Boensbakken


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Hundreds of miles of highways were built throughout Norway in the late 1800s and early 1900s to connect the communities. Since most of the work was done by hand, building tunnels and even blasting large sections of rock away was prohibitively difficult. Where no appropriate route was available, some rather impressive engineering resulted in narrow, single-lane roads that hugged cliff edges, supported by retaining walls and bridges. Falling rock, ice and snow posed a constant threat, and often blocked the way.

These cliff-side roads are gradually being replaced by tunnels, or just wider roads using modern blasting technology. Some of the old roads still are in use, and many have been preserved as pedestrian and cycle routes. A great example is Boensbakken, the old 1904 highway between Farsund and Heard that originally was a railway line and was later converted into a drivable road. The road has been replaced by a tunnel, and much of the more interesting sections remain, but are closed to vehicle traffic.

With the weather in Farsund remaining clear, but below freezing, and a fresh dusting of snow on the ground, we walked about an hour to reach the start of Boensbakken. We really enjoyed walking the old highway alongside lakes and scattered houses, particularly as it wound upwards along the cliff edge, with icicles along the wall and wonderful views en route.

Below are highlights from January 30th, 2021. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

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Snow
A light dusting of snow over the boat and docks in Farsund this morning. We sure are enjoying the winter here in Norway.
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Theis
On a walk to the old highway Boensbakken, we stopped to watch as the workboat Theis broke out of several-inch-thick ice in Krossnessundet. The skipper worked back and forth several times, churning up huge chunks of ice, until finally he had broken enough ice to get away from the dock. And proceeding the next half-mile took more than 30 minutes. The Theis took some damage on the way out, and it would be close to impossible for us to get out in ice close to this thick.
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Picnic
The temperature is just below freezing as this family is enjoying a picnic by the lake Mosvolltjonn. Cold weather doesn’t keep Norwegians inside.
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Trails
A choice of trails in the parklands west of the lake Mosvolltjonn. We’re heading to the right, en route to the old highway Boensbakken
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Krossnessundet
Looking from the head of a very frozen and snow-covered Krossnessundet.
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Trailhead
At the start of the Boensbakken trail, just over an hour’s walk from Farsund. The trail runs along the old 1904 highway between Farsund and Heard that originally was a railway line and was later converted into a drivable road.
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Swan
As we stopped to take a few pictures of the lake Straumen, a swan charged over and delivered a serious hissing. We guess only swans are allowed to swim in this area.
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Suttevikpollen
Overlooking snow-covered Suttevikpollen from the old highway guardrails made of rock and metal pipe. This part of the highway still is vehicle-accessible to reach several houses along the lake.
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Boensbakken
The most dramatic and interesting parts of the old highway Boensbakken are where it runs right along a cliff edge as it climbs up to a mountain pass. This section is closed to automobile traffic and open for walkers and cyclists only.
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Icicles
Beautiful icicles along the old highway Boensbakken. We really enjoyed the walk here.
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Framvaren
Taking in the view to the snow-covered lake Framvaren from the old highway Boensbakken. We were surprised to see a little open water still, at right, but most of it was frozen.
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Fallen Ice
Several sections of the road were covered with chunks of ice that had fallen from high above. We were very cautious, and quiet, when we passed these areas.
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Kjerringdalen
At the end of Boensbakken, we continued on the modern road to Kjerringdalen where the tunnel that replaced the old highway starts. We had a slim hope that we might be able to return to Farsund through the tunnel rather than go back the way we came. But, as expected, the tunnel is open only to vehicular traffic.
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Skating
Skaters on the lake Mosvolltjonn as we return to the Farsund area. We still have our ice skates from living in Toronto in the 1980s, but haven’t used them since. Perhaps we’ll have an opportunity here.
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Dusk
Dusk overlooking the Farsund guest harbour, seen from the Varbak viewpoint. The days are getting longer with dusk at 4:30pm.
Show locations on map Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map, with the complete log of our cruise.

On the map page, clicking on a camera or text icon will display a picture and/or log entry for that location, and clicking on the smaller icons along the route will display latitude, longitude and other navigation data for that location. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

 
 


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