow streets and a broad specter of buildings. In opposition to the white towns of southern Norway we have varied buildings that we are proud of, and that in different ways tell of their eras and designs. And our archipelago, the world’s greatest archipelago, according to ourselves. A variety of islands, islets and recreational areas where you can always find a sheltered cove for yourself, if that is what you want.
Kragerø’s traditions as an art town are known. Here Theodor Kittelsen is born. Edvard Munch lived here for a long time, and made well known works including the aula decorations for the University of Oslo. A lot of other artists has also lived and worked here: Fritz Thaulov, Christian Krogh, Erik Werenskiold, to mention a few. Today, the art scene is active with both young and old well established artists of many genres. Not to mention the many galleries we find in our streets and alleyways.
And midst of this, Tour of Norway will put color and action on our small town. For us, this is great, and for the participants it will be something extraordinary.
As a part of the town’s anniversary, three new books presenting Kragerø’s history will be released. A series of exiting events will happen in the near future. Kragerø festival for corps, Nordisk Seilas regatta, Harbor festival, concerts with Vamp and CC Cowboys, historic lectures, several photo and arts exhibitions, et cetera. And the very birthday will be celebrated 12th of July, with amongst other presentation of the municipality’s diverse music scene and good old fashioned dancing on the pier.
We are very satisfied with the cooperation Kragerø municipality different authorities have had with the leadership in Tour of Norway, Visit Telemark and Telemark Fylkeskommune, as well as the many local co-organizers. The whole town shall participate when you come here.
A warm welcome to an exciting and eventful day in Kragerø!
Director of Culture, Kragerø
Welcome to Drangedal!
Drangedal extends over an area of 1062 km2 and has a population of approximately 4150. In the center of the county lies lake Toke, in addition we have large forest and hill areas which encourages outdoor activity.
Prestestranda is the area’s natural focalpoint. Here you will find a shopping center, central administration, health services and the train station. Down by the lake you will find Toke Pier as the new entertainmentarena in Drangedal centrum. Toke Pier was built around the old settlement from back when water was still used as the main transportation lane into the town. By the pier, there is also a beach, and a hikingtrail and recreationarea.
Toke culturehouse and cinema opened in the autumn of 2013. Tokestua now offers a variety of cultural experiences including of cinema, theatre and standup.
Drangedal bygdetun is located in idyllic surroundings by Mottjern. This outdoor museum is made up of old buildings from Drangedal. The museum is easy to get to with a universally accessible hiking trail. Close by you will find Sparebanken arena with an artificial turf footballfield.
In our beautiful hills and alongside Toke there has been large increase of the number of cottages built. Still a significant portion of the working population in Drangedal choose to remain in their hometown and commute across the border in order to work. Beautiful recreation areas with stunning nature and a good local community are all things that make people want to live in Drangedal.
Gautefallheia is an area of development which has been greatly influenced by the touristindustry in the last couple of years. Here you will find, amongst other things: a year-round biathloncourse, Gautefall Ski Lodge with opportunities for overnight stays, rental apartments, restaurants, several neighborhoods with cabins and Gautefall alpine ski center
In December of 2014 a new, faster ski lift opened by the alpine center. There are also several marked hiking trails in the area.
We wish you a pleasant stay in Drangedal!
Riding your bicycle along lake Seljordsvatnet you enter the realm of the Seaserpent.
At the time when the French Revolution made upheavals in Europe, and Norway still was under Danish rule, people in Seljord in Telemark started making observations of a mysterious creature in the lake Seljordsvatnet. During the 18th century many sightings occur. Centuries pass and the monster is still down there in the dark, but breaks the surface when you least expect it, even in recent times. Rumours have it that she hibernates in the moors around lake Seljordsvatnet, and that the locals there guard her and the egg which causes her to have “life eternal”.
In the year 2011 the Seaserpent tower was erected close to lake Seljordsvatnet. It rises 17 meter above the ground, and an architectural gem it has won several prizes, international and national.
If you visit us in September, you can experience “Dyrsku’n”,the greatest agricultural fair in Scandinavia. The first “Dyrsku” happened in the year 1866. Over the years it became a meeting place for farmers and country dwellers. This year Dyrsku’n celebrates its 150-year anniversary and people from all over the country are expected to attend. Last year 90.000 visitors came, and this year the small community of Seljord is again prepared to welcome such a crowd.
At Dyrsku’n you can taste bearburger (!), local cheeses for international taste buds, and surprising local produce. You can scream your head off in the carousels in the fairground, you can haggle and make a good bargain. You will find traditional and contemporary arts and crafts, a large agricultural fair, show of farm animals, elderly men practicing the old art of watch-trading, in short- there is no end to exciting experiences.
During the summer the Dyrsku-area hosts several festivals and arrangements, and the locals bend over backwards to welcome all their visitors; cowboys or dance-enthusiasts.
Challenging paths on steep mountain sides lie there waiting for you. When you reach the peak, you are rewarded with a view reaching as far as mount Gaustatoppen and lake Nisser.
Skorve, the massive mountain towering over Seljord saw two planes crashing during WW II. To this day remnants of the crashes can be seen on the mountain.
In the year 1881 a young man named Olav Dale was leafing through an English magazine, and for the first time in his life he saw a picture of a bicycle. Quite a handyman, Olav went straight home and constructed his own bike just based on the picture he had seen. This may very well be the first bicycle ever seen in Telemark. Some of its parts are still hanging on the wall in the home of Olav’s descendants at the Dale farm.
Rjukan is situated in Tinn municipality, about 2.5 hours from Oslo. Sam Eyde is the founder of Rjukan. He bought the Rjukan waterfall in 1903 and built the Norwegian Hydro. Artificial fertilizer were produced and saved the world from famine. Rjukan grew from being a small farming community to a vibrant industrial community with more than 10,000 inhabitants. Last year this unique industrial history led to the UNESCO inscribtion for Rjukan-Notodden Industrial Heritage. Today Rjukan has about 3,000 inhabitants and most of the industry is shut down. However, tourism is a blooming industry.
Gaustatoppen towers majestically over the town. Inside the 1883 meter high mountain there is a lift called Gaustabanen which enables you to reach Gaustatoppen within 15 minutes. At the
Norwegian Industrial Workers Museum you get a close encounter with the industrial history, as well as the world famous war history ”the drama of the heavy water”. Krossobanen is a cable car that within 5 minutes whisks you up to the foot of Hardangervidda – Norway’s largest National Park. The sun is behind the high mountains all winter, thus a large mirror ensures that sunlight is reflected and sent down to the Rjukan square.
Few other places have so much to offer within so few square meters.
Gaustatoppen and the Krossobanen Foto: Willy Kittelsen
The Saboteurs Trail and Vemork Foto: Fotograf Jacobsen
Gaustabanen inside Gaustatoppen. Foto: visitRjukan/Ian Brodie
Information about Telemark: www.visittelemark.com
Information about Rjukan: www.visitrjukan.no