Meet a hostel: Uvdal

In a valley in the Norwegian province of Buskerud, our little hostel Uvdal lies. Situated in an old wooden farm house dating from 1845, this must be one of the most authentic places to stay. The hostel is packed with history and local stories, and each room has it’s own character and secrets. If only the walls could speak!

If you want to explore the vast hills and valleys of Buskerud, and are looking for an authentic and cozy place to stay, Uvdal HI Hostel might be what you are searching for! It’s situated in a quiet and picturesque valley, with unspoiled nature and a lot of cultural heritage – the area is known for its medieval stave churches, among which Uvdal Stave Church.

The Buskerud landscape – photo: Randi Hausken


Gunn, the friendly host, has been the driving force of the hostel for years. She says: “Uvdal can hardly be called the Centre of the World. But even so I’m always very surprised by the number of people finding their way to this little place. As a host you get to meet an incredible lot of people, from Norway and from the whole world, and that’s what makes me love my job! As well, I think one becomes wiser with the years, of hearing all the stories the different travellers bring with them.”

Gunn, the host of the hostel

But at Uvdal Hostel, it’s not only the guests that bring stories. The hostel itself is filled to the top with old stories, and every room has it’s own name and history. If you for example stay at “Bakrommet” (“The Back Room”), you’re staying in the room where the farm-hand lived until 1946. In old days, the room also functioned as a detention room before prisoners were taken by horse to custody in Kongsberg. Back then, prisoners were hand-cuffed to the oven since the window in this room does not have bars!

One of the medieval stave churches near Uvdal

If you’re staying at “Kontoret” (“The Office”), you’re staying at the place where the Opdal Sparebank Bank was founded in 1908 and where they had their office until 1958, before moving to Rødberg. The local sheriff also used the office from 1908 to 1928. And if you’re staying at “Stugu” (“the Studio”), you’re using the room where an old solitary lady lived until 1950. She had her bed right underneath the window, so that she could see what was happening on the road outside. You can still see her foorprints in the wooden floor, going from the door to the window and the oven. She also owned a cow, that lived on a little peninsula in the river. She visited her cow twice a day.

The room “Stugu”, where the old lady with the cow used to live


article by: Robin Van de Walle

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