This is our first official road trip after fully purchasing our first ride two days ago. 🙂 We decided to plan a little, but be more on the spontaneous side. So for this entry, we explored the eastern coast, beginning with a Geopark, driving along sites where Viking settlements and burial mounds were founded and excavated, and ending in an idyllic Norwegian resort/holiday town for some late lunch/early dinner.
We left home around 10 am, and cruised along the motorway to a very nice and cozy port called Nevlunghavn. ‘Havn’ is the Scandinavian word for port. We only had coffee, so we broke our fast first after driving for about 1 hour and 20 minutes. During the drive, I tried to set up our Spotify Roadtrip playlist. It was fun! Thankfully, the drive was peaceful and clear, and so was the weather.
Nevlunghavn is a small fishing village in Larvik kommune. We had some delicious and typical Scandinavian open sandwiches, and “hunted” 2 geocaches before moving on to the Oddane Fort (originally planned as our first stop).
Unfortunately, the Oddane Fort was closed according to the recepcionist of Oddane Sand Camping. So, we opted out to the nearest attraction nearby, the Gea Norvegica Geopark in Mølen. It is a UNESCO Geo Globalpark, which means that it is a place considered to be geologically and naturally unique! We saw throngs of people with their picnic baskets on their way to the beach. Here, we found 1 geocache. Anyway, now we know where to go for a nice picnic with the dashing sound of seawaves in the background. 😉
At 12:30, we were on the road again, with the Kaupang Vikingbyen (Viking town), as our next stop. It is located in Tjodalyng, a farm, still in Larvik. To be honest, I had high expectations for this one. I saw pictures online of people dressed in Viking costumes, and activities like archery and dancing. However, I was a bit disappointed today. The “museum” was small, consisting of one room with a diorama of a Viking village, some artefacts, and some tarpaulins of the Viking history. We paid 160 kroner (80 kr/pax), and I personally think it was not worth it. *peace out!* Outside, there was a replica of a Viking house.
Kaupang means “marketplace” in Norse, and the place was believed to be the first Viking town. Excavations brought forth burial details of Viking ships, and graves are scattered across the place, according to the information board we saw by the parking lot. Not far from the museum were two sites where Viking ships were found.
To be fair with the attraction, maybe, we went on the wrong day? Saturday. So, maybe, they don’t have activities on Saturdays. The toilet there, however, was divine! Very modern. 🙂 We explored the area a bit, tried to find 2 geocaches, but ended up with only 1. The second location was in a forest, and we saw a huge hole, perhaps belonging to a badger, so we hurried our way out. Carl was very happy to see some rare kind of fowl there though, so it was still worth a visit!
At 14:15, we reached our next stop: the Gokstad Viking Mound (Gokstadhaugen), located in Sandefjord. It housed the biggest preserved Viking ship in Norway, dug out from the mound in 1880. According to NAF, the ship was made of oak, 23 meters long and 5 meters wide. In it was a 40-year old man dressed well in wool and silk sewn with golden threads. He was probably buried in 900 AD. With him were a board game, 12 horses, 6 dogs and a peacock. The ship and the artefacts are now exhibited in the Viking Ship Museum in Bygdøy, which we visited a few years ago.
It was 15:00 when we reached our last stop for the Viking Route. Actually, the final destination was supposed to be the burial graveyard for kings and the Midgard Viking Center in Børre, but it closes at 16:00, so we’ll just visit it another time. 🙂 The Oseberghaugen located in Tønsberg, is probably the most famous of the Viking mounds. It’s the one I remember being mentioned in documentaries and tv shows.
According to NAF, the Viking ship was discovered in 1903, and remains of two women, possible a queen and her slave buried around 800 AD, were excavated. The ship was 21.5 meters long and 5 meters wide, and contained a carriage, 5 intricately carved animal head ship poles, 4 sleds, beds, treasure chests, looms, kitchenwares, among others. Just like the Gokstad ship, Oseberg ship is also exhibited in the Viking Ship Museum in Bygdøy.
Before driving home, we had a stop over in the holiday village of Åsgårdstrand, which was teeming with tourist, mostly Norwegians. The town was too pretty that even the famous Norwegian painter, Edvard Munch (1863-1944), bought a house there to spend some of his summers painting some of his popular masterpieces. After having some snacks, we traced Munchs footsteps and visited his little yellow house, and wandered on the street named after him.
Six hours of driving and exploring new places! By 16:00, we were on the road back home. We were actually not tired yet, but I had some things to do for school this coming week. 🙂 Hopefully, this is the start of wonderful Roadtrips with Carl and Maerose! ❤ Carpe diem!