Saturday, October 6, 2012

Fall Vacation 1: The Golden Detour

Time was ticking down on vacation plans. It was Wednesday, two days before vacation, and we still hadn't settled on our vacation plans. We had bought a van to have a comfortable trip to Denmark with plans to visit Legoland and stay with some friends nearby. We could drive around through Sweden, through Copenhagen, and on to Billund, or we could take the ferry from Oslo, or visit friends near Kristiansand and take the ferry from there.

It would a long trip. Two days driving there. Two days back. Some hotel involved. Adventure yes. Expensive yes. Exhausting yes. I checked the forecast. Rain in Denmark, all week. Did we really want to travel all that distance to experience Legoland in the rain?

Finally last minute Pam found us a hytte (cabin) to rent online. We booked one in Fosen, the peninsula across the fjord, about 2.5 hours using the ferry route, or 3.5 hours driving the long way. We filled the van with food for the week, a tub filled with games and craft projects, and set off for a week with no TV and no computers.

We drove the long way there. Driving was good, rain fell on and off. The hills were filled with trees in green and yellow which lit up with an amazing glow when the sun broke through. The light in Scandanavia is fantastic, especially in the fall and spring when all day the light swoops in low illuminating trees inside of their foliage.

The reason for taking the long way was to visit Inderøy (marked B on the map), an island with a strong artisan community. We visited a coffeeshop, a candle shop and a glass studio. The island advertises a route they call "the Golden Detour" (den gyldne omvei) and have brochures and website ( to increase tourism. I must say we were charmed with the three places we visited and very much wanted to see another gallery, a sculpture park and a goat cheese farm, but we also needed to find our hytte before nightfall. So, on we went.

We crossed the Skransund bridge to Fosen, eventually turning onto a dirt road we followed for many kilometers, around a lake, past waterfalls and through a jaw-droppingly beautiful valley. We reached Åfjord and then struggled to find our hytte. The resolution on our map wasn't the best and it took three tries down three roads (including driving through someone's farm), but finally we found our palace in the woods (marked C) on the map. It would be start of a very good week.

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