Tuesday 26 July 2016

GS.no Day 4 Heroes and Hardangervidda (954km)

M Ryukan, is the scene of the famous "Heroes of Telemark" WWII sabotage mission. A squad of UK based Norwegian commandos parachuted into the wilds of the Telemark region to destroy a heavy water plant at the Vermok power station and thus delay the German nuclear bomb research program. Their xc ski based approach and daring entry to the powestation to blow up the heavy water apparatus directly is legendary. But that was not the end of it as they got word that the Germans were quickly rebuilding the plant. They we then tasked with a second mission to destroy all stockpiled heavy water that was being transported by train. The best option was destroy it on the ferry that took the train across a fjord and it worked but at the cost of the lives of most of the civilian passengers.

Today is very special for me. I have whatched and read so much about this mission and today I got to visit the Vermok power station. Whilst the heavy Walter factory Section had ben destroyed and demolished after US bombing the  power station  was in perfect repair and is now a meuseum. It was fantastic visit not only for e war history component but the power station itself was interesting. As soon as I walked in it smelt like a hydro station and bought back memories of my time working in the Snowy Mountains Hydo. When this station was built in 1919 it was the latest in the world. 

Basically an its an engineer/xcskiier and war history buffs wet dream.

Our afternoons ride was across the aplpine area, the Hardangervidda. This is glorious alpine country reminded me of the lake districts, Scotland and even parts of the Kousciosco national park. It's a xc skiing dream with little lodges every where. And, as seems to be the tradition here  most of their roofs were covered with grass. This is ist here an ingenious traditional thermal insulation approach or a bone idle approach to maintenance.

We made a brief stop coffee stop at Geil, a huge ski resort bristling with Lycra clad Noweigians in salomon shoes and running jackets. From there it was a short ride to our destination Eidfjord where we took a cheep room at a camp ground as it had started to rain again. This last section took us through our first tunnels. The Norweigans bloody love tunnelling. One tunnel today corkscrewed its way down and down as a means to get us to the valley floor. 

We stayed in the attic pictured here

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