The Telemark Canal – Minute By Minute

telemarkskanalen Victoria. telemarkfylke.no‘Slow-TV’ has become a popular TV concept in Norway. Previously, Norwegian Broadcasting has shown the Hurtigruten journey between Bergen and Kirkenes, and the Bergen Railway between Oslo and Bergen Minute by Minute. Both programs attracted many viewers in Norway and abroad. Yesterday, on the 26nd of August, the Norwegian Broadcasting presented a new attraction minute by minute: The Telemark Canal.

Telemarkskanalen is the largest canal of its kind in Norway. From Skien and all the way up to Dalen, the boat MS ‘Victoria’ is lifted 236 feet through eight locks with the total of 18 chambers. The largest lock is Vrangfoss with five chambers and a height difference of 75 feet. Most of the locks along the 65 miles long journey are maneuvered by hand.

-This is probably the slowest TV-show that has been aired in Norway. Hurtigruten minute by minute is a speed boat in comparison, show host Eirik Haugen said in an interview.

The journey takes ten hours and 20 minutes.

The boat MS ‘Victoria’ has been in service for 130 years, and she has served passengers like Vidkun Quisling and the Norwegian resistance group Milorg during the Second World War. Now, she is serving thousands of patient Norwegian viewers up the Telemark Canal.

It is a beautiful journey with spectacular scenery like locks and open lakes. It is all of Norway in miniature.

Telemarkskanalen TV-Schedule

  • 9:50 am: MS ‘Victoria’ is prepared for departure
  • 10:10 am: From Skien to Skotfoss MS ‘Victoria’ will be lifted 32 feet in the locks at Løveid
  • 11:05 am: MS ‘Victoria’ sails from Løveid over Nordsjø to Ulefoss. She passes Mikaelshula and the mineral field Fensfeltet, where many rare metals have been discovered.
  • 12:35 pm: The Ulefos Ironworks has made the area of Ulefoss world known. MS ‘Victoria’ sails along Eidselva to Eidsfoss
  • 1:10 pm: From Eidsfoss to Vrangfoss. Carved in the hillside along the canal you can see the monogram of King Oscar II.
  • 2:05 pm: The journey continues through Straumen and Nomevatn. Just outside the village of Lunde, the railway, highway and canal meet – the only place in Norway where this combination of transportation occurs.
  • 3:05 pm: North of Lunde you pass the ‘Mudder’n’ – an old, steam dredge barge. Next lock is Kjeldal.
  • 3:35 pm: Kjeldal locks were difficult to build because of the bad foundation. The canal is therefore built on rocks and creates an artificial island.
  • 3:55 pm: MS ‘Victoria’ passes Flåbygd, over Flåvatn twowards Fjågesund. Human activity that dates back to 2800-3500 BC have been found near Fjågesund.
  • 5:20 pm: The journey continues over Kviteseidvatn to Kviteseid. The boat passes one of Norway’s two remaining swing bridges.
  • 6:30 pm:  On her way to Bandaksli, MS ‘Victoria’ sails through Sundkilen, Strauman and Bandak. She passes the ‘St. Olav’s ship’ carved in the hillside.
  • 8:05 pm: Across the water from Bandaksli is Lårdal. Lårdal is well known for its beautiful cultural landscape and has the highest average temperature in the country.
  • 8:15 pm: MS ‘Victoria’ arrive her final destination of Dalen, and passes Lauvvik located in the end of the narrow canal. In Dalen you can find the historical Dalen Hotel.

See the whole journey in 20x speed here

Text by: Anette Broteng Christiansen, ThorNews

Source: NRK

Photos from top: Telemark County, Store Norske Leksikon

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Categories: Eastern Norway, Travel

4 replies

  1. I wish someone in the US would pick up these programs. I think they’re a fantastic idea.

  2. Great article! I was wondering if you could do me and Store norske leksikon a favor, though. Could you link to the specific article where you found the picture instead of the front page? That would give the photographer some credit, too (c;

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