7 days 2 up around South Norway

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Tsin, Jul 27, 2019.

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  1. Tsin

    Tsin Adventurer

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    Hello everyone! Long time lurker here.

    This fly and ride trip occurred between the 13th and 19th of July 2019.
    I wanted to do this report while on the road, but it wasn't possible, couldn’t find any spare time to do this. Can’t imagine how some people are able to do it.

    Before I start, I feel I must give you the following warnings:
    - My English sucks, don’t expect a well written report;
    - 99% of the trip was on pavement;
    - This was our first time abroad on a motorcycle.
    - This is my first RR ever.

    Legal warnings given, let’s start with some Items of our packing list that I think are worth mentioning:
    - Water bladder: Norway is expensive. You don’t need to spend money in bottled water. Water from the tap has great quality. We just filled it in the morning and had enough water for the whole day.
    - Trekking cooking gear – Again, Norway is expensive. Cooking your own food helps you save a lot of €€€. We also enjoy cooking very much, so it’s a win - win situation.
    - Half a litre thermos – Coffee in Norway sucks! At least the few ones we tried. Having half a litre of hot water came really handy when stopping on the side of the road. In 30 seconds we had a cup of good coffee ready to drink. We filled it in the morning and during lunch break.
    - 2 light weight sleeping bags – Most of the days we stayed in camping cabins. Normally they don’t provide sheets, so you either have to rent ones (10€ per day) or bring your own. The sleeping bags also played a big unexpected role on the trip. You will find out more about it later on the report.

    We used Google Maps for navigation and it worked really well.
    Most of the information we got before the trip was found on this website: https://ridenorway.com/
    We even found the rental place of the motorcycle through this website.
    The general plan for the trip was to ride West after landing in Oslo, ride on scenic routes and do a bit of hiking.

    Introduction done, next post will be about our first day.
    #1
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  2. Tsin

    Tsin Adventurer

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    Day 1 – Skedsmokorset –> Lårdal - ~240 km
    day 1.png
    Our flight Lisbon-Oslo landed at around 1 pm. Leaving the airport we went directly to the rental place in Skedsmokorset. In less than 30 minutes all the paperwork was done and everything packed on the bike. We were ready to roll!

    Our bike for the week was a 2016 Kawasaki Versys 650 Grand Tourer.

    I must say that I struggled a bit with the weight of the bike in the beginning, I’m not used to ride heavy bikes.

    First order of business was to buy a gas canister for our trekking stove. Then we started heading to Lårdal, near Dalen, were we had booked an Airbnb. Leaving Oslo was a bit boring. Speed limits were 80 km/h then 60 km/h with speed cameras right after the sign, then 80, then 60 again. It felt like a speeding ticket trap.

    After 1 hour, my wife told me that her bum was sore, and she didn’t want to ride much longer. We stopped for gas, and I walked around the bike scratching my head. What could I do to improve pillions seat comfort? Then I came up with this:
    WhatsApp Image 2019-07-28 at 15.43.46.jpeg
    2 sleeping bags inside the duty free plastic bag strapped down to the passengers seat. Comfortable and waterproof. My wife said it was now much more comfortable, and her view of the surroundings improved a lot as she sat higher.

    IMG_5017.jpg The roads got much better as we went up in the mountains, we were enjoying the ride.

    We reached Lårdal at 7pm. Beautiful place. Went for a walk near the lake.

    Our home for the night:
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    Very nice place!! It was a cabin in a farm with horses and dogs.
    #2
  3. Tsin

    Tsin Adventurer

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    Day 2 – Lårdal –> Joperland - ~200 km
    day 2.jpg
    We had a late start, we were tired due to the flight and ride of the previous day.
    We continued heading West. We took the Suleskarvegen road. Great road with astonishing views. If you go to Norway you MUST take this road. I wouldnt take this road with a car though, it's very narrow in some places. More info: http://suleskarvegen.no/
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    We found a nice place to have lunch with a beautiful view!
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    The King's lunch
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    We ended up in Lysebotn. Very nice little village in the fjord.
    View to the fjord from Lysebotn.
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    We then took the ferry to Forsand. That was when we had a little incident with the bike. The ferry we took was a really fast ferry! I strapped down the motorcyle but it still tipped over during one of the maneuvers. I picked up the bike and searched for damage. I only spotted a little scratch on the fairing and thought it was not worth it to ask the crew to make a report for insurance purposes. If you take this ferry be sure to strap it down very carefully.
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    A hydro powerplant in the fjord.
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    View to Kjeragbolten from below. If you zoom in enough you can see someone standing one the rock in the center of the image.
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    After leaving the ferry I noticed that the throttle was stuck. It got damaged when the bike tipped over on the ferry. I was upset with myself. I should have reported the incident to the crew even though I couldnt see any damage on the bike. Lesson learnt, next time report and ask for insurance. I messed around and was able to unstuck the throttle, but rode carefully for the next kms just in case it got stuck again.
    #3
  4. Tsin

    Tsin Adventurer

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    Just noticed I haven't posted a picture of the bike yet. Here it is, the beast:
    WhatsApp Image 2019-07-13 at 18.46.51 (1).jpeg
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  5. Tsin

    Tsin Adventurer

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    Day 3 - Joperland -> Preikstolen -> Hjelmeland - ~60 km
    day 3.jpg
    Our initial plan for day 3 was to hike to Preikstolen and then ride north till the end of the day. After the incident of the previous day, we wrote a complaint on the ferry's Website and decided to not ride much just in case we had to go back to their office, so we rode to Hjelmeland. Needless to say that we got no answer from them till this moment.

    We were told that we should start the hike early in the morning, as it gets really crowded when the tourist buses from Stavanger arrive. We left our Airbnb at 6:30 am and started the hike at 7am. It worked well, it was not that crowded. We had a blast. The views were fantastic. I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

    The beast at Preikstolen parking lot. Expensive parking: 10 € per day for a motorcycle. If you are a creative person, you can figure out a way to leave without paying the fee :) I'm not saying that I dindt pay, I'm just saying that it can be easily avoided.
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    Coffee?
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    I took this picture from the edge of the Pulpit Rock. At this place I discovered that I am affraid from heights. I went to the edge crawling, not standing up.
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    Stavanger in the background. This is the closest we got to a big city during the entire trip.
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    The hike turned out to be quite easy. It took us 3,5 hours to go and come back with a little stop for coffe from our thermos.
    After the hike we rode north to Hjelmeland. The ride was nice but nothing special. I guess we were spoiled from the previous day.
    The hostel we stayed at, had a really nice view to the Fjord. We cooked and had our dinner with this view.
    WhatsApp Image 2019-07-31 at 22.48.54.jpeg
    #5
  6. Tsin

    Tsin Adventurer

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    Day 4 – Hjelmeland -> Skare ~143 km
    day 4.jpg
    The plan for the rest of the trip was to ride north through National Tourist Routes and do some hiking. A day before the end of the trip we would start heading south.
    Normally I avoid everything that has “Tourist” in the name, but this was a great exception. The National Tourist Routes in Norway are a must for every motorcycle rider.
    Btw, this was my favourite riding day of the whole trip, great roads, perfect for motorcycling.
    Another ferry. You can't ride much in west Norway without taking a ferry.
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    We found a nice place to have lunch. It had a beautiful view and the price was right.
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    We stayed in a really nice cabin for the night. It had kitchenette and bathroom. I told my wife that we could live happilly ever after in a simple cabin like this one. She didn’t like the ideia though.
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    We checked in early, did the laundry and made a salmon feast. We both agreed that the salmon in Norway tastes a bit different.
    #6
  7. Riteris

    Riteris Dessert Runner

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    Liking it so far!
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  8. davide

    davide Been here awhile

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    Great report and, by the way, your English is very good!
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  9. Tsin

    Tsin Adventurer

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    Glad you like it!

    Thanks. My English improves after I practice it for a while. Also improves a lot after the third whisky :D
    #9
  10. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    Fantastic! I love the photos and countryside. I'm of Norwegian ancestry. :D
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  11. Tsin

    Tsin Adventurer

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    Day 5 – Skare -> Geiranger Gaard Camping ~450 km
    Day 5.jpg

    We were planning to hike to Trolltunga on day 5. A demanding hike of 22km. I checked forecast, rain was expected. We decided not to do the hike. We would rather ride in the rain than hike. Most of the fellows motorcyclists we met said we should visit Geiranger fjord, so we pushed and bit and had a long day on the saddle. It did not rain anyway. We were extremely lucky with the weather.
    You can’t go wrong in Norway. It seems that every road you take has incredible views and was made to be ridden in a motorcycle.

    Latefossen - A waterfall next to the road
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    Beautiful Roads
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    We saw a glacier from the road and decided to ckeck it out. It was huge, you can't really see how big it is in the pictures.
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    The water was surprisingly warm.
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    Lake on the Mountain pass
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    The camping ground we stayed is down this valley
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    We stayed in a Cabin in a really nice campground, 10 mins from Geiranger fjord. Normally you don't have problems finding a cabin on the day in Norway, but if you plan to stay near big attractions like Geiranger you must book in advance. I called the campground at 3pm and was able to secure the last cabin available. I'm glad I did, I felt sorry for the people arriving there after a long day and turning back because it was full.
    #11
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  12. Tsin

    Tsin Adventurer

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    Day 6 – Geiranger -> Trollstigen -> Hundorp ~280 km
    day 6 route.jpg
    We left our camping, said good bye to the troll in charge of checkout and headed to Geiranger.
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    10 minutes later we reached Geiranger fjord
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    Another troll. Sadly we saw way more trolls than reindeers or moose.
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    Hard to believe this is sea.
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    After that we headed to Trollstigen.
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    Check out this video my wife recorded from Trollstigen viewpoint.


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    If you want to ride this road, and I think you should, be sure to go EARLY IN THE MORNING! It was around midday when we arrived and it was packed with tourist buses. The thing is, the buses full of old farts can't go through the hair pins at once. They have to go back and forth a couple of times. It was pure nightmare. I got so mad that a I could not enjoy the views. So my advice is: go early in the morning a do it uphill if possible, you get a better view of the surroundings.
    At least it was no bother to my wife as she said she had more time to check the sights.
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    After Trollstingen it was time to start heading south. Our flight back to Lisbon was on the next day and we still had some kms to ride.
    After a while, we were getting hungry, saw a sign of a viewpoint on the side of the road a decided to check it out, and have lunch. It turned out to be one of the most famous railway bridges in Norway. Kylling bridge.
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    We kept riding and it soon turned into a boring ride on the E6 highway. Went to the supermarket and got a cabin when we got tired\bored of riding.
    #12
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  13. kuchibashi

    kuchibashi LLB Supporter

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    Very nice report---thanks !
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  14. Zyb

    Zyb n00b

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    It is funny you said 650 versys is heavy bike
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  15. Tsin

    Tsin Adventurer

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    Thanks!

    The versys 650 grand tourer has around 215 kg. Adding to it the weight of our stuff and we have around 235 kg. I'm used to ride a 150 kg bike so it's heavy for me. Got to work out a bit
    #15
  16. Tsin

    Tsin Adventurer

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    Day 7 – Hundorp -> Skedsmokorset ~250 km
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    The last day was not an exciting day. We just rode the E6 highway in the direction of Oslo.
    Our last cabin in Norway:
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    Good thing about Norway is that motorcycles generally don't pay tolls. Only on E6 we saved about 50€.

    Before coming to Norway everyone told us that it rains a lot in this country. Till day 7 we had barely seen rain. But we could not leave Norway without going through heavy rain could we.
    We saw some bad looking clouds and decided to put the rain gear on. Good decision. Suddenly it got really dark and HEAVY rain started pouring.
    I forgot to close the zippers on the boots so sooner than later I felt that my feet were inside a swiming pool. The soaking boots went to the luggage and this was my footwear for the returning flight to Lisbon:
    WhatsApp Image 2019-08-11 at 23.45.54.jpeg

    So, that's it. We loved Norway. Probably the most beautiful country in the world.
    Hope you liked our first RR.
    Next year we might go to California for a bit longer than 7 days hahah. Might do another RR.

    Just a last thought on the most suitable bike for Norway. In my opinion the perfect bike for Norway would be a Duke 390 (1 up of course). You would struggle a bit on the highway but in the mountains you would have a blast.

    Peace
    #16
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  17. MadRider777

    MadRider777 Been here awhile

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    Great pictures!
    Welcome to California, not the hotel :-)
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  18. Brenski

    Brenski Adventurer

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    I very much enjoyed your report, especially since I just returned from there. Yes, I was on a bus full of old farts. Well not quite all old. I don't consider myself old and it was the best way to get my wife to go! We didn't experience the traffic you encountered at those busy tourist areas in late August. Our bus driver always managed to make those turns without doing a 3 point turn.
    Norway is a beautiful country. Thank you for sharing.
    P.S. There is nothing wrong with your English.
    #18
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  19. Tsin

    Tsin Adventurer

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    Thanks! :D

    Thanks for your comment! I see myself visiting the Norwegian fjords on a cruise ship later in my life.
    #19
  20. PinkPillion

    PinkPillion Husqy pilot too...

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    Thanks for sharing your trip Tsin. Norway looks beautiful! Old family ties there...so we just might make it someday for our own 2up ride. You did a great job on the report! Looking forward to your RR of Cali. :D
    #20
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