Day 17 part 2. Kongsberg to Hvåra Bru.
The other notable class based architectural element was the fact that there were two stairs going out sideways from the rear sorry front entrance. On one you could only access the floors designated for the lower classes and the other the upper classes.
The pompous man had planned an interior with marble pillars and staircases. However the costs were going way over budget even before the marble had been bought so the King of Denmark put his foot down and said no more. As a result Kongsberg church is blessed with some outstanding examples of ersatz marble. With much of the staircase balustrades and pillars it is only possible to distinguish them from real marble by the fact that the wood has split. Amazing!
All in all it was a lovely surprise to see this topsy-turvy church with a split personality and architectural snobbery. We chatted for a few minutes with the two young ladies one from the church and the other from the local tourist office. Jokingly they accused us of only coming into the church because of the rain, but we had been genuinely intrigued by the church. The visit lived up to our expectations and cheered up by the incongruity of the place (and that they thought that our black bike helmets were much nice than bright green or pink ones) we headed out into the rain.
Our next planned stop was the Labro hydro-electric station and museum which we found without too much ado. But unfortunately as we feared summer had ended on the day before so it was closed during the week. A shame as the hydro-electric installation looked pretty interesting on its own. Still as we were leaving the sky did some wonderful things with clouds and I took some photos of the view.
I remember as we left the Kongsberg area the landscape opened out and was reminiscent of the rolling landscape we would see later on the East coast of Denmark. Damae wrote in her diary "The perpetual downhill which I am waiting for didn't show up today. It was undulating....felt like more up than down (especially at the end of the day).". It is surprising how your expectations affect your experience of a cycle trip. In truth the going was not that hard and the scenery lovely.
The route stuck mostly to the quieter of the two roads down the valley which, looking at the traffic flow on the other road, was a good idea. The peace was welcome but the disadvantage was that the older road clung to the sides of the valley, which lead to more ups and downs. It would have been possible to cycle on the main road except for the number of lorries on it.
At Efteløt we stopped for a break by the white stone church. At this point the route doubles back on itself a little as it crosses the river. It was threatening to rain at that point so we chose a spot under some trees with a small bench. I brewed up some tea and we ate something whilst we rested. We needed a break at that point. The church looked shut so we contented ourselves with a walk round the outside to get our muscles moving again.