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Morgedal

Travel Guide Europe Norway Morgedal

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Introduction

Morgedal cabin

Morgedal cabin

© All Rights Reserved Sam I Am

Morgedal is a little town in the Telemark region of Norway with around 300 inhabitants which hails itself as the 'birthplace of modern skiing'. As the story goes, Sondre Norheim of Morgedal changed skiing forever by creating the world's first carving ski with full heel binding. With a history like that you might believe Morgedal ended up one of Norway's premier ski resorts, but nothing is further from the truth. Morgedal has no flashy chairlifts, ritzy bars or designer ski wear, just the world's first slalom slopes, still in their original condition and a valley where people have always loved to ski.

Due to the history of Morgedal in modern day skiing, the Olympic flame was lit at the birth place of Sondre Norheim, Øvrebø in Morgedal, for the Winter Games of 1952, 1960 and 1994, and it continues to burn over Morgedal lake.

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Sights and Activities

Morgedal River

Morgedal River

© All Rights Reserved Sam I Am

  • Cross-country skiing in the winter on one of the many prepared trails. There's different levels available depending on your skills, and also a flood lit trail for evening skiing trips.
  • There is a small skislope (500 metres) next to the hotel with a height difference of about 100 metres which is perfect for beginners/children. At the bottom of the skislope there is a picnic area, partly roofed, with open fireplaces. You can hire all kinds of ski equipment, including Telemark skis, from the lift-operator at the slope.
  • (Ice) Fishing in the lake.
  • Norwegian Ski Adventure Centre (Norsk Skieventyr), a small museum just off the main road which also pays tribute to Olav Bjaaland from Morgedal, one of the participants in the Roald Amundsen South Pole Expedition of 1910 to 1912.
  • Øverbø, the farm where ski legend Sondre Norheim was born, is located on one of the hillsides surrounding the valley and much of the slope under it has been cleared so you can ski offpiste down the world's first slalom slope.

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Events and Festivals

  • Morgedal Multisport event (in August)
  • Sondre Norheim's birthday celebration on June 6th is typically celebrated with an outdoor play or concert.
  • Ordalsåta Mountain run (in June)

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Getting There

By Car

Morgedal is located right alongside the E134, making it an ideal place to spend the night if you are driving from Norway's east coast to the west or south (or vice versa). It's approximately 375 kilometres from Bergen, and 190 kilometres from Oslo and Kristiansand.

By Bus

The Nor-Way bus stops at the Morgedal busstop (little more than a sign by the road) alongside the E134. From there it's about a 5 minute walk up to the hotel. Whilst both Telemark Bilruter and Haukeliekspressen websites also show routes to Morgedal, the bus is actually the Nor-Way bus.

By Train

There's no train connection into Morgedal, however you can catch a train to Bø, and then a bus from there to Morgedal.

By Boat

One of the most idyllic ways to reach Morgedal would be via boat up the fjord/channel from Skien by the coast to Kviteseid, and then catch a bus or taxi from there to Morgedal. You could either bring your own boat, or in the tourist seasons get on one of the operated routes. The Telemarks Kanalen website has more information on the options available.
If you are more the ferrying type, the closest ferry terminal is in Larvik, about 130 kilometres away. Alternatively, Kristiansand on the south east coast, approximately 190 kilometres away.

By Plane

The airport nearest to Morgedal is Torp in Sandefjord, 150 kilometres away, which is served by Ryanair. Olso's Gardermoen, about 245 kilometres away, is alternative two. If you are taking public transport, you'll have to catch a train or bus into Oslo Central to get the bus from there to Morgedal.

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Getting Around

Morgedal offpiste

Morgedal offpiste

© All Rights Reserved Sam I Am

A tiny town, the easiest way to get around the main parts is by foot. Some of the outdoor activities might involve driving slightly off the main roads to find the best starting points however. There's a small gas station at the supermarket.

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Eat

  • The Morgedal Hotel has a restaurant and serves a full buffet 7 nights a week.
  • There's a little co-op supermarket about 100 metres down the road from the hotel if you prefer to buy your own supplies.

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Drink

  • The Morgedal Hotel has a bar, and live music 6 nights a week.

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Sleep

Morgedal Hotel

Morgedal Hotel

© All Rights Reserved Sam I Am

  • Morgedal Camping is situated right on the Morgedal lake and run by Halvor and Jorunn Bjåland. Address: Morgedalsvegen 255, Telephone : +47 350 54 152, Email: camping@morgedal.com
  • Morgedal Hotel is the only hotel in town and has 70 rooms. Interestingly enough, for a small town in the middle of Norway, it was actually the first in all of Norway to be heated with bio energy (from 2005 onwards). It also rents out rooms in a guesthouse about 50 metres down the road. Telephone : +47 350 68 900, Fax: +47 350 68 901, Email: post@morgedal.no
  • Wilderness cabins are available for rent if you want to try a more authentic Norwegian experience. Email: info@morgedal.com

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Keep Connected

Internet

Most Norwegian households are connected to the Internet in some way (often broadband), making cybercafés hard to find outside major cities, due to a relatively small market. Most public libraries have free public access to the internet, but a limited number of computers and limited opening hours.

However, if you bring a laptop with a wireless connection you will find wireless internet zones just about everywhere (gas stations, city centres, cafés, shopping centres, hotels etc.), sometimes free, but be prepared to pay for it though. It is not unusual for hotels to have a terminal for guest use. Well over half of the camp grounds have wifi internet, but if it's crucial for you, best to ask before paying for your camping space.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The international calling code for Norway is 47. Emergency numbers include Police at 112, Fire at 110 and Emergency Medical Services at 113.
If you are unsure which number to call, 112 is the central for all rescue services and will put you in contact with the correct department. For non-emergencies, the police is to be called on 02800.

Cell phone Coverage generally is very good, except maybe some of the valleys, fjords and mountains. The company with the best coverage is Telenor. The other main operator is Netcom. These two deliver coverage to a multitude of other companies (Tele2 and Network Norway are two smaller companies that deliver coverage in the main cities, but utilize the othe two's net when outside).Prepaid sim card are available in all shops that sell phones and also petrol stations and kiosks. Prepaid has been in a slump in Norway after forced registration was effected, so prices are a bit higher for these than for subscriptions.

If you plan to do quite a bit of websurfing on the phone then Telenor's Prepaid (or "Kontant" in Norwegian) might be the ticket. You can surf as much as you wish, but the card doesn't get charges for more than 10 NOK per day (worth it if you use more than 2MB per day on the days you surf - though after 500MB the speed get's axed to 100kb/s).

Post

Red mailboxes are found easily and post offices are plentiful, with opening hours on most being 9:00am to 5:00pm, with usually shorter hours on Saturday. Stamps can usually only be found at post offices although some popular tourist venues might carry them. Norway's postal system, "Posten", has a good website with a lot of English information including up to date prices and also details about the opening hours of the nearest post office. The most commonly sent format for travellers are letters and cards up to 20 grams, check their website for current prices. If you want to send packages, you might also use international courier companies lik DHL, UPS or TNT.

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This is version 15. Last edited at 8:32 on Oct 17, 13 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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