Last night, it was so peaceful. We parked on the ‘main’ road that runs alongside the Telemark canal but no one hardly uses it. We counted all of 1 car!
The low cloud drifted over the hill and skimmed the water as if to take a sniff. Slowly the cloud thickened and then without warning it turned and headed downstream leaving a trail of thin, wispy cloud behind. It was fascinating to watch and I could have watched it all day. It was almost like it was in search of a morning munch, my pancakes! Craig made me some pancakes drizzled in lemon and sugar, yummy. Good enough to temp any cloud!
We left our spot and headed down the single track road to a small bridge. We crossed to the other side of the canal and rewarded with a glorious view of criss crossing valleys. The muted colours and the clouds created a very moody atmosphere and a beautiful fading range of grey tones. Unfortunately, the photos don’t really capture the view. We continued and pulled up alongside a small open air museum at the village of Kviteseid. The cafe at the entrance was closed but access to the small field wasnt restricted, so we tootled over. It was like a model village with a mixture of original and restored homes, cattle sheds, farm stores etc from 1300 – 1600. It really was quite nice and the detail on the wood was really something special.
We tootled on a bit further before another bridge took us back of the canal. This back and forth over the canal continued with the landscape constantly catching your attention. Multitude of tiny lakes ideal for fishing and a golf course for folk who like squidgy greens. When the canal disappeared tiny rivers and streams took over, plunging from great heights and saturating the rock. The beautiful and varied scenery was breath taking even in the battering rains.
Back in 1861 the canal was named the “eighth wonder of the world” and you can see why. This little jewel is often over shadowed by the fjords but it is really something special. In 1994, the canal received the Europa Nostra Gold Medal for restoration and conservation, well deserved.
We passed village upon village with pretty painted homes and marching log sheds. Picket fences are this seasons fashion and gnomes are clearly so last year. Heather and wild flowers provide a splash of colour to the rock gardens and moose provide an OMG, did you see that moose? Stop, stop, stop. Vin’s breaks locked up but it was too late the moose had gone but have no fear, just around the corner its mate waited to give us one heck of a goofy grin. Our first moose viewing, yeah. At least we think it is a moose or is it a reindeer? Now we are not sure? Either way we haven’t seen one like this before.
We disappeared in to the forest and started to climb high above the trees and then the fun began. We wound down what looked like a 400m cliff face. With hairpin bends and plenty trees to stop you going over the edge. An occasional gap in the trees gave you a quick glance at the Dalen, our final place for today. In comparison to the rest of the villages, Dalen is a mega city with a petrol station, shop, hotel and at least a dozen houses. We tootled on down and made our way to the camper stop. The signs pointed you down a road and then left you to decide where next. No matter which road we took we could not find the camper stop. With the rain now lashing down and everywhere covered in thick cloud we headed over to the ferry terminal. I say ferry terminal but it is extremely pretty with stretching views down the canal, little wooden piers, a bandstand and wooden area to the right.
We waited for the rain to back down but not today. We managed a lift in the clouds and that was it. So we pulled on the wellies, wrapped up and took Mac n Tosh for walkies in the woods. We had great fun chasing the ball and rolling in the leaves just a shame we got wet through. We followed the canal around as far as possible before walking through the gardens of Dalen Hotel. A grand and elaborate hotel given its age with dragon heads and Viking inspired gingerbread dripping from its eaves. To the rear of the hotel several people dressed in traditional dress and a couple of bedouin tents offering thai massage service. Not many takers on this cold, damp day…I wonder why. Craig was getting a wee bit cold and the dogs were completely saturated by now, so we mulched our way back to Vin.
We tucked in to a heart warming homemade Lancashire hotpot for our evening meal. However, it wasn’t quite the same without beetroot and some crusty bread. Needless to say, Mac n Tosh quite enjoyed a wee spoonful of their dad’s dinner. Licking their lips in pure delight.
Well thats it for the Telemark Canal, sigh and for today’s tales as tomorrow we are off to the mountain pass that has just opened. Gonna see some snow folks! Giddy,giddy,giddy.
Our sleep spot tonight, at the end of the Telemark canal and right by the ferry terminal. The ground is saturated no matter where you walk, so we did a little cheeky parking man over and parked Vin on a concrete slab right by the band stand.
GPS position N059.445420, E008.021881
Route: Fjagasund to Dalen
Weather, low 11 high 21. Not cold but a tad wet