Trip to Tusenfryd and Dyreparken - July 2002

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From time to time it is nice to go on weekend trips to get away from the normal routine. We have talked about going to Norway's biggest themepark Tusenfryd for quite some time so when my sister Marie and her hubby Knut and their three kids said that they were going, we decided to meet up to join them in the park. We started our trip on Thursday afternoon in the end of July in Stavanger and we decided to take the mountain (and scenic) route through Norway to get to Oslo. This road is know as Suleskarvegen ( and it is only open in the summertime when the snow has been cleared. The road itself is quite narrow so it can be quite a challange when you meet other cars that are driving in the oposite direction :-) Another challenge is trying to avoid the sheep that run around on the road itself :-) They seem to be very used to the cars because they lay right next to the road or on the road itself and you can see them eating or even sleeping when cars go by.

Eidsborg StavkirkeWe started our trip at about 3.30 pm on Thursday afternoon. The road that was ahead of us was about 460 km long so it takes about 7 hours to get to the destination. On the way we just had a few stops to eat and to look at some attraction. One place we stopped at was near a place called Dalen. Here we found Eidsborg Stavkirke (church built in the 11th century. There are only 29 left of these wooden churches in Norway by the way.

My sisters "home on wheels"We finally reached Oslo FjordCamp at 10.45 pm and we met Marie, Knut and the kids Frøya, Embla and Gyda. This camping place was not very impressive by the way. It is located right next to the main road leading out of Oslo towards Sweden and hence there is a lot of noise there. And the facilities were not great either. But we put up our tent and went to sleep to get ready for the next day. Marie and Knut had rented a "home on wheels" so they didn't have to freeze their butts of like Nikki and I :-) I think that is was cause my to get a cold after trip but that is another story. Here are some links to the camping place by the way: ,


Nikki in front of ThundercoasterAs I said, one of our main reasons for going on this weekend trip was to visit the themepark Tusenfryd. We got up early on Friday morning to get there as early as possible. The park is located like 20 km outside Oslo so it is easily accesible (unless the traffic stops you :-). Another rollercoasterIt is not a big park in any way but there is one new main attraction that I think has increased the number of visitors alot: the wooden rollercoaster Thundercoaster. It has been said that this is one of the best wooden rollercoaster in Europe. So the first thing that we did when we came in the park was of course to run to this main attraction and we tried it twice before the queue became to long. Into the loopAnd the verdict: yes, it was a really nice rollercoaster and we all loved riding it (even my 8 year old niece Embla). Apart from that we tried the steel rollercoaster with the name "Loopen". This rolercoaster is too short to really be classified as a rollercoaster in my opinion. Knut and Gard ready for the spaceshotThe whole thing is over before it even starts. And Knut and I went on the Spaceshot where we got catapulted about 60 meters into the air. It is quite a nice ride and I have taken it several times before. The kids enjoyed the merry-go-roundThe best experience was of course when I took the spaceshot that is located on top of the Stratosphere tower in Las Vegas but that is another story. The park also Nikki is enjoying some candy flosshas some waterrides and next year it looks like they will be expanding with more stuff.  It looks like they will buid a ride called SuperSplash. It sounds like a ride where you will get VERY wet :-). The price in the main season is 220 kroner (if you are taller than 140 cm) and the park was open from 10.30 until 7 pm. There is a lot more information on their homepage We had fun in the park more or less all day.

There are many beautiful places around GrimstadAfter being at Tusenfryd we said goodbye to Marie and Knut and their kids. We drove through Oslo and down towards the south of Norway. The roads from Oslo towards the south are pretty good but normally you can't drive faster than 70/80 km/h so it takes a while. We finally arrived at our destination Grimstad at about 10 pm and here we stayed with our friends Olav and Allis.

Olav is checking the water temperatureThere are so many beautiful small towns along the southern coast of Norway and many people in the larger cities like Oslo and Stavanger has cabins in this area. Due to this the small towns are buzzing with life in the summertimeTypical summer food: a bowl of shrimp but seem more deserted in the wintertime. In the southern part of Norway it seems like everyone has a small boat of their own and sometimes it is much easier to get around in a boat compared to a car. Our friend Olav took us into downtown Grimstad on Saturday morning in his small boat and we just parked it at the harbour. Statue at the church in GrimstadThe weather was great (even if it wasn't that warm). We had bought some shrimp and we were in town to collect these. Shrimp is a traditional A cold beer is nice in the summertimeNorwegian dish in the summertime. Just buy a bag a pre-boiled shrimp and then you can sit down, relax, peel them one by one and eat them. If you want something on the side it is best served with white bread, mayonaise and a twist of lemon. And ice cold beer by the way :-) When we went into town we also used the chance to have an ice cold beer and to walk around a little bit.

I found one link that presents some of the attractions and activities in this area


I don't know why the troll is laughingOn Sunday we drove the short distance in towards the city of Kristiansand to go to the Dyreparken. This park is a combined zoo and amusement park and it has been around for as long as I can remember. I guess it started out as a little zoo and The entrence to Kardemomme bythen it has expanded in many ways. But they still lack major attrations like big rollercoasters and stuff. But the kids love the cobination of games and animals. They have monkeys, a tropical house, an african savannaha, kingdom of There are some rides in Dyreparkenthe tiger and lots and lots of other more common animals. The one things that the kids love the most is the childrens petting area. In here you can get close and pet goats, chickens, pigs and so on. The only problem with the park is that you need some background knowledge to really enjoy some of the attraction. There is one section of the park called Feeding the birds"Cardemom town" and it is based on the book "When the robbers came to Cardemom town" by the Norwegian auther Torbjørn Egner. This is a great place for kids who know the book but I'm not sure that it isA baby pig in the "childrens farm" treasured in the same way abroad as here in Norway. And there is one pirate show called "Kaptein Sabeltann". This is based on a TV series for kids that were shown on Norwegian TV and kids really think that this is a great show. But for most Norwegian kids there is more than enough activities to fill at least one day in the park. You can find more information about the park on

Stopping to make something to eatAfter the stay in Dyreparken we drove the 250 km home to Stavanger from Kristiansand. We stopped on the way home and brought out our small barbecue and fried some hot-dogs. There are some places along the route where you can stop and get a table like the one on the picture. It was a pretty hectic weekend with over 1000 km of driving from Thursday afternoon until Sunday afternoon. But we got to see quite a lot. And Norway is a beautiful place to be in the summertime. Please get in touch with me if you have any questions or comments.

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