Drammen Spiral tunnel (Spiralen Drammen)

Drammen Spiral tunnel (Spiralen Drammen)

The spiral tunnel in the city of Drammen is a unique experience and in fact has been ranged by CNN Travel as one of the world’s most special tunnels.  You enter from the town and drive up 1650 meters in six and a half spirals , to emerge at Skansen. Here, apart from the magnificent view over the city, the river, and far away across the valley to the snow topped mountains of Blefjell, you will find a restaurant, outdoor folk museum and lovely paths for walking or skiing.  A dense network of these paths is lit in the winter for evening skiing.

The tunnel was excavated in 1953 when stone was needed for road and harbour building in the city.  It starts 50 meters above sea level and comes out at the top at 213 meters over sea level. The tunnel is in the shape of a helix and the car driver will soon find that he can set the driving wheel in one position to take the vehicle all the way up to the top.  Pedestrians may not use the tunnel and instead there is a zigzag track up the hillside.

In the photos above you see the Spiral Troll who stands guard half way up the tunnel.  If you decide to take the 2 km walk (please see the map below, from the car park, through the folk park where there are houses, a shop, a cabin and several Norwegian style farm store-houses (stabbur) then you’ll pass these and more.  The old style shop is open all the Sundays in May, June, August and September from noon to 3 p.m.  They sell pancakes, coffee, icecream, lemonade and candies.   Along the last 500 meters of the walk, there are magnificent views over the Drammen river and to the mountains beyond.  And pleasant benches to rest while enjoying it.  I especially recommend Hans Hansen’s viewpoint!  You end back at the restaurant, where there is a canon, pointing over the city below, to fascinate children.

Children’s playgrounds and training apparatus for all ages

Children’s playgrounds and training apparatus for all ages

Every school and kindergarten in Norway has an outdoor playground.  During school hours these are for the use of the children attending that place.  However after 17:00 on weekdays, at weekends and during national or school holidays, most of these may be used by all children.  There are several in and around Vollen.  By walking down to the village and across towards Arnestad school, you will find five fun outdoor playgrounds and also outdoor training apparatus for older children and adults.
New in 2019, is a kilometer long track around the school grounds for roller skiing. Children can also practise cycling skills there. The track is, of course, also used for cross country ski practice in the snowy months of the year. 

The pictures below are from May 2018 and as well as showing some of the playgrounds at Arnestad school, they also show one of the tee-offs  and a hole at the new Frisbeegolf.  The whole course is found throughout the forest and down to the seaside at Vollen.  This frisbeegolf course attracts keen adult experts who are amazing to watch in action, and also complete beginners and all those whose skill lies in-between!  I have some frisbees for SheepsInn guests who would like to try so just ask me if you’d like to borrow them.

Below are a couple of photos from April, as the snow was finally melting in Vollen.  Maybe not as pretty as in spring and summer, but still a great place for children to enjoy.

SPA at Holmen Fjordhotell

SPA at Holmen Fjordhotell

A few minutes bus-ride from Vollen is Holmen Fjordhotell which has a lovely swimming pool and training centre, with sauna, steam-bath, cold pool, pool and big whirlpool.  There are lockers available.  In the Fitness centre there is a large variety of training apparatus and a solarium. You can buy a day ticket to the SPA for NOK 385,- which includes loan of bathrobe, towel and slippers. You can enjoy the salad buffet as well as help yourself to juice and coffee.

From Monday to Friday it is also possible to buy the day ticket which, as well as the above, includes a 50 minute massage treatment.

You can drive to Holmen Fjordhotell where there is plenty of parking, or take the local bus which takes about 15 minutes.  As you can see from the map, the hotel is right by the sea and has its own little harbour.

Other attractions at this hotel are the owner’s collection of vintage cars and also the various ship’s bow figureheads and model ships found around the hotel.

Opening hours:
Monday 07 – 20.30
Tuesday – Friday 6:30 – 20:30
Weekends 9 – 19:00

Age limit is 20 years

Korketrekkeren – Oslo Corkscrew sleigh track

Korketrekkeren – Oslo Corkscrew sleigh track

A run down the Corkscrew track takes about 8 – 10 minutes – it’s 2700 meters long with a fall of 255 meters.  You get to the start by taking the 13 minute long Metro (T-banen) from Midstuen to Frognerseteren.  Alternatively you can drive up to Frognerseteren or take the 35 minute Metro from Nationaltheatret in Oslo centre to Frognerseteren.
You can either use your own sleigh or rent one at Akeforeningen or Skiservice. Rent of a wooden sleigh costs about NOK 100,- with half price for children under 18.   Remember to wear a helmet – if you don’t have one, you can rent that too.
In season the track is open: Monday – Friday 10:00 – 20:30, Saturday 10:00 – 20:00, Sunday 10:00 – 18:00.

When you are up at Frognersæteren to enjoy sleighing, you should take the opportunity to visit the famous Frognersæteren Restaurant just 50 meters down the road from the sleigh rental house.  This restaurant is in the best Norwegian tradition for excellent food and a wonderful atmosphere – and view!

Oslo Winter Park – Alpine sports

Oslo Winter Park – Alpine sports

The best place to enjoy good alpine skiing in the Oslo district is at Oslo Winter Park which is just 20 minutes up from the centre of the city.  The season usually begins in December and continues to early April, depending on weather conditions.