RoadTrip 27.2: Visiting the thrilling Varnes fort and the 34-meter Lista Lighthouse in Southern Norway

After admiring the dramatic beauty of the southernmost point of mainland Norway in Lindesnes, we took the roadtrip westward. Around 13:30pm, we reached a moss-covered forest with a pathway leading to the Varnes fort, built in the 1940s. The fort with its cannons, bunkers and creepy underground paths is located in a protected forest area and might be a good route for a long stroll. It is also part of the historical Atlantic Wall built by Nazi Germany. We also dropped by the towering Lista lighthouse from the 1800s. Both of the said places were visited in April, with the cold and crispy spring air all around.

The roadtrip in southern Norway continues..

It was a bit tricky to find an empty space in the small parking lot in Varnes, but we managed to fit the car there. Going to the fort was an exciting walk. I can’t remember seeing a mini-forest that green! Mosses all around..

Bike parking with two slots intended for charging electric ones
Signs pointing towards Lista lighthouse and Varnes lighthouse
So mossy!
Ruins
Naturally placed
Sleeping trolls
Green space is real!

So, a little info about Varnes fort: It is part of the Atlantic Wall (Atlanterhavsvollen), an “extensive system of coastal defences and and fortifications built by Nazi Germany between 1942 and 1944 along the coast of continental Europe and Scandinavia” (-Wikipedia). There are about 300 batteries built along the western coast of Norway. This one in Varnes, Farsund has four 10,5 cm cannons with 16000 meter shooting range and a shooting rate of 5 shots per minute! Sadly, prisoners (Russians, Dutch, and Norwegian volunteers) built the fort which was actually never used in battle! More information about it here (in Norwegian): https://listerfriluft.no/friluftsaktiviteter/kulturhistoriske-opplevelser/spor-fra-krigen/varnes-fort-del-av-festung-norwegen/.

We went through a very dark tunnel mouthing towards the fort. I felt like the tunnel was endless! Even our phone’s flashlight was not enough to see through the tunnel. Carl said that if it was dangerous, officials would have closed it.

Entrance to the tunnel
And finally, the end!
The only visible sign in the tunnel
Not going in that tunnel again, hehe

Going through the creepiness of the tunnel was all worth it, because what was waiting was an amazing view towards Fedafjorden and some islands of Flekkefjorden. And the fort itself, of course!

View from Varnes fort
Varnes fort
See any enemy coming?
View from inside the battery
Checking the battery out

As mentioned, I did not want to go through the pitch dark tunney, so we decided to climb up and around the fort. I didn’t really think that it was a good idea, but the adventurous husband of mine was already up the hill waving back at me. So, up we went… I felt dizzy, my knees shaking, but thankfully, Carl was pushing me (and pulling me up) through the mossy, steepish hill. There were ropes to hold on to and some stone steps, but not enough to act without caution.

This steep
And sometimes this not so steep

Taking the high path was also worth it – amazing views awaits!

View from Varnes
Alive!

We followed the blue path (supposedly an easy path) back to the main road and on to the parking space.

Green space
Felt like I burnt 1000 calories XD
Pretty

We left the fort around 14:30 pm, without visiting the Varnes lighthouse because.. well, it seemed like a difficult hike, and we wanted to see Lista as well. After 30 minutes on the road, the towering Lista light house greeted us.

Otw to Lista Lighthouse’

The Lista lighthouse was first lit in 1836. Bunker systems were built around the lighthouse during WW2 for protection. More information here: https://en.visitsorlandet.com/listings/lista-fyr-lighthouse/173777/. We also didn’t go up the 34-meter tall structure, but enjoyed delicious ice cream in the kiosk instead. There is also an ornithological station and a gallery by the big parking lot. It was probably the first time Carl and I talked about bird-watching. I also bought postcards.

Lista lighthouse.. it’s really slanted in reality
A bit filtered.. XD
The art gallery
A map of the 63 Ramsar-wetlands in Norway

After Lista, we drove back to Missy in the fjordhotel and called it a day. 🙂 This was Maundy Thursday for us this year. More about Farsund in the next entry. #spreadloveandpositivevibes

ALL PHOTOS AND VIDEOS ON THIS BLOG ARE MINE (unless otherwise stated/credited).

A taste of heaven!

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