Skien – Rjukan
22nd of May 2016
Total distance stage: 185 km
The Telemark Channel starts here, to be enjoyed as a passenger on one of the channel boats, and you can freely jump on and off along the way, so as to include your own cycling holiday if you so please. Channel Week from May 18 to 25 opens this year’s season, inviting you to a long list of various events on and by the channel. Skien is Henrik Ibsen’s native town and a visit to his childhood home at Venstøp is recommended. In the summer ”Ibsen and Food” offers samples from the playwright’s works along with culinary treats. Riders in the Tour of Norway starting from here get to taste honey cake, Ibsen’s favourite.
Skien has proud cycle traditions and racers Thor Hushovd, Dag Erik Pedersen, and the sisters Monica and Anita Valen all kicked off their careers here. Welcome to Skien!
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
Foto: Karl Martin Jakobsen
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.