Day 34-2. Halden to Strömstad contd.
The museum is worth a visit even though it isn't that large. It doesn't just cover the military aspects of the fort, there is a bit of social history in there too and plenty of artifacts to look at. I might have remembered incorrectly but I have a feeling that all the texts were in Norwegian only. It took a lot of energy to read about the history which made our visit a little shorter than it otherwise would have been.
I remember one small section about the dissolution of the Union with Sweden. A massive majority of the population of Norway voted for dissolution and it passed of peacefully. Apparently a lot of political pressure was put on Sweden to accept peaceful dissolution. The British Empire had designs on the Western part of Norway, the Russians on the far North and both might have invaded in a land grab, if a war had broken out between Sweden and Norway.
Damae managed to find a hidden, although public door up to the next floor. This was on top of the main entrance. In the meantime I stood around wondering where on earth she had disappeared. She took some pictures as the rain lashed down outside of the view through rain spattered windows and small portholes in the structure. It was certain that we'd get wet today on our way down to Strömstad as shower after shower made its way up Idefjord: half of our journey today would follow the Idefjord.
We left the museum and had a noodle round the shop. As usual we didn't buy anything but had a look for maps and guides of the area. On the train in Denmark at the beginning of the holiday, I realised that I had forgotten to print out the route from Halden down to Strouml;mstad. At the time we figured that we wouldn't make it all the way down to Halden in the time we had. As a result on today's leg, I would have to work from the "Sykkelruter i Norge" map that was merely an overview of the main routes, and our Bernt en Freytag road map of Southern Norway. A more detailed map would have been useful but there wasn't one to be had in the shop.
It was just gone one when we poked our head out of the shop to see sunshine. Yes, the sun was out, but was it to stay? It is always better to start your journey in the sun and now seemed like a good time to go. We left Halden Festning having enjoyed our look round and headed out to the RV 22. We turned right towards Holtet and a few minutes later ducked into a KIWI as a very large grey cloud approached. We bought some milk and a few calorie containing items of food and waited until the worst of the shower had passed.
Not long after we re-started we hit open countryside and realised just how stiff the headwind was. The headwind was to be a constant companion today blowing squalls and showers our way. Suddenly a cycle track appeared, (which explains why the road is in this picture) which was nice and we took the advantage to adjust our clothing on the safety of the otherwise empty bit of cycle infrastructure. The cycle path didn't last that long and neither did the flatness.
Just after a sign to Langholmen camping we climbed up before the road turned slightly West giving us fine views of the Idefjord. We paused for a toilet stop in a small lay-by as another shower approached and put on our rain jackets. Suffice it to say we got wet, as we did an hour later as we brewed up in a lay-by next to Boltjern. Our attempts at keeping dry were not so successful, if only I'd known about the Vango Storm Shelter we'd have stayed nice and dry whilst enjoying a cuppa.