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.

Asker Municipality’s Millennium Walk round Sem Lake

Asker Municipality’s Millennium Walk round Sem Lake

The people of Asker municipality voted the path around Sem Lake as the designated site for the year 2000.  This is a pleasant walk of about 5 km.  It is very popular with both the local population and visitors to Asker.  A view of cows in a pasture on the lake shore has been used for advertising purposes by a well known chocolate maker!
On Thursday, Friday and Sunday, there is a café, Bryggerhuset, about half way round.  The opening times are below.  You might also like to have a snack at the NaKuHel Smia café close to the main road, Semsveien. NakuHel Smia is open every day until about 3 p.m.  It opens at 10 a.m. on weekdays and 11.30 a.m. at weekends.

The map below shows the parking lot on the south of Sem Lake.  You then walk to the west and follow the path to Hans Christian Aaby’s farm where the Bryggerhuset café is open some days.  After this you can continue your walk, past the very pretty waterfall and further past the path down to the Kindergarden.  You continue to the NaKuHel Smia café.  Then back to the parking lot.  This constitutes a pleasant walk of about 5 kilometers.

You’ll see lots of horses on your walk.

Opening times for the Bryggercafé – but please note that in summer, the cafe is NOT open on Mondays. It is closed all of July month.

The waterfall about half a kilometer further from Bryggerhuset café.

In the fields around the lake, there are cows, sheep and horses.

Kongen’s Utsikt – The King’s Viewing Platform

Kongen’s Utsikt – The King’s Viewing Platform

The King’s Viewing Platform is 484 meters above the Tyrifjorden and Steinsfjorden lakes.  You can either start at Sundvolden and hike the 1300 meters up to Kleivstua or you can drive up to Kleivstua parking area beside the hotel (this is a toll road and costs NOK 30,-)  From Kleivstua you hike the rest of the way on a well marked (blue stripes on trees) path to the the viewing platform. This takes about 30 minutes each way and when you arrive, the steep parts of the path have been worth the effort for the views are amazing!  However it is sensible to bring water bottles and perhaps a snack to eat at the top.

We enthusiastically recommend the restaurant at Sundvolden Hotell. Pictured are the King’s View Chicken salad and the delicious Prawn sandwich (Rekedigg).  Either cost about Nkr 200,- in 2019.  The chef uses herbs from the Hotel herb garden.

Frisbeegolf course

Frisbeegolf course

There is a beautiful, and very varied frisbee golf course at Vollen.  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.

Bicycles: on- and off-road

Bicycles: on- and off-road

Exploring the Oslo region and city is especially great by bicycle.  There are lots of cycle tracks in and around the city and throughout the region.  Norway has been enthusiastic in encouraging people to cycle to work or free time activities.  Tourists to our region can hire cycles at Viking Biking or to join one of their organised bike tours.  Click on the link for many exciting suggestions and prices.

For those who have their own bike, the forests surrounding the city offer amazing off-road tracks and of course the forests are for everyone to enjoy, whether by bicycle or on foot.

Looking down on Oslo city

Biking in the Oslo forests in December

As you can see from the picture, it is possible to rent off-road bikes at Oslo sommer park at Tryvann.  Oslo Sommerpark is at the top of the Holmenkollen hill.  In winter this is where you find many slalom/snowboard tracks while in summer it is a great starting place for cycling in the forests above Oslo.  This is also where you find the beautifully situated Climbing Park with one of Scandinavia’s biggest and best rope courses

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.