365 Places: Drammen

Day 3: Drammen, Norway

Photo credit: Henry Rosling c 1860

Photo credit: Henry Rosling c 1860

Today, my post is about a place I would love to go – Drammen in Norway. Drammen is about 40 kilometres from the capital of Norway, Oslo, and is one of the larger cities in Norway. The city centre lies at the end of a valley, on both sides of the Drammenselva river, and where the river meets the Drammensfjord.

Why Drammen? My father’s great-grandfather, Anton Benson, arrived in Australia in 1868 from Norway, via North America. He came from Drammen and was a merchant seaman. The photo above is dated around 1860, not long before he made his journey to live on the other side of the world. Story has it that he in fact jumped ship near Harvey Bay before settling in Toowoomba, near Brisbane – but that is disputed.

I know very little about this part of the world but it has captivated my imagination since I was a child. I have only travelled to Scandinavia once – to Helsinki and Stockholm, and that was 10 years ago now. What I saw I found beautiful – especially the boat cruise I took along the fjords and the Baltic Sea. I also became addicted to the sauna culture of Scandinavia when I was there, and recently invested in a home sauna for the cold Canberra winter ahead.

What I do know about Drammen is that it is an industrial city situated on the banks of the Drammenselva River and that the industrial revolution had a big impact on this river town. Drammen is now a major area for trade as it is also the main harbour for car and fruit import in Norway. Elvebyen Drammen states the following:

The fjord and the river have been the basis of existence for the inhabitants of Drammen for many centuries, indeed this is the life nerve of the city. The river has carried river prams, barges, small vessels and modern-day leisure boats, and was for many years one of Norway’s largest logging rivers, second only to the Glomma.

From the 1850s onwards, many steam-powered sawmills and planing mills were established along the lower section of the river, and in the course of the 20th century the paper and cellulose industries boomed. Later on, however, in the 1960s and 1970s, the cellulose industry experienced an economic decline, causing the factories to close down one after the other.

My parents have visited Norway and often talk about what a beautiful place it is and how much they enjoyed visiting this country and discovering our ancestor’s home town. I know so little about Anton Benson, the first ancestor in my family that came to Australia, despite the fact I carry his name and have a great fascination for this part of my cultural background.

We are planning to go to Norway and Iceland next year, so I hope the next time I talk about this place it will be from first-hand experience.



Tracey M Benson is a lover of travel, having a diverse background as an artist, writer and researcher. Working with online environments since 1994, Tracey's experience includes providing digital media, web and social media solutions to government, non-profit, private industry and tertiary sectors. Her focus is on sustainability behaviour change and the use of communications and emerging technologies to empower community and build culture.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in 365 Places, Activities, Photography, Travel
One comment on “365 Places: Drammen
  1. bytetime says:

    Reblogged this on Geokult and commented:

    Another post from 365 Places – this time about Drammen in Norway

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,215 other followers

Support Us
Map: 365 Places

See all the places on the map

Buy Finding Balance: Mura Gadi
As seen on:
Sites with articles by Geokult Travel
%d bloggers like this: