RoadTrip #31: Hiking to Fugleleiken lookout tower in Råde, Norway – A 17th of May special

17th of May is a big public holiday in Norway. People put on their best dress, usually the bunad (national dress), wave the flag, join the crowd on streets and watch the big parades. It is also tradition to have some sausage sandwich or ice cream. This year, we tried to skip the crowd and went on a roadtrip instead. Råde is a municipality in eastern Norway established in 1837. I wanted a bit of hiking as well, so we went for the 12-meter high Fugleleiken (bird game) lookout tower. It boasts of panoramic views as far as Gaustatoppen in Telemark. I’ve been a little bit up close Gaustatoppen during an excursion in 2015, so it would be nice to chase a sight of it from as far as Råde.

We were blessed with a sun-shiny day! The trail was easy to follow and was around 1.3 kms one-way. There’s a parking space available from the mouth of the trail. We actually had a very nice experience on that day as well – a proof of Norwegian honesty. More about that later..

Since we were hyped, we also went ahead and hunted some geocaches.

On 17th May 2019, we hiked Preikestolen. We also had the Norwegian flag all the way that day. It’s pretty common for Norwegians to also go hiking and be one with nature during this holiday.

I was close to thinking we were lost, or that the tower was probably moved or destroyed, when we came to the rocky part of the trail and eventually catching a glimpse of the star of the tour.

There’s even a guestbook!

The climb was terrifying! It might look sturdy, but I swore, it was moving! Carl assured me that the structure was supposed to move a bit because of the wind, but we were both unsure of the stability. I thought that if it was dangerous, the structure would be closed down, so we went on despite the dizzying effect. It was worth it though, with amazing views of miles and miles away.

The picture above is one of my favorite shots that day – you see the shadow of the tower and the two of us on top. 😉 We spent probably 5-10 minutes only on top before carefully climbing down the stairs, hoping that the structure wouldn’t go down.

The walk back was also very pleasant, and we stopped by often to appreciate nature.

After the hike, we were drenched in sweat. So we changed shirts in the car. Carl put his wallet on the roof of the car and forgot to take it back again. We didn’t realize that right away of course. So, we continued the road trip and visited a random attraction in the area – the Lundeby stone circles. At first, people thought that the circles were a sort of an assembly. But through excavation, it was discovered that they’re actually burial grounds dating back to the Iron Age.

When we reached Rakkestad, the municipality next to Råde, we were caught in 17th of May parade and hype. As we were navigating the traffic, Carl received a call from a random number. Luckily, we stopped by to take it. Somebody found his wallet in the parking lot by Fugleleiken! Wow! I was impressed – a proof of Norwegian honesty. We drove back to retrieve it from the founder, who seemed to be having a 17th of May party in their house. Well, two ways to return something you found in Norway: 1) try to contact the owner, and 2) surrender it to the police. Well, it’s a holiday. We were so grateful to the honest Norwegians. 🙂 6 months later, we were given the chance to return the kindness by returning a phone we found in a toilett in Töcksfors shopping center in Sweden. I love coincidences like these.

The roadtrip led us later on to Strömstad, Sweden, where we enjooyed some tapas for dinner. It was our second dinner in Toro Restaurant. We then, took the boat back to Sandefjord and drove the rest of the kilometers home.

So, that’s how we celebrated this year’s Foundation Day. I’m excited to plan next year’s 17.mai’s adventure. Cheers, and Hurrah for Norge! #spreadloveandpositivevibes



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