Scandinavia/Norway - July 2018

Discussion in 'EMEA' started by JimRidesThis, Nov 11, 2017.

  1. JimRidesThis

    JimRidesThis Local celebrity

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Oddometer:
    731
    Location:
    Cumbria, UK
    My mother passed away earlier this year at the ripe old age of 92. In her own way she was one of life’s adventurers and always encouraged my brother, sister and I to be independent, self reliant and outward looking.

    A few years ago I made an offhand comment that I wanted to take a motorcycle trip to Sweden and Norway. She was always interested in our travels. For my birthday that year she presnted me with a Rough Guide to Scandinavia and large-scale maps of Norway. It was her way of saying ‘you’d better get going then!

    So, you could say that this trip is a partial tribute to my Mum, but in truth it’s just me getting some R&R, experiencing new vistas and connecting with new people.

    The rough plan:
    Catch a ferry to the Netherlands, ride through Germany, Denmark, Sweden, possibly a little bit of Finland. Then across to the Lofoten Islands (not to fussed about slogging up to Nordkapp but I’ll see how I feel once I’m up there) down to the Trondheim area where a work colleague is going to meet up for a few days sea fishing, then down through Fjordland, ferry to Denmark and back home.

    Camping all the way.

    Three weeks to throw at the trip.

    All on my ownsome :thumbup

    The finalised bits of the rough plan:
    Outward ferry booked - Hull to Rotterdam 30th June :D
    Hirtshals to Langesund ferry booked for 4th July :D
    I have the bike, the camping gear, fishing tackle and a passport :D


    The concerns:
    Trying to pack too much in. My Google map is full of starred places.
    Conversely, missing out on something great - places, experiences, people.
    The costs in Norway (but I don’t drink alchohol which I understand is very expensive and a primary worry for many).
    The potential for bad weather (though I can always turn about and head south).

    The questions:
    1. What should be on my ‘must see/must do’ list?
    2. What’s the intel regarding trout fishing in Sweden and Norway? e.g. permits, etc. In the UK we have a national licence and then you have to buy a ticket to fish many waters, although some are free.
    3. Any recommendations for campsites or accommodation (e.g. hyttes)? I do plan to camp wild but wouldn’t mind a few facilities from time to time.
    #1
    Spyrious and ajt2 like this.
  2. GvG

    GvG Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    362
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    When I was in Norway this August for 2 weeks I had rain for 12 days. It was the wettest August ever in Norway. That made me turn to hyttes, that can be found everywhere, though I had planned on camping. Hyttes on campsites tend to be cheaper than the privately owned ones. The latter ones have personal showers/toilettes, on campsites you make use of the general facilities. Prices ranged from 20 Euro-80 Euro and from 'a roof over your head' to luxurious.
    Bring your own pots and pans (you're going camping, so I presume you're bringing those anyway) and don't forget to bring your own bottom sheet to put on the mattress. It's mandatory and otherwise you might have to rent it.

    If it's raining don't start looking for a hytte too late, you're not the only one who likes the idea of not having to put up a tent. And at least in Norway July is also prime time for the locals to go camping. August isn't anymore, but near bigger touristy places it sometimes was still hard finding one.

    In my experience campsites in Denmark are seriously expensive, more so than in Norway.

    Expect traffic jams if you take the Elbe-Tunnel (Hamburg). Expect even more delays if you take the Wischhafen-Gluckstadt ferry (no advance booking), because you wanted to avoid Hamburg (and I saw Germans on bikes in the 2hr queue, in the rain, but f#$k that shit). And currently the ferry from Cuxhaven-Brunsbuttel (can and should be booked) is in insolvency.

    It's been a while since I've been in Sweden, but compared to Norway I find the landscape and roads very boring. Finland isn't much better than Sweden.

    Best maps for Scandinacia: Cappelen. Outside of Scandinavia under the Kummerly+Frey brand.
    And if you have a gps device, go to http://www.archiescampings.eu to get campsite POIs for the regions you'll be travelling.
    Noway has a pretty good website with road closures: https://www.vegvesen.no/Trafikkbeta/
    And if you get seasick: the faster Hirtshals-Kristiansand ferry rolls and pitches a lot more than the slower one
    #2
    JimRidesThis likes this.
  3. ajt2

    ajt2 n00b

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    6
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    I’m afraid I’ve got nothing to add but would love to get some tips as its on my list of potential tours in the next couple of years or so.

    I'll be taking notes!
    #3
  4. JimRidesThis

    JimRidesThis Local celebrity

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Oddometer:
    731
    Location:
    Cumbria, UK
    Thanks for those insights, very useful indeed.

    I didn’t know that hyttes could be had as cheaply as 20 euros, I’d heard they started at three times that price. Between 20 and 40 euros a night I can manage, especially if the weather is bad. Are hyttes at that price fairly common or few and far between? I might be tempted to take a one man tent and tarp and bank on using hyttes a bit more if so. Hopefully the UK government won’t fk up over brexit so much that the exchange rate drops even further!

    To be honest, the Sweden leg of the trip is primarily to get up north more quickly, my main interest is visiting Norway, particularly the Lofoten Islands and Fjordland - the normal tourist areas ;)

    The K+F maps I already have (thanks Mum!)

    Crossing the Elbe sounds like a nightmare. I might drop further south to cross if that’s a viable option, any recommendations to avoid the traffic jams?

    Thanks again, that’s really useful information.
    #4
  5. norseXL

    norseXL Northman

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    462
    Location:
    Ultima Thule
    On a bike you can just pass to the front of the line, those ferryes have a lot of place not accesible for cars
    #5
    DavidM1 likes this.
  6. JimRidesThis

    JimRidesThis Local celebrity

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Oddometer:
    731
    Location:
    Cumbria, UK
    Note away @ajt2, ! I’m getting excited about the trip already and it’s still 8 months away :)
    #6
  7. JimRidesThis

    JimRidesThis Local celebrity

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Oddometer:
    731
    Location:
    Cumbria, UK
    Thanks @norseXL, is that the ferries in Norway?
    #7
  8. norseXL

    norseXL Northman

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    462
    Location:
    Ultima Thule
    Those too, but my remark was about the Elbe fehre.
    That ferry can be a nightmare in weekends but it is a good route on a bike
    #8
    JimRidesThis likes this.
  9. norseXL

    norseXL Northman

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    462
    Location:
    Ultima Thule
    #9
    JimRidesThis likes this.
  10. hansen

    hansen airhead addict

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2015
    Oddometer:
    26
    Location:
    on two wheels
    Then I would propose to take the ferry from Kiel to Oslo, ride from Oslo via Kongsvinger/Norway to Torsby/Sweden, then take E45 north. Apart from saving time by ferrying overnight you don't run down your tires on boring roads in Denmark and southern Sweden.

    Not really as there are only two alternatives: the Elbe ferry from Cuxhaven to Brunsbüttel or the tunnel in Hamburg (which is a real nightmare in a traffic jam).

    You may want to read this thread too for some more information.
    #10
    JimRidesThis likes this.
  11. GvG

    GvG Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    362
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    20 Euros is few and far between, I'd say most we found were around 40. But closer to the bigger cities is more expensive. Getting a hytte that's not in walking distance of a village tended to be cheaper as well. And the ones at high altitude, around ski-centres were also expensive.
    And if you start looking soon enough you can also just drive away if you think a place is too expensive and look for something cheaper. I often looked at my POIs of campsites and check online at around 14.00-15.00 to see what would be near our route and what the prices were.

    Make sure you bring a credit card. Some (private) toll roads only accept cc's and you can pay with credit cards almost anywhere in Norway.

    The highest paved road in Norway is a dead-end to here https://goo.gl/maps/onxfWJiZK4y It's got summer skiiing if you like that and they have rooms. You need to book in advance though, from what I've seen.

    Like I said above, Cuxhaven-Brunsbuttel is in insolvency right now and that's the second time this year already.
    #11
    JimRidesThis likes this.
  12. JimRidesThis

    JimRidesThis Local celebrity

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Oddometer:
    731
    Location:
    Cumbria, UK
    Some interesting POIs there @hansen, thanks for the heads-up. I must email AustinW too, I’ve ridden with him a few times in the UK. Forgot he’d been over there last year even though I followed his RR at the time:hmmmmm
    #12
  13. JimRidesThis

    JimRidesThis Local celebrity

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Oddometer:
    731
    Location:
    Cumbria, UK
    Thanks @GvG :thumb
    #13
  14. ThorH

    ThorH BMW R1200GS

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2005
    Oddometer:
    289
    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    Yes, you are trying to cramp too much in, I think. With three weeks incl the transfer from/to UK, I would focus on the South of Norway only. I would definitely not waste my time on the E45 in Sweden, you might as well stay on the local M-whatever.

    The distances are greater than you think. E.g.: The nice route between Trondheim and Bodø is Fv 17, "the coastal highway". It takes three days, because of the ferries. Then the ferry to Lofoten. Spend 3 days there, and take the E6 back to Trondheim. Two more days. Then at least a long day to Oslo, the quick and awful way.

    Norway is more expensive, wetter and colder the further North you go. The best riding and scenery is in the South.

    Whatever you do, hope you'll have a great time!
    #14
    JimRidesThis likes this.
  15. hansen

    hansen airhead addict

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2015
    Oddometer:
    26
    Location:
    on two wheels
    +1.

    That depends on your personal preferences. I have tried both the E6 and E45, to the far north I would always chose the E45 over the E6 for making miles because of much less traffic and higher speed limits. The E45 saved me two days from Oslo to Tromsø, I'd rather spend these on Senja than on the E6.

    If you limit "best riding" to Alps-style twisty roads that is correct, but some of the most spectacular scenery of Norway is north of the polar circle.
    #15
    JimRidesThis likes this.
  16. ThorH

    ThorH BMW R1200GS

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2005
    Oddometer:
    289
    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    My golden rule is to stay away from anything E, unless I am in a hurry to get somewhere far away. So I try not to be. YMMW.
    #16
    JimRidesThis likes this.
  17. norseXL

    norseXL Northman

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    462
    Location:
    Ultima Thule
    If you have a tent and the weater is good, one way to rack up miles is to just keep going into the small hours since it never realy gets dark anyway,
    just ride and ride and then just stop and find a tent place when you get tired,
    wild camping is a right in Norway and Sweden.
    The best riding is after 9 pm, all the caravans and campers are gone then...
    #17
    JimRidesThis likes this.
  18. JimRidesThis

    JimRidesThis Local celebrity

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Oddometer:
    731
    Location:
    Cumbria, UK
    I really appreciate the information guys. I think my plan to have a few days fishing near Trondheim might not be practical. I might put that off this time and fly out with my work colleague on a separate trip.
    #18
  19. JimRidesThis

    JimRidesThis Local celebrity

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Oddometer:
    731
    Location:
    Cumbria, UK
    #19
  20. ThorH

    ThorH BMW R1200GS

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2005
    Oddometer:
    289
    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    You can but them online on the inatur.no site above. Other places you can pay by SMS, buy at the local gas station or camp ground, etc. Quick and easy.
    #20
    JimRidesThis likes this.