A lap of the Kattegat - Denmark / Norway / Sweden from the UK, June 2012

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Funkster, Jul 8, 2012.

  1. Funkster

    Funkster Adventurer

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    Part 9: rest day in Kristiansund, zero kilometers

    Having been riding one way or another for the last seven days, a rest day was definitely in order. We mooched around in Kristiansund, ate ice-cream, and enjoyed the weather.

    Somewhat awake after a post-sunrise nap:
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    Proof of the temperature (figured no-one would believe us otherwise):
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    Funky mural thing on the side of the courthouse:
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    The church in town is this creepy-looking brutalist thing, some cues obviously taken from the Russians at some point...
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    Tucked behind it is this ramshackle old house, felt a bit sorry for it having to live in the shadow (though presumably it has some connection to the church):
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    Another instance of non-hairpin-based Norwegian tourism:
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    Then a quick paddle to end the day!
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    #21
  2. Funkster

    Funkster Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Part 10: to Galtsjøen, ~350km

    The nature of the riding changes a fair bit at this point. Having become used to the winding fjord roads, we now had a three-day run East to go and visit Stockholm. It's a fair old way so we decided to get pretty much all the way to the border on the first leg, while we were still supposedly fresh from our rest day. As it turned out I didn't sleep particularly well due to the strange sleep patterns of the day before, but I guess I've got no-one to blame but myself! Ah well...

    Today's GPS track:
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    Initially the coastal scenery continues inland...
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    However, once you get a bit further inland, it's pretty much forest in all directions. The largest continuous forested area in Europe, I think!
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    Our destination for the day was a cabin near Galtsjøen called Galten Gard - a farm with several cabins for rent and all look very nice! The view isn't bad either:
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    And, since we hadn't seen much in the way of the wildlife promised by the road signs, we decided to mock this elk a little bit...
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    #22
  3. Funkster

    Funkster Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Part 11: to Sater, ~ 340km

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    Continuing our hack towards Stockholm, this day turned out to be a rainy one. Soggy riders meant not many stops (though I did manage a quick jaunt down some forest roads while Chris was trying to sort out his fogging visor) and as such very few action shots. Here's the only one of note:

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    We were also lacking the energy to be creative with where to stay. We headed straight for the first signposted campsite when we got to Sater, and got ourselves a cabin HERE. Left the gear to drip-dry and spent the evening amusing ourselves in the facilities building!

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    #23
  4. Funkster

    Funkster Adventurer

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    Whoa, I just totally fell into a worm-hole and got spat out six months into the future!

    Okay, that's a lie. It's winter and it's really cold where my computer is and typing with frozen hands isn't much fun. Still, my apologies (again) for the big paws...

    Part 12: to Stockholm, 184km

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    Not much to say (or show) about the riding here I'm afraid - we'd been warned that the main road wasn't particularly remarkable and that's true. I'm sure there were more interesting routes available, but we were keen to get to Stockholm and be stereotypical tourists for a couple of days!

    We headed for our hotel, an apartment-style job on the outskirts of the city. Some people on here said before we left that the metro system was good but confusing, but having used the London undergroud we found that the signs, trains, platforms and stations were all about as straightforward as you could hope. Buying tickets is the confusing part! I think it took us longer to buy the appropriate tokens than it took to actually get into town.

    Anyway, since we're just sightseers at this point there's no photos of the riding, but there are lots of photos of us having a nice time...

    ... oh, and ducks. Most of us can't help ourselves from taking photos of ducks wherever we go - not sure why, but there's probably hundreds of photos of ducks amongst our combined photo collections. Here's one taken in the middle of town:
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    We saw Rick's telephone, wonder if he'd mind if we used it?
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    Having read about it in the guide book, we were all keen to visit the Ardbeg Embassay, and it didn't disappoint. They have ~25 locally-brewed craft beers on tap, so we sat down and went about working our way through them:
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    Chris managed to order the darkest beer anyone had ever seen. It tasted of cigars soaked in whisky.
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    Oh, and they've got a few malts if you like that kind of thing, which we do (this photo shows about a third of their selection):
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    Having spent a good chunk of our pocket money on a few rounds there, we wandered on in search of food and ended up at Magnus Ladulås, where we enjoyed an excellent meal and the most hilariously bad service I've ever experienced in a restaurant - getting our order wrong but yelling at us that what they'd brought really was what we wanted, charging us for the wrong stuff, huffing goodness-knows-what (claimed to be Eucalyptus oil) while they argued with each other about whose fault it was... anyway, the Roast Beef of Lamb was excellent!
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    And after a last stroll around admiring the night-time sights, that concludes our first day in Stockholm...
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    The next day, having spent another good 20 minutes on the process of purchasing 5 travelcards, we headed back into town and set about mocking the sculptures...
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    I really have no idea what's going on here:
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    More wandering around a very attractive town..
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    ... and that makes beer o'clock! Cheers!
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    While we were sat drinking, a chap wearing a suit rocked up on this Royal Enfield (made in Redditch, about 10 miles from where I grew up) and nipped into the corner store. Definitely the coolest guy in town, and everyone in sight took a photo of his motorcycle:
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    And finally, back to the hotel for yet more bananagrams and maybe a splash of wine to finish the evening off...
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    #24
  5. G-Mac

    G-Mac Been here awhile

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    Subscribed keep it coming.
    Looks like lots of fun.
    #25
  6. UK Jimbo

    UK Jimbo Been here awhile

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    London, UK
    Really enjoying the ride report, this is a trip I was looking at doing last year.

    For anyone thinking of visiting Norway they've put together a really good app put together by their national tourist board Visit Norway App and a really good offline map too Norgeskart
    #26
  7. Funkster

    Funkster Adventurer

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    Part 14: Stockholm to Linköping, ~250km

    We were all very refreshed after our short city-break, and I was looking forward to the next bit of riding - andershz on here very kindly supplied us with some excellent local knowledge so we could get away from the main road and onto some more interesting tarmac. Here's our GPS track for the day:

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    Hang on, didn't I say we were all refreshed? Chris obviously needed an extra nap before we set off, and his bike-slouching fu is quite strong:
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    This leg is where I decided to try navigating for the group - most of the time up to now we'd either been following signposts, working to a memory of a simple route, or cheating and following Laika's sat-nav.

    I wanted to see if I could lead us along andershz's route, but of course I don't have a fancy bike sat-nav, or even any proper maps. Instead, in the map pocket of my tank bag I had a black-and-white printout of the google map of the entire route, and my phone. Now this might make sense if you've got a fancy smartphone with a 5" screen, but I have a Samsung B2710. It's a good phone - water proof, good GPS, good battery life... but its screen is teeny! Also the mapping application I use is open source and written in Java, and meant for a more powerful machine than this, so the screen updates aren't exactly fast.

    Imagine this, but with a bright blue sky reflected in the map pocket window as well:
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    To my surprise, it worked quite well! Admittedly I had to keep taking my left hand off to shade the screen, but my marked waypoints (worked out where we had to turn before leaving and saved the locations onto the phone) would appear on screen just in time for me to read them without falling off. Result!

    Anyway, we had a great time winding our way through the country roads, and totally stuck to the speed limit the entire time.

    Honest!

    Stopped off for a picnic somewhere completely random...
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    We had planned to cross via ferry HERE, but when we arrived we discovered (via a very helpful local who phoned the ferry company and gave us the skinny in perfect english) that the ferry was stuck on the other side with a broken transmission. So close! I think Chris was considering taking a run-up...

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    So that led us on a detour through Norrköping in order to pick up our back-road route, but it didn't cost us too much time. We soon found ourselves on quiet, beautiful roads...

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    ... and we arrived at our campsite for the evening (HERE) in plenty of time to do a bit of Scottoiler maintainance:

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    and cook a big pot of veg curry!
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    #27
  8. Frey Bentos

    Frey Bentos Probably doing a drawing. Or scratching my arse.

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    This is a great idea for a trip. Thanks for putting it up.
    #28
  9. bavarian

    bavarian bavarian

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    Very nice pics!!! Thanks for posting.
    #29
  10. Dr LC8

    Dr LC8 ...soon or later

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Manchester...but from Rome!
    I have been thinking many times How to do a quick loop into Scandinavia from UK.
    Thanks for the suggestion:evil

    Nic
    #30
  11. Funkster

    Funkster Adventurer

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    Part 15: Linköping to Torne, 300km

    This was the second leg of andershz's route, a few more main road sections compared to the day before but there were still some nice tree-lined bits linking them together.

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    I really wish I'd had a bike-mounted camera because we were mainly pressing on and didn't stop for many photos. Of course, whilst stopped for a picnic we remembered to add a few pics to the duck collection...

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    The only on-the-move picture from this bit:
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    Originally we had been intending to head to Wildmarks Camping, but for some reason we didn't make it and I can't really remember why now. I guess they must've been full, we didn't make any reservations more than a day in advance the entire trip!

    Anyway, we ended up in a hut in a nice campsite HERE, and had a good chat with one of the staff who was a fellow biker and classic car enthusiast. The campsite was next to a lake, and there were a few paths around for those who fancied a wander.

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    All through the Swedish countryside we'd been taunted by moose warning signs (without seeing any actual moose), and here we found another one right opposite our cabin!

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    So, imagine my surprise when K8 returned from a walk and calmly said "saw a moose while we were by the lake, look..." and handed me her camera.



























































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    Ho ho ho, scottish-accent-for-comic-effect-person :eek:P


    That's about yer lot here, save for the obligatory well-filled dinner pot...

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    #31
  12. Funkster

    Funkster Adventurer

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    Part 16: to Copenhagen, 230km

    Having packed up our airbeds for the last time on this trip, we made an early start so we could get to Copenhagen with some daytime left - we wanted to see some of the city but only had one night there. Mainly a run down rv23 and then the E22...

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    That took us straight through Malmo without even so much as a glance at the city, because we were headed for something well-known to us due to the eponymous scandinavian crime drama. Vis, BRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIDGE!
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    Hehe, the wind farm to the left makes nice patterns if you get the timing right...
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    Our rather fancy accommodation would be the Copenhagen Island Hotel, HERE. They have parking but it was fairly full... again Laika disappeared a little way down the road, but the staff let us put our bikes in their pedal-cycles area!
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    Just by chance we had arrived in town on the night where all the school-leavers celebrate the end of their exams, so as we walked around there was a constant passing of army-trucks-hastily-converted-into-busses, each containing its own particular style of sound system, decoration, and fleet of students dressed as sailors.
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    Needless to say they'd been drinking most of the day, and were all pretty keen to wave / yell something (sounded friendly enough) to passing strangers / show you their underwear. Fair enough, like. Some folk obviously couldn't source a stylish army truck, so there were a few wrecked people being carted around in, well, carts also:
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    Anyway, we were in Denmark now so best do as the romans do and eat some pastries...
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    And then head up the tower of the Copenhagen University Observatory:
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    This has an excellent spiral corridor leading to the top, pretty sure the local skateboarders wish there wasn't a guard on the entrance :eek:)
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    It houses (the oldest working? not sure about that!) orrery..
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    ... and the view from the top includes the briiiiiiiidge!
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    It also has a storage loft that looks like it would be an excellent place to have a party, or to have as a tinkering space:
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    And finally, a couple of random pictures of the local architecture...
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    #32
  13. Funkster

    Funkster Adventurer

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    Part 17: a quick visit to Copenhagen Suborbitals

    If you haven't yet heard of Copenhagen Suborbitals, well, you should have! These guys are building rockets for basically pocket money, and intend to go to space. Manned.

    If that doesn't deserve a few dollars of your support, I don't know what does!

    Anyway, since we were close by we figured we'd go and have a look at their facility. We knew there wouldn't be anyone in since the summer is their prime rocket-testing season and they're all out at sea with their home-made marine launch platform. Still, we headed into the industrial area where they're based...
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    Pretty impressive, eh? Except, ah, that's the old power station whose land they sub-let. They actually do all their rocket building in their Horizontal Assembly Building, otherwise known as a rusty tin shed:
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    Parked nearby was their home-made submarine...
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    ... and some obviously very interesting evidence of something high-temperature-related. Man, we're such geeks...
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    I just couldn't resist going and standing in their rocket test stack... somewhat safer at that point than when they're firing the TM65!
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    Back in town we also scored a photo of another landmark we were familiar with, this time from excellent Danish political drama Borgen:
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    The courthouse steps are well guarded by these lizard dudes:
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    #33
  14. Funkster

    Funkster Adventurer

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    Part 18: back to Esbjerg for the ferry home, 300km

    Right, we'd run out of sightseeing time, we now had a very important deadline - to get to the ferry before boarding closes at 13:30! It's a fair old stretch, all motorways:

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    I have to admit this wasn't a particularly enjoyable bit of riding. The venerable Dominator wasn't exactly made for long 70mph+ motorway stints, and its upright riding position means you tend to get blown off the back somewhat. The deadline meant that we really had to do 70 the entire way, with not much time for breaks! I was hugging my tank bag throughout, hoping that the motor wouldn't mind being held at 5000rpm for longer than I've ever done before.

    I also experienced a hilarious (to Chris, anyway) shortage of horsepower on the bridge between Korsor and Nyborg - a 30mph head-wind reduced my flat-out speed to 65mph! Oh how we (he) laughed. Still, rather that than a 30mph cross-wind...

    This is where I have to mention the trip's only reliability issues, but thankfully they're relatively minor!
    1) Increased crankcase pressure made my oil filter cover leak a bit, and I got an oily right foot.
    2) About 10km shy of the ferry port, my speedo drive decided it'd had enough of this motorway lark, and spat out all its teeth. Dag nammit, that means I'll have to rely on the GPS speedo on my phone!

    Can't complain too much about that really, and we made it in time for the ferry. There was obviously something funny about the cabin...

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    We then treated ourselves to an expensive-but-good steak in the ship's restaurant, and watched Scandinavia disappear over the horizon...
    #34
  15. X11-MAN

    X11-MAN Adventurer

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    Fife , Scotland
    Thanks for sharing...looks a great ,happy trip..and superb photos !!! :clap:clap:clap
    #35
  16. Funkster

    Funkster Adventurer

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    Part 19: Home! 180 miles and the end of an excellent adventure.

    Having slept the sleep of exhausted bikers, we woke up, breakfasted and watched England appear in the distance. After getting off the ship and remembering to start driving on the other side of the road again, we started the hack back home. Not too bad at first, and a visit to Chris' parents for lunch kept our spirits up, but soon we were in a damp, grey Milton Keynes again and this time it was rush hour. Rain, traffic... we weren't used to this! Can't we go back? Oh, no, we've got work tomorrow...

    Ah well, we got home safe and sound, and K8 even discovered a clean spot on Laika:
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    And after a quick unpack, we wasted no time in getting to our local pub to mark the end of a great trip: 2500 miles, more ferries and tunnels than I could count, some hairpin bends and bridges that I'll remember for a long time, and most importantly an excellent time with fantastic people.

    Big shout out to Anneley, Chris, K8 and Mags for the company and for helping make an ambition a reality. Props to Kenny for the inspiration. And thank you to Denmark, Norway and Sweden for the roads and the welcome!

    Cheers, and thanks for watching - see you all again soon I hope!
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    All the very Best of British,
    --
    Olly
    #36
  17. glenn2926

    glenn2926 Been here awhile

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    Looks like you had good weather most of the time. The roads look to be good fun and the cabins seem to be a great idea. Hope you are going to do another trip and write it up as well as you have done this one.

    Cheers Glenn.
    #37
  18. Funkster

    Funkster Adventurer

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    Thank you! And also thanks to all the other commenters along the way :eek:)

    We were incredibly lucky with the weather, really didn't expect so many dry, sunny days. The standard of road maintainance and the quality of the campsites make the UK look a bit daft, everything seems to just work and nothing is too crowded. But perhaps we were just as lucky with those elements as we were with the weather!

    I certainly hope to do another trip; there are a few ideas being kicked around at the moment but all involve saving up our pocket money again, and lining up everyone's availability is tricky. Would like a couple more riders on the next one if possible, though this group / vehicle combo did work very well.

    ttfn!
    --
    Olly
    #38
  19. Frey Bentos

    Frey Bentos Probably doing a drawing. Or scratching my arse.

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    Thanks. That was a great read and food for thought.:1drink
    #39
  20. Cameleer

    Cameleer Worldcrzer

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    Location:
    Dubai, UAE and for now, Munich
    Two years on, my hat off. Thanks for the great RR.
    #40