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Photos: Kasper M. Thurah
Caravan and Caravan magazine, No. 1 February 2022

Danish adventurer in Norway: Let yourself be surprised by Telemark

Kasper M. De Thurah is the Dane who fell in love with Norway. Kasper is known for his beautiful photographs that are used worldwide, and he is a big fan of beautiful Telemark. That is why he never goes anywhere without a camera, and he is an ambassador for both Visit Telemark, Panasonic Lumix and Jaguar Land Rover.

All trips must first be planned on the map, and the map of Telemark shows that we can have many surprises in store. It is about finding them.

After participating in the Fjällräven Polar Expedition in 2017, life changed. Kasper immortalized the wonderful nature experiences with his old camera and posted on Instagram. He hit a nerve and now the account @iamnordic is an inspiration and source of income. He now has over 33 followers, who get to take part in his inspiring and wonderful nature experiences. On his trips in Telemark, he shows what this region has to offer. Anyone and everyone will be surprised.

Lårdalstigen

The Lårdalstigen is a spectacular trip, in the heart of the Telemark Canal. Follow the hiking trail from Dalen to Lårdal. Here there are several opportunities to challenge the fear of heights with a mountain edge of 600-800 meters down to Lake Bandak. It is a great and demanding trip, which usually takes 6-8 hours, and has a lot of ups and downs on the way. The whole trip is approx. 15 km long, with a fascinating diversity of flora and geology. The goal is Gløstøylnuten, 848 meters above sea level, with a great view of the fjord and mountains. Back in Lårdal, after many hours on foot, it is good to board the canal boat MS Victoria or MS Henrik Ibsen from Lårdal to Dalen. Once you have arrived in Dalen, you can check into Dalen Hotell, a wooden castle from 1894, and take a dip in Bandak, possibly after having been in the sauna Soria Moria, which is both an art installation and a sauna at the same time, with large panoramic windows facing Bandak and the surrounding mountains.

The top of Telemark in sight

Gaustatoppen (1883 meters above sea level) rises majestically above Rjukan, and is referred to by many as Norway's most beautiful mountain. It takes about 2-3 hours to go to the top from the parking lot at Stavsro by Heddersvatn. There is a height difference of 700 metres, and you walk on a good and wide path. The view is fantastic and you can see the mountains in Telemark, Buskerud and Oslomark. You pass the Gaustatoppen Turisthytte at 1850 meters above sea level. Gaustadtoppen rises above Rjukan, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List because of its unique industrial and war history. The entire area around Gaustatoppen offers countless nature experiences and hiking opportunities, suitable for all ages.

Rui

In the steep mountainside above the valley lies Rui, a small homestead where the sisters Ingerine and Gurine Schwenius lived with a lovely view of Lake Bandak. Every Thursday, the eldest sister Ingerine went to Dalen to shop. The only time the two "Rui girls" traveled was when they visited King Olav in 1957. They passed away in 1963 and 1965. Now this is a favorite hiking spot, and you can walk the steps from the Valley made by Sherpas from Nepal . The stairs start from the center of Dalen. The path is steep with 200 meters of elevation in one kilometer, but you realize that it is worth the climb when you get up and can enjoy the view from this historic homestead.

Hamaren Activity Park

Hamaren Aktivitetspark in Fyresdal is a road that runs along the water, past Munkhola and to a wooden bridge constructed in memory of the floating era in Fyresdal. You then go to a spectacular footbridge around Hamaren's southernmost point. There are several small restaurants along the road. The trip, which is suitable for everyone, is 2,4 km long and takes one hour. Here there are also great cycle tracks, both blue and red, in addition to a nature trail.

Camping at Haukelifjell in Telemark

The area covers Telemark, Vestfold and Vestland. This mountain area borders Hardangervidda and is a mountain pass that was opened in 1886. This is a large area. In winter, it is a well-known ski area with both cross-country skiing and summit tours. In the summer there are endless hiking trails for both walking and cycling, mountain lakes where you can fish and swim. If you are tired of camping life, you can spend the night at the popular Haukeliseter Fjellstue, a large selection of cabins or Vågslidtun Hotell. Feel free to visit Vinje Bryggeri en route, with its own outlet, pub and events.

Gaustablikk

It is recommended to take a guided tour in Gaustablikk. It is a well-known ski area, but also a lovely hiking area. Gaustablikk is located at the foot of Gaustatoppen, at 960 meters above sea level. Gaustablikk Fjellstue and Gaustablikk Høyfjellshotell are also fully renovated here. Gaustablikk offers great ski terrain in winter, and the best hiking areas the rest of the year. You can also go on a mountain bike ride on Hardangervidda or paddle on Kvitåvatn. You can book guided tours via Gaustablikk.no and Gausta.com.

The silage

In Siljan's large forest areas you can find sheltered nature where you can relax completely alone. Here, Kasper has taken the trip to Sporevann in Siljan with his Hero camper and has everything he needs on a trip. Siljan is a municipality that covers both Vestfold og Telemark, and borders Kongsberg, Larvik, Porsgrunn and Skien. It is a lovely natural area with several lakes, waterfalls, hiking trails, and yet not far from the city. DNT has several marked trails and at least 15 peaks that can be climbed, most by both children and adults.

Luxefjell

Get out and enjoy the peace. Here from Luksefjell near Skien. A small place with few people, a fishing lake and a fine long church from 1858. After half an hour's walk with a view of Økteren, you will find Solumhytta, an unknown gem and unattended DNT cabin. From Solumhytta you can take a peak trip to Vardefjell, which is 799 meters above sea level. The trip from Solumhytta takes around 1 hour and the view is great. You can also follow in King Oscar II's footsteps on the old Kongeveien between Skien and Kongsberg. In that case, you follow a marked path from the parking lot for Solumhytta at Øktertaie.

Waste water

Vråvatn is a lake in Kviteseid in Telemark, which is 240 meters above sea level. Vråvatn has a rich fishery for trout and char, whitefish and perch. You can walk or cycle around Vråvatnet. Start in the center of Vrådal, and cycle past Fossøy with one of Norway's finest golf courses. At the Småstraumen lock, you may be able to see the veteran boat M/S Fram from 1909 pass by, and you can visit the lock museum. Småstraum lock from 1914 is Northern Europe's highest located lock. Eventually you come to the Vråliosen hotel and boarding house, which is unfortunately empty, but is a lovely building.

 

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