Day 36-2. Horten to Larvik contd.
We had decided to stay on the RV 311 after Åsgårdstrand. We didn't really need to do that slow loop down to Tangen again today. It was nice enough but once we had got to Sandefjord we had another thirty kilometres to do to get to Larvik. The RV 311 turned out to be quite a good route. The cycle track was separated from the busy main road with only a couple of obstacles in our way. For part of the way pedestrians and cyclists were banned from the main road. The route then followed an access road a little away from the RV 311 where we travelled through suburbs of Tønsberg before our cycle track returned to running along the main road. I stopped just before the bridge over the RV 308/311 to take a photo of the route. The day before we'd had to walk our bikes off the cycle track to be able to get under the RV 311 down towards Tangen.
What was very positive about this part of Norway was the care taken to provide provision for cyclists keeping us out of harms way. Although we had to go over the bridge the height gained gave us a view of the coastline. The signs continued to be good as we rejoined the NSCR and followed cycle paths towards the centre of Tønsberg. Eventually we turned right in the centre and I looked back towards the junction. Going north we'd turned right at the Meny supermarket, an easy landmark to find.
As we were taking the alternative route out of Tønsberg we turned right just before the 'unforgettable' bridge noting that the sign had been vandalised. At least it was still clear enough to navigate by. The next section took us alongside the stretch of water called Kanalen through a dockside development area. This had trendy bars and modern flats together with the usual new bridges connecting the developments together. The only minor downside was that cyclists were sharing the path with pedestrians. We had a minor surprise when a lady, distracted by her phone conversation moved across the path in a rather unexpected way.
As Kanalen became Byfjorden we passed through a small village, more vandalised signs and more new roads with cycle infrastructure. This was good news as I wouldn't have wanted to share the main road with lorries and buses. Not long after we turned left to follow the RV 303 towards Stokke. I think we had a slight disagreement at this junction as the sign said go left although Damae went straight on. Once back on the right track we followed the signs that kicked us off the RV 303 and onto minor roads nearer to the coast. Luckily we had a tailwind, I wouldn't have wanted to cycle on this exposed section against a headwind. Here we had great views of the countryside and the tower errected in 1888 as a memorial to the old fortress of Tønsberg. I guess the Norwegian version of a Victorian folly. We looked at it for a while in the afternoon sun.
We then carried on following the signs, a bit of grassy track followed by a left turn in Vier that took us onto a cycletrack beside the RV 303. A couple of kilomtres later at a large roundabout we turned away from the main road onto Solnesveien and headed to Melsomvik and back to the coast. Here it was green and flat with a marina and jetties.