The long way home, that was our plan. Waking up on Sunday the weather was gorgeous. So we intended to make the most out of the day.
Right after breakfast we packed up and left Straand hotel in Vrådal. Before getting on, a few things about the/our hotel. It’s pretty good, but in my opinion, overpriced. The rooms were ok, the food was good, but that does not justify the price. And I even got a discount!
If you come this way, consider a camping site, or rent a cabin. Next time I will look for alternatives.
Long way home, first detour
We began taking the Rv4 towards Kviteseidvatnet, or Lake Kviteseid. The same way we came up. Down by the lake we went right, along the lake on Fjågesundvegen, to Fjågesund.
Fjågesundvegen is a typical Norwegian country side small road, with lots of curves, some holes. some tough parts, but all in all not a bad road. Well except if you come here during winter. We kept a good pace and soon overtook some Germans out on biker’s vacation.
I’ll openly confess to be a tad on the “speedy” side. But my friend in the rear kept be sensibly grounded. When riding with others one has to adjust. The road led us a long the beautiful lake, bathed in sunlight.
At Fjågesund we crossed a bridge over the lake, and hit on another small road, running on the eastern side of lake Flåvatn. A winding, twisty and fun road, leading us slightly north.
At a small placed called Kilen we took off due north on Kilenvegen (Kilen road) and, surprise, we’d found a gravel road! Oh joy! It had been my hope that we would ride some gravel. There are a lot of gravel roads in Telemark county. We stumbled upon one of them.
The road led us through woods, up hills, down hills, past some more lakes. A beautiful road with little traffic, mostly used by locals I would assume. Regardless, it had been the first, good gravel experience on the trip. And our beemers felt very much at home.
Coming through the woods we crossed county road (Rv, short for Riksveg) 36, which runs between Seljord and Skien. Then continued on the other side. North of Bø in Telemark the GPS suggested there was a dirt & gravel road running across some mountains and woods.
That road turned out to be a very small, very narrow toll road. We paid a fee, literally by stuffing cash in an envelope and put in a box. Opened the barrier, and rode off, and up, into the woods. The road quickly got rougher, steeper, with sharper inclines, and lots of loose gravel and dirt.
A few kilometers up and into the woods, dead end. We had hit on another barrier, and this one was locked. With ditches on both sides. The map suggested another barrier awaited us further down. Because of that, nothing else to do than to turn back, and ride down again.
Another detour & home
Back on a pavement small roads we set course towards Notodden, which we had passed through Friday. Instead of going the same way home, we decided on a different and longer route. As a result, right north of Notodden, we took E134 up to Sauland, and from there right up along Fv651 to Tuddal.
It’s a very cool road that takes you up to the mountain Gaustadtoppen. And from there, across and down towards Rjukan. From Gaustadtoppen, the highest point in Telemark, you’ll be able to see approx. one sixth of Norway’s mainland. Well, on a clear day that is. A funicular railway inside the mountain takes you to the top if you don’t feel like trekking up by foot.
We made a quick stop by the foot of the mountain, then continued down to lake Tinn (Tinnsjøen). It was on this lake Norwegian resistance sunk a ferry loaded with heavy water from Vemork. Because of this and other sabotage actions, the Nazi’s failed to develop a nuclear bomb during WW2.
Enough history. Down by lake Tinn we took Fv37, or county road 37, to Kongsberg. And from there the fastest route home.
It had been a great ride, some 1025 kilometers, or 637 miles done in two and a half days. Below the entire route, click to expand.