Another Norway report, maybe not

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by viatormundi, Feb 8, 2007.

  1. viatormundi

    viatormundi Citizen of the world

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    There is snow on the streets here now and I look forward to drive my bike when the season starts. Meanwhile, I managed to put pictures and thoughts together to report the fantastic Norway trip I did in the summer of 2005.

    Across Norway with Swedish BMW club, 2005

    After trying the BMW GS model in my 2004 trip in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place>Pyrenees</st1:place>, I decided to buy a new model of GS, a R1200GS.


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    After buying a BMW, I thought that it would be a good idea to join the BMW club of <st1:country-region><st1:place>Sweden</st1:place></st1:country-region>. This is a very well established club with over 5000 members. The club has its own website, forum, a two monthly journal, training programs and motorcycle trips. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    In 2005, the club decided to have its yearly meeting in northern part of <st1:country-region><st1:place>Sweden</st1:place></st1:country-region>, a national park area called Björkliden. This area is close to the city of <st1:City><st1:place>Kiruna</st1:place></st1:City>, roughly 1200km north of <st1:country-region><st1:place>Sweden</st1:place></st1:country-region>. It is very cold up there (around -20 degrees and below) in the winter time and dark but in the summer time the sun doesn’t go down for a while. There were two trips reaching this area, one through <st1:country-region><st1:place>Finland</st1:place></st1:country-region> and the other one through <st1:country-region><st1:place>Norway</st1:place></st1:country-region>. After talking to the organizer of the <st1:country-region><st1:place>Finland</st1:place></st1:country-region> trip, I realized that most of the driving will be through thousands of lakes in <st1:country-region><st1:place>Finland</st1:place></st1:country-region> and curvey roads start at the northern part of the country close to the Norwegen border whereas <st1:country-region><st1:place>Norway</st1:place></st1:country-region> is a paradise of curvey roads, I did drive car there before with my brother. We both loved the country, actually my brother loved Norwegen girls a lot too :D So the decision was not so difficult :D I called the organizer of the Norway trip, he is from south of Sweden, a area called Skåne. This part of <st1:country-region><st1:place>Sweden</st1:place></st1:country-region> has a strong dialect and I learned Swedish only five years ago. I am Turkish originally. Anyway, I asked my questions like which roads we will drive, what kind of bikes etc. Then Thomas starts to talk, I understand maybe 10% of what he says:rofl After 5 minutes of telephone conversation, I barely understood that there is a small group of people from <st1:City><st1:place>Stockholm</st1:place></st1:City> who will join the Skåne group in <st1:City><st1:place>Oslo</st1:place></st1:City>. Great, I can understand <st1:City><st1:place>Stockholm</st1:place></st1:City> dialect; I better call one of these guys. After talking to Stefan from <st1:City><st1:place>Stockholm</st1:place></st1:City>, I learn that we will be around 20 people. Thomas has organized successful and fun trips before. Sounds good plus my skånish will improve:lol3

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    But a thougt strikes me, a trip with 20-25 people! I am used to travel by myself, those who read my reports in the <st1:place>Alps</st1:place> and <st1:country-region><st1:place>Spain</st1:place></st1:country-region> know that. I am used to the freedom of driving as I like, staying wherever I want, putting my tent and looking at the stars. Kind of a lonely wolf one can say. I don’t want this trip to turn into a school trip. Tour leader decides on everything. Sometimes I want to drive fast maybe civilized BMW club members wouldn’t appreciate that, who knows. My girlfriend convinces me at the end. “Just try it, if it gets boring, say bye and continue the trip by yourself” I realize how wrong I was after the second day of the trip.

    The 10 day trip had the following route.

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    The Stockholm team drove towards Oslo and then we met the rest on the west. Then we all start driving towards north, all the way to Lofoten, then towards east to Sweden.

    to be continued....
    #1
  2. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Bring on the pics, pics, pics

    :lurk
    #2
  3. viatormundi

    viatormundi Citizen of the world

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    Location:
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    We leave Stockholm 22nd of July. Our plan is to overnight somewhere after Oslo and the day after meet the group from south of Sweden to take the Lysefjord boat. After Oslo, we will follow the following route.

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    As you can see in the map below, if we miss the boat then we have to drive towards south to reach the destination. An unnecessary trip.

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    A little bit info about my packing in this trip. I guess I learned to pack very compact after my other trips. For 10 days I had a tankbag and a plastic roll. All these items fit into my packing:eek1

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    • ducktape
    • airpressure gauge
    • BMW original tire repair kit
    • engine oil (well it is a boxer right:1drink )
    • leatherman
    • photo camera
    • ipod
    • underwear, functional undergarment, couple of t-shirts
    • raincoat, extra warm clothes, extra gloves
    • shampoo, soap etc..
    I was impressed myself that all these things fit into the packing.

    The Stockholm team is giving a break. We were 2 R1200GS, 1 R1150GS and 1 K1200LT.

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    As you can see, Stefan and I have different packing philosophies:D

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    Meanwhile, the south of Sweden team is boarding to the boat which will take them from Sweden to Oslo. They will have a nice journey with a lot of beers:wink:

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    On the right side, Thomas the leader and planner of the tour.

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    Stockholm team passes Oslo and we stay in a small town. Lodging is expensive in Norway and there are few hotels outside of big towns. We find a hostel. In general the quality of these hostels are quite good.

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    After checking in to our rooms, we take a short walk in the small town. Then we eat the most expensive pizza in the world:D

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    Next day, we drive towards west to the harbour where the boat will take us through a fjort. We reach a highland with a lake and give a coffee break.

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    We approach the small harbour where the boat will take us to Lysefjord. The road down is quite curvy.

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    We arrive to the seaside and wait for our friends from south Sweden.

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    This cute young couple join our team while we are waiting for the rest.

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    The south of Sweden group arrives in last minute. Apparently, they had to speed some. We are talking about Norway here, maximum speed limit is 100 km/h on highways and they arent many. Rest is 80 km/h maximum speed. It looks like couple of bikers couldnt make it and had to drive around:huh The ones who made it to the boat relax with a beer:D

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    Here, Bertil is enjoying the boat ride. As a former cross motorcycle sportsman, he is still very competitive. I overtook him once on the road and he wasnt long behind me trust me:1drink

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    Now, some views from the Lysefjord. These fjord formations are amazing!

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    Sometimes we see these small farms in the middle of the fjord. Most of them have access only from water I heard.

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    I look more carefully for trolls, you know these small ugly creatures.

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    and I see the face of one troll, can you see?

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    After a fantastic boat ride, we drive only 10 mins and arrive to hiking station at Preikestolen.

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    The view of the station from above.

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    After checking in, Thomas, Lars, Thor and I have some more energy. We decide to take a short ride around. After a high tempo driving of 1 hours, we take the boat back to where we stay. I get a feeling that this trip is going to be great:clap

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    to be continued...
    #3
  4. ebbo

    ebbo Been here awhile

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    Great pictures, keep it comming, I've bookmarked this one!
    #4
  5. viatormundi

    viatormundi Citizen of the world

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    Next day is our off-day and we plan to see the famous Preikestolen rock formation. This famous rock is about 640 meters above the sea level. We leave the hiking station around 10 am.

    As we ascend, the hiking station disappears from sight.

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    And we see the lake in front of the hiking station

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    After hiking about 30 minutes we reach a plateu and this small lake. There were some crazy young people swimming in it. From their screams, I guessed that it was quite cold in the water:lol3

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    Some team members are taking a break. I can see in some people's face the question "is this a biking trip or hiking trip". I hope this famous rock is worth it.

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    We continue walking and see the sea finally. Then we realize how high we are!

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    We must be very close to this rock. A narrow passage close to the rock wall is waiting for us.

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    As we turned the corner, we see the magnificient Preikestolen rock:clap

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    It is really amazing! A block of rock rising 600 mts from sea level.

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    This block of rock is about 25X25mt big. The view from the top is breaktaking.

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    The ones who are not afraid of height sit close to the edge but many other didn't dare to come close to the edge.

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    Some of our friends are brave but look how he is holding to the rock:D

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    Thure is posing next to his piece of art.

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    The view is very special. I can't describe it with words or pictures, you have to experience yourself. You get a urge to fly so high up.

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    Unfortunately, it is time to walk back before it gets dark. Bye Preikestolen, I promise I will be back.

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    After some downhill hiking

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    We arrive at our hiking station with its great view

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    We deserved cold beers and endless discussions about tires, engines and oils:D

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    Tomorrow, we will start driving towards north.

    to be continued.....
    #5
  6. talltony

    talltony Been here awhile

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    I should say it is! :D Good to see the pics from the ferry,I didn't have the patience to wait for it!


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    Tony
    #6
  7. rokklym

    rokklym one man wolfpack

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    Fantastic!!!

    I need to go to Norway!
    #7
  8. viatormundi

    viatormundi Citizen of the world

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    Next day we are rested and ready to drive. The hiking station was nice, but the food wasn't great according to my taste. Actually if you have nice expectations on food, I would say lower them when you visit Norway:D I am Turkish, so good food is essential for my well being and kharma so I was actually little concerned that the food will be like this for next ten days but Thomas assured me that the quality will be better in coming days:freaky

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    Final preparations before we leave.

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    My buddy Lars Eve gives the OK sign! We had great fun together. We were kind of crazy young kids of the group and loved to piss of Bertil (the former motocross sportsman):lol3 Lars also joined us in some gravel road driving with his K75. The bike and himself performed very well but he also realized that he is a natural born GS driver. Now he drives a GS.

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    Today's route is about 300 kms and our destination is a small town called Ullvik.

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    Thomas planned the trip in good detail, each day we had some alternative routes, with different scene or gravel roads. We had such an alternative today too.

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    After 40 minutes we come to a ferry station. In Norway, these ferries are a necessity to continue driving. Most of them have frequent time schedules. Because of these ferries and very curvy roads, average speed is less than one plans on the map:evil

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    While waiting for ferry, a sausage tastes good.

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    Group leaders and people driving last were wearing these reflective vests that Thomas distributed. I can strongly recommend them, I use them myself in long drives. Visibility helps a lot.

    Finally we are on the ferry. The nord wind blows hard and chilly. I can't imagine how it can be in the winter time.

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    After the ferry, some groups follow the main route and give a lunch break in a small town.

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    Afterwards, they drive on this damm

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    and take some photos of this nice lake

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    They also meet some snow in July:huh

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    Meanwhile we follow the alternative route and face this nice scenery

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    Then we meet Thure in a small town by coincidence. He made a mistake and left with bad tire from Sweden. Finally his tire gives up and he ends up in a tricky situation. It can be difficult to find a matching tire to his 1200 LT in Norway and it can be really expensive. But he has luck. He finds some kind of Chinese tire and can continue driving.

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    All groups meet at this nice waterfall called Latefoss. It was impressive I have to say. I would like to come there earlier time of day to skip all tourists to take more pictures.

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    Our reliable adventure companions are waiting patiently for us

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    We continue driving to Ullvik. The scenery gives you a freedom feeling plus the weather was great during the whole trip. Weather can be tricky in Norway and it can rain non stop but I was lucky myself. I have been driving in Norway two times and both trips had decent amount of sunshine. Late July seems to be a good time to travel to Norway.

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    We arrive at Ullvik and the hotel we stayed was really nice with decent food. (as I said, we Turks get impressed by food very difficult, used to our own good food you know:D )

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    After dinner, Thomas goes over tomorrows route and it sounds like we will have more fun.

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    to be continued...
    #8
  9. Baghist

    Baghist Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Saxony, GER,
    Your report inspired me. If I will find some time in summer, I'll go on Tour to Scandinavia again. :wings

    Thank you!
    #9
  10. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Fantastic!! Thanks for the beautiful pics and report... :thumb

    More to come? :clap

    :lurk
    #10
  11. Chanderjeet

    Chanderjeet IndiYeah !!

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    Fantastic!! Thanks for the beautiful pics and report... :thumb
    #11
  12. contacterich

    contacterich Been here awhile

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    California
    Spectacular photos - thx! :clap
    #12
  13. ebbo

    ebbo Been here awhile

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    keep it comming viatormundi, the pictures are great :clap
    #13
  14. Metal Doc

    Metal Doc Duc addicted

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    :lurk

    Fantastic pictures
    #14
  15. DRglidarn

    DRglidarn Panzer pilot

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Trollhättan, Sweden
    As before, great reporting and pics! It´s very interesting to read your reporting of
    traveling with the Swedish BMW Club, with your point of view. I also like to travel
    alone, 2up with GF or in small groups. So keep reporting how your feelings develops
    in the large group riding , please.
    :lurk
    #15
  16. LMJ

    LMJ Faceplant in progress

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    "For the price of a cup of coffee, you can help bring vowels to Norweigan children..." :D

    Excellent report and photos, thank you for sharing! :clap
    #16
  17. ThorH

    ThorH BMW R1200GS

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    :rofl Now that's funny, but oh so unfair! We actually have 29 letters in our alphabet, and the extra three ones are all vowels; æ, ø and å. We just don't want to spend them all right away...
    #17
  18. curbjumper

    curbjumper Lane Changer

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    A beautiful country, great pictures, & nice ride report! :nod
    #18
  19. viatormundi

    viatormundi Citizen of the world

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    Today's route is 300km but with alternative route it is 400km. The main route includes the Laerdal tunnel, the longest tunnel in the world. It is 24.5 km long. The alternative route skips the tunnel.

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    Everybody do their regular checks before we drive away. One of the R 1150 RT's battery doesn't cooperate. After pushing it a bit, the engine starts. The owner decides to reach the closest town to change the battery. The more north we drive, finding bigger towns will be difficult, it is better to make the change while we are close to civilization:1drink

    Our next stop is Aurlandsfjord. Big cruising ships can dock here, therefore there are many tourists but bearable.

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    We give a lunch break and chill out.

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    I take a short look at the souvenier shops and buy some postcards to send to my brother.

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    There is an interesting train here called Flåmsbanan. A special train that can climb steep hills with its sprocked wheel pulling up. The rail lane is 20 km long and the train climbs 1m for every 18m it goes, it passes 20 tunnels which make total of 6km. There is a road kind of following the route of the train, not open to cars but we try our chance to drive there with our bikes. After a sweaty ride, we reach the midway. It is not allowed even for our bikes from here on.

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    Tourists who climbed this part on foot are suprised to see heavy bikes here.

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    We continue to drive and reach Laerdalsfjord. I drive on the alternative route which skips the worlds longest tunnel. The tunnel is an impressive thing (rode through it with a car before) but really boring with a bike in comparison to these nice views and fresh air.

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    I take one of my traditional reflectingyourselfatyourbikesmirror pictures:D

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    It is another nice day and this country offers us beautiful views all the time. I understand why many people rank Norway as one of the "must do" destinations for bikers.

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    We arrive late afternoon to our next accomodation and this place was really special. We will be staying in these cute wooden houses lying in a valley surronded with a glacier called Trollbau, lying south of Olden. The misty air, the super green nature, the cold breeze coming from the glacier and the special nordic summer light make the place very very mystical. Kind of Hansel and Gretel set-up. If you want to write a novel or fairytale, I can recommend this place.

    Cool roofs:evil

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    Rickard and Thor are ready for a walk before dinner.

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    Tired but happy bikers at dinner table

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    This lady owns those houses and gives us some information about the area and the food. Everything we eat comes from the village she says, 100% ecological. Something we need to pay extra in big cities nowadays. It was a delicious dinner. My negative view on Norwegian food changes thanks to her.

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    I take a walk after dinner, it is still light outside. The view brings me many thougts.

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    That night, I most probably see those old fairytales in my dream.

    Tomorrow, we will go to Geiranger and the famous TROLLSTIGEN

    to be continued....
    #19
  20. rubaga

    rubaga Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2007
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    Location:
    Moscow
    Thanks for posting. Look forward to continuation of your report.

    I see you now drive KTM 990. Why did you decide to change from BMW to KTM?

    Thanks
    #20