Text and Photos Martin Schönherr

Roller coaster from wilderness

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Tyssedal
Presentation
Location
The funicular (1)
The funicular (2)
Technical infos
 Mågelibanen
Tyssedal, Norway
Presentation
 
   
 
Tyssedal power station forming a water front to Sørfjord.
Facing a waterfall that is fed by the glaciers of Folgefonn.
   
       
  Sørfjord is one of the inner side branches of the Hardangerfjord. It leads almost straight to the south from Kinsarvik to Odda. Just before its end you will find on its right side the town of Tyssedal. Tyssedal as well as Odda are industrial towns embedded in a wonderful landscape thus contrasting it by their factories (e.g. titanium-oxide works).

In Tyssedal one of the oldest norwegian hydroelectric power stations is situated. The project was started in 1906 by Sam Eide (he also founded the Norsk Hydro works in Rjukan). It exploits output of the rich in water Hardangervidda, which rises almost 1000m above sea level. The buildings on the banks of the fjord are now partly used as a museum. The principal item of the plant (which consists of several other power stations) is the Ringedalsvatn - a reservoir almost 8 km long. This reservoir is hold by a large dam in Skjeggedal, east of the town.
 
 
       
If you are driving from Kinsarvik to the south you would rather stop in the area of Lofthus known for its splendid orchards and its view right across the fjord to Folgefonn, the southernmost of Norwegias large glaciers.

I had luck as I found a leaflet on holidays in Tyssedal, showing a small picture of a funicular. So this place was planned short termed as a stop on the journey from Voss to Karmøy. Unfortunately the weather conditions on this day seemed to thwart the visit. But again luckily rain and clouds dwindled just in the area of Tyssedal.

 
Viewing south from the road to Skjeggedal, Tyssedal is bedded at the foot of the Hardangervidda.
At the opposite, outskirts of Odda can be seen.
 
 
     
Despite its industrial heritage Tyssedal is a very picturesque place situated besides the road to Odda that emerges here between two long tunnels. The whole town is build on rock. Rock that was polished in round smooth shapes during the glacial period. Now you have to ascend a narrow road that winds through the living quarters of Tyssedal. The town seems to have seen better times from the industrial point of view, but now it is a nice place to live.



 
 
Glacier polished rocks emerge everywhere in Tyssedal.
 
     

The road climbs up the steep entrance of the valley and reaches the settlement of Skjeggedal. Here all buildings obviously serve the operation of the power stations. The view to the inner parts of the valley is blocked by the long dam of Ringedalsvatn rising over the forests as a large fabulous being. This impression was intensified by the mists resting in the valley bottom at the time of the visit.

 
Ringedalsvatn dam.
 
 
     
Oldissue index
 
Tyssedal
Presentation
Location
The funicular (1)
The funicular (2)
Technical infos
 
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