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

Children’s playgrounds

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 of course several in and around Vollen.  By walking down to the village and across towards Arnestad school, you will find several fun outdoor playgrounds and also outdoor training apparatus for older children and adults.

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.

Munchmuseet – The Munch Museum

Munchmuseet – The Munch Museum

Edvard Munch was one of Modernism’s most significant artists. He was active throughout more than sixty years; from the time he made his debut in the 1880s, right up to his death in 1944. Munch was part of the Symbolist movement in the 1890s, and a pioneer of expressionist art from the beginning of the 1900s onward. His experimentation within painting, graphic art, drawing, sculpture, photo and film has given him a unique position in Norwegian as well as international art history.

The Munch Museum is located at Tøyengata 53, Oslo and is open every day from 10:00 to 16:00.  In the summer season from 11th May to 8th September the Museum is open from 10:00 to 17:00.  Please be aware that the museum is closed on the following dates in 2019: 1. January; 20. – 21. February; 1. May; 8. – 10. May; 17. May; 25.-27. September; 23. – 26. December and 31. December.
Tickets cost kr 120,- for adults; kr 60,- for students.  Oslo Pass and children under 18 years old are free.

At the museum there is a good selection of lunch dishes, sandwiches and cakes in Stockfleths kaffebar (the coffee shop).
The Museum shop has an excellent selection of Munch inspired products, posters and books.

The bus number 20 takes you to Munchmuseet.  There is paid parking outside the museum.
For more information about exhibitions please visit the Munch museet website  You can find the calendar in English by clicking to EN at the top right of the web page. 

Special exhibitions at the Munch Museum, please consult the web-site.

 

The new Munch Museum opens in 2020 in Bjørvika, Oslo.  Across 13 floors, visitors will be able to see more of Munch than ever before.  In fact this will be one of the world’s largest museums dedicated to a single artist.  The building is designed by the Spanish architecture firm Estudio Herreros. Building materials used to construct the museum, in particular concrete and steel, is environmentally friendly and can be recycled. The building’s exterior is covered in translucent, perforated aluminium.

Munch’s art is displayed in three permanent exhibitions, and temporary exhibitions show works by renowned Norwegian and international artists as well as innovative contemporary artists.

In addition to exploring the different exhibitions, you can attend concerts, literary readings and discussions, debates and other cultural events, or gather friends and family to enjoy fantastic meal and the spectacular view from the 13th floor. The museum also houses art workshops where you can experiment with different techniques and materials, and other fun activities where children and adults can create inspiring art experiences together.

Drive to the End of the World (Verdens Ende)

Drive to the End of the World (Verdens Ende)

The name is perhaps a little dramatic, but that what the southernmost point of the island of Tjøme is called.  Two of our guests from the Netherlands drove down one windy afternoon in March and thoroughly recommended making the trip.  Verdens Ende is reached by driving from Vollen to Tønsberg, crossing the bridge to the island of Nøtterøy and then across another bridge unto the island of Tjøme.   These islands are a paradise in the summer months but winds and gales in other seasons make the experience even more thrilling as the waves from the Skaggerak break onto the polished rocks of the shores.   Many of the art galleries, kiosks and booths are closed outside the summer season but there are restaurants such as Verdens Ende Spiseriet which has an absolutely amazing panoramic view of the sea. This restaurant is open daily from 12:00 – 19:00 but closed on Mondays.

The restaurant can be seen in the middle of the photo, up on the top of the rocks.

Even on a fine July day, it can be pretty windy right out at the end of the island.  Best to bring a light jacket and it’s always possible to find a sheltered spot for some sun-bathing…

On fine days you might see wedding groups having photographs taken at The End of the World

The restaurant is especially popular on fine days but cosy and with spectacular views in stormy weather.

Day trip to Sweden & ferry across the Oslo fjord to Sandefjord

Day trip to Sweden & ferry across the Oslo fjord to Sandefjord

You might like to take a day trip to Sweden and return by ferry across the Skaggerak.  In the holiday season, it is wise to pre-book your passage and car on the ferry.
The photo shows the ferry  arriving at the city of Sandefjord.

 

This needs a little organisation but is a rewarding trip.  We suggest that you drive to Strømstad, taking Slemmestadveien road south from Vollen, through Nærsnes to Sætre and then the sub-fjord tunnel to join the E6 in direction Gøteborg.  It will take you about 2 hours to drive to Strømstad.

From Strømstad you can take the Fjordline ferry Oslofjord or the Color Line ferry across to the city of Sandefjord.  The ferry takes two and a half hours to make the crossing so there is plenty of time for a meal or some tax free shopping.

From Sandefjord you drive north through Drammen and Asker to Vollen, again about 2 hours drive.

Fjordline ferry Oslofjord

Departure Sandefjord 08:30  Arrival Strømstad 11:00  Departure Strømstad 12:00  Arrival Sandefjord 14:30
Departure Sandefjord 15:20  Arrival Strømstad 17:50  Departure Strømstad 18:30  Arrival Sandefjord 21:00

Colour Line ferry

Departure Sandefjord 10:00  Arrival Strømstad 12:30 Departure Strømstad 13:40  Arrival Sandefjord 16:10
Departure Sandefjord 13:30  Arrival Strømstad 16:00 Departure Strømstad 17:00  Arrival Sandefjord 19:30