Telemark is a county in southeastern Norway, about two hours by car from Oslo. This county has a lot to offer, and I recently took a friend on a road trip to show her the best of this beautiful part of Norway.
The first stop was Heddal Stavkirke. This is a beautiful old Stave Church from year 1315, and for more information, please read my other blog post, which is about this church only.
Our second stop was a mountain called Gaustadtoppen. It’s possible to hike to the top in about 2,5 hours, and when you get to the top you can see about 1/6 of Norway on a clear day. There’s also a lift which can take you to the top, but be aware of long lines.
The roads are quite good and very scenic, and you get a bit higher than 1 260 meter above sea level without doing any hiking. It’s also worth mentioning that this road trip will take you higher than the trees grow, which makes for an interesting change of scenery. The route is full of photo opportunities and it’s easy to park the car along the road.
Gaustadblikk Høyfjellshotell is a lovely hotel about five minutes off the main road crossing the mountain. They have the nicest staff, always welcoming tourists for lunch even if they’re not spending the night (or in our case – even when they’re extremely busy getting ready for hosting a wedding later that day). I definitely recommend taking a lunch break at this hotel, because who can resist having lunch in such surroundings?
Our third stop was a city called Rjukan on the other side of the mountain. This city is unique because it’s situated between high mountains and has no sun for most of the year. It’s possible to go up the mountains by cable car to get some sun and a lovely view.
Rjukan is where Vemork Power Plant is situated. This was the first plant in the world to produce heavy water, and was a target for a major sabotage during World War 2nd. After the war they made a famous movie about the sabotage, Heroes of Telemark.
We continued to Høydalsmo and from there to our last stop, Seljord. Selma the sea serpent lives in Lake Seljord, and to our great disappointment we didn’t meet her… But even without any sightings of Selma, driving along Lake Seljord is a pretty scenic drive.