Norway in a figure of 8. Summer 2020

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by JohnnyTh, Aug 25, 2021.

  1. JohnnyTh

    JohnnyTh Been here awhile

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    Next morning, we woke up to an empty beach. A few people were awake and hanging out around the tents but most were still asleep. We packed up and set off. Today’s report will be a little boring. For some reason I don’t have many pictures and we did not do anything special except enjoying the scenery. Because of this i need to make a disclaimer. This post will contain pictures borrowed from google maps.
    We had one major task planned, we needed laundry done.

    After just a few minutes riding we pulled over to enjoy this viewpoint.
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    Bilde 31.07.2020, 16 00 06.jpg Looking down toward the fjord we camped at.

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    Most of the roads where like this.

    It did not take us long to reach Gryllefjord where a ferry would take us to Andøya. Arriving at Gryllefjord ferry slip we realised that we were not the only one up early. The waiting line for the ferry filled the parking lot and extended out on the street and out of the village. This was one of those times its good to be on a bike. I rode to the front of the line and after a short waiting time we boarded the ferry.
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    Looking back at those that did not make it on the ferry.
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    Andøya is Norways, Cape Canaveral. Here we have a scientific rocket base that use rockets to take measurements of the atmosphere. More then 1000 rockets have been launched from this base since 1962, and it is well known all over the world. Despite this in 1995 a rocket launched from this base was caught on radar by Russia and they miss interpreted it as a USA trident missile. This caused Russia to go into hight alert and President Boris Jeltsin was ready to push his button. Lucky he did not push it and they found out what it was. Russia was informed about the launch, so why this happened is a mystery.

    We did not see any rockets and we continued past the base. I was torn between taking the west, costal road or sticking to the main road, but I did not need to make this decision the weather did it for me. A wave of ocean fog rolled in and covered the west coast in thick fog. So main road it was. This was probably the most boring stretch of road on the whole trip.
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    Picture from google maps of our lunch stop. No the most romantic places :)

    We rode thru Sortland and Stokmarknes, which is two smaller cities but did not stop. We only had stops for food and fuel. And a nap… until we reached Melbu, where we would take the ferry to Lofoten.

    Lofoten is one of Norway’s top tourist destinations. It is famous for small fishing villages, dried fish, and fishing. You might say anything related to fish. And whale. It is a popular starting point for whale watching. Lofoten consist of a series of island connected by bridges.

    The weather had improved and we enjoyed the changing view of sea islands and mountain peaks. I have failed to take pictures from this stretch so not much to share.

    We started searching for a campsite and preferably on with laundry opportunities. It was not easy. I sent off some messages on facebook searching for anyone with free space. Several came back negative, and some did not reply at all- (Funfact: one year later one of them replied that he had free space for a tent. A little too late)

    We pulled over at Hammerstad camping and the first thing we see outside the reception was a small dog humping Santa Clause. Not the real Santa Clause, but a small stuffed version. Sadly, no picture of this.
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    Google maps again.

    The owner greeted us, and he had free space for us. He also had a helpful wife that offered to do our laundry. I mentioned to him that his dog seemed to like Santa and he said he sure do, it is very embarrassing sometimes. This campsite was interesting. Old fishing equipment and other machines was used as decorations. Different in a quirky way.

    We set up the tent and then got back on the bike to find some food. A few kilometres down the road we reached Svolvær. This is the main city in this area. We rode around the city for a little, then got our food and headed back to the tent for dinner.

    I don’t know why I took so few pictures from this part of the ride. Its not like me to not get pictures. Maybe I was overwhelmed by the beauty of Lofoten. Tomorrow we will see the rest of Lofoten and get back to mainland.
    #41
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  2. JohnnyTh

    JohnnyTh Been here awhile

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    Next morning, we waited for the reception to open to we could get our laundry back. As soon as the laundry was back in the bag’s we hit the road.

    Our first stop was in Henningsvær, a 10 minute detour from the main road and well worth it just for this road itself.
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    Henningsvær is a very picturesque town placed on several island.
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    We walked the town for a little and had ice cream. The weather was perfect again. Warm and sunny. Cant be many days each year in Henningsvær that is like this.
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    We also used the public restroom, but I was a little worried about where this camera was placed. I could not find it.
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    From Henningsvær we got back on the main road. There is not really any options to the main road in Lofoten, and one hour later after loads of beautiful scenery on a road that winded its way along the coast we reached Bøstad. Here we had a stop planned at Lofoten viking Museeum.

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  3. JohnnyTh

    JohnnyTh Been here awhile

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    Lofoten viking museum
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    Here we spent a few hours. We wandered around the area looking at the different displays. The house is especially impressive, and I did not imagine these houses to be this big. The longhouse is build based on dimensions found in an archaeological excavation in the area.
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    We also had the opportunity to go sailing on a viking ship replica.
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    These two ships is smaller then the one we saw in Henningsvær.

    After the sailing we had a glass of viking bear and then tried axe throwing, with very limited success. Maybe we should have had the beer after throwing axes.
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    After the museum we set off and did not stop until Moskenes ferry. The road leading here was amazing, but I honestly think I at this point was a little overloaded with amazing scenery.

    Again we had luck with the ferry. It was not to busy, and we did not need to wait long.
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    Leaving Lofoten.
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  4. JohnnyTh

    JohnnyTh Been here awhile

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    This ferry is the longest one we had on the whole trip. It takes 4 hours to Bodø. With the power of Google, I found out that we would probably manage to reach Saltstraumen that day. Saltstrumen is the world most powerful tidal current and if we were not delayed, we should be able to get there before it was at its most powerful.
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    Approximately here we crossed the arcitc circle again. This time going south.

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    For some reason our arrival in Bodø was celebrated with fireworks.

    The ferry docked and we quickly rode thru Bodø. If we missed the tide, it would be another 12 hours before it was at the most powerful again. We had a short stop for some food supplies and found Saltstraumen camping. We checked in and got back on the bike to ride the 5 minutes back to the bridge crossing Saltstraumen.

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    It is an impressive sight.

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    Back at the camp we set up the tent, had dinner and crashed. It had been a long day.

    For you guys that still follow this report, make sure to wait for next days update. It will be something spectacular. :)
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  5. ShortTimer

    ShortTimer n00b

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    Norway is a special place. Thanks for taking the time to share your story and photos. Really nice! Taking notes and hoping to make a similar trip one day. Was there any one resource you found more helpful than others when planning your trip?
    #45
  6. JohnnyTh

    JohnnyTh Been here awhile

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    Thank you. I'm glad you enjoy my misspelling and butchering of the English language :D Honestly i did not do much planning. I have fairly good knowledge of Norway so i just had a rough plan in my head.
    #46
  7. Saso

    Saso Happily sporting the DRD4 gene Supporter

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    Thanks for sharing this wonderful trip. I'm living in Estonia for the next year+ and hoping to do a full Scandinavia ride next spring. This is definitely getting the juices flowing.
    #47
  8. JohnnyTh

    JohnnyTh Been here awhile

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    Next morning, we had a decision to make again. Two options. First option was back on the main road that we followed when we headed north or hug the coast. Staying on the coast would add one or two days extra and a lot of ferries. At this point I kind of had my fair share of ferry rides, but this coast stretch that lay in front of us was famous for its spectacular beauty. We decided we did not want to miss it and left the campsite early to discover Heleglandskysten (Coast of Helgeland).


    One hour later we had our first stop at a rest area.
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    This rest area turned out to have a attraction. A memorial of the Norwegian submarine Uredd. It was lost at sea in February 1943 when it was on a mission to land 6 agents in Norway. The agent’s mission was to sabotage a power plant that supplied electrical power to the ore mines in Sulitjelma. For 42 years no one knew what happened to the 6 agents and the 36 submariners. The wreck was found in 1985 at 105 meters dept. The hull had a large hole from a anti-submarine mine. The location was declared a war grave in 1986 and a monument was erected in 1987.

    The rest are also had an impressive public restroom. Is it sad to say that one thing I will remember from my road trip in north Norway is the impressive quality of the public restrooms?
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    We set off and enjoyed the winding road hugging the cliffs along the coast. I could have posted 100 pictures from this place -if I had them- Somewhere I lost the charging cable for my Garmin action camera that was mounted on the handlebar. This should explain why there is no pictures taken from the bike in this ride report. Last time I knew I had it was in Trondheim. I tried to get a new one when we where near any store that might have one, but apparently this camera is not very popular. I decided I will change to GoPor because that you can buy batteries
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    After about one hour we came up on Svartisen glacier again. Last time we saw it was when we left Mo I Rana. That time it was just something white far away. This time we where quite close. Before leaving home, I did some research on glacier sightseeing and I knew there was a opportunity to get close in this area.
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  9. JohnnyTh

    JohnnyTh Been here awhile

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    We pulled over at a parking area and saw a small passenger boat docked. Shortly after we had tickets, stripped off our riding gear and where on the way across the fjord.
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    Picture from Google maps. We had warmer weather then Google did.


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    Google again

    Half hour later we docked at a small café and here we rented two bicycles and set off. Rose was not very skilled on the bike, but she quickly got into it, and we did the 3km to the foot of the mountain leading up to the glacier in no time.
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    The weather was still great, and it soon got hot. Along the trail leading up the mountain we stripped off more clothes and hid it in the bushes. We enjoyed the hike and followed the trail to a viewpoint 168 meter above sea level.
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    The viewpoint did have a good view of the glacier and had warning signs about going closer. We wanted to go closer, and I could see a group with a guide on the left side of the glacier. Thinking if it is safe for them, we should be ok too. The glacier has been shrinking the last few years, exposing the polished rock underneath. Navigating this terrain was challenging as the rock formations was very unpredictable, not like any place I have bene before. Almost felt like it was another planet.
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    We enjoyed the hike, more like exploration then hiking. Often, we had to backtrack because of blocked terrain, but we managed to find a way and found ourselves on the left side of the glacier. If you think the glacier is impressive at a distance you will not believe the feeling when you are next to it.
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    After a long photo session, we started to make our way back.

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    Attached Files:

    #49
  10. JohnnyTh

    JohnnyTh Been here awhile

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    Going back was easy compared to find a way to go up and we soon were back at the viewpoint and on the trail.

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    Bottled glacier-water. Most places in the world you need to pay top dollar for that.

    I went online at the viewpoint and checked the time schedule for the boat. The next boat was in 35 minutes and then there was a 3 hour wait… Can we do that? I did not think it was possible but we decided to have a go. We ran down the mountain side. Found our clothes and continued running. Pushing the bicycles to the limit.

    We made it in time for the boat. I still can’t believe we managed to cover that distance in 35 minutes.
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    Back on the bike we excited. The physical exercise did good, and we had a lot of energy. Pushing southwards.

    At 9pm we started looking for a place to camp. No campsites in sight and already late we planned to do wild camping. We pulled over several times to look for a place to pitch the tent but did not have much luck. One of the places we pulled over was a German coastal fort from the war.

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    We explored that and continued our quest for a place to sleep.

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    This is where we ended up.
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    Not the most romantic place, but it had a bit of grass behind the trees where the arrow is pointing, and we did not need much else.
    #50
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  11. MrBob

    MrBob On a whim Supporter

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    If you come to North America you can visit L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland, where Vikings reached NA 500 years before Columbus.

    https://www.pc.gc.ca/fr/lhn-nhs/nl/meadows
    #51
  12. JohnnyTh

    JohnnyTh Been here awhile

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    I hope i get the chance to do that some day.
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  13. ShortTimer

    ShortTimer n00b

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    Thanks for taking the time to explain the history and background behind the photos. It's nice to know what we are looking at. I'm enjoying the good story.
    #53
  14. CNH320

    CNH320 Adventurer

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    Hey Johnny & Rose. Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences with us.

    I'm hoping to ride to Nordkapp next year, from the south of England. If I were to start near Oslo, would 3 weeks be enough time to cover the main riding roads of Norway, doing a similar sort of route to yours? I would probably want to take in the islands in the north west. Same bike as yours, solo, about 5 hours riding time each day?
    #54
  15. JohnnyTh

    JohnnyTh Been here awhile

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    We did it in 3 weeks, so should be possible. But you might find that you need to put in some days with a few more hours in the saddle. It all depends on how much time you spend at each attraction i guess. Our ride was 6000km
    #55
  16. JohnnyTh

    JohnnyTh Been here awhile

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    Thank you. As a native Norwegian i have all the historical information easily available and i know some basic information about most of it so its easy for me to share.
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  17. MrBob

    MrBob On a whim Supporter

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    This could be Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado.
    #57
  18. JohnnyTh

    JohnnyTh Been here awhile

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    Disclaimer; Because the photographer was slacking this post contain several screenshots from google maps.

    We woke up to cloudy and foggy conditions. I checked the weather forecast and we had a lot of shot incoming. I kicked Rose out of her sleeping back and we got packing in a hurry. We where almost done as it started raining. The next 5 hours the weather was wet. Light rain and fog. After 9 days with perfect weather, we where clearly spoiled. I have no pictures from these hours on the road. Even if the landscape was pretty enough.

    After 178km and 3 ferry we arrived in Brønnøysund. This is a place I know well. There is a helicopter base for offshore work here and I have stayed here many nights to catch the early morning helicopter to one of the oilrigs. We pulled over at a Asian fast food wagon parked at the main plaza. Rose had been expressing that the missed Asian food. She quickly decided that she was not tempted and we went looking for another place. I knew the gas station here had good burgers, so we had our lunch at the gas station.
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    In Norway almost all gas stations double as fast food resturants.

    After eating the burgers and spending 5 minutes in the city we had seen all Brønnøysund (it’s not a big place). The weather had improved to I decided I would make a detour and go see the biggest tourist attraction they have in this area. A few km outside the town there is a mountain with a big cave penetrating the mountain like a tunnel. I had never seen it before so now was a good time for it. Legend say that is was a troll that saw a beautiful, and he wanted to marry her. She escaped with her seven sisters. The troll saw he could not catch her so he shot a arrow after here. Luckily for the woman the king saw this and he threw his hat in front of her and saved her from the arrow. The arrow penetrated the hat and the hat fell down with a hole in it. At the same time the sun came up over the horizon and they where all turned to stone. They are still here. The troll, the kind and the seven sisters. And the hat. All in the form of mountains.

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    The bridge leaving Brønnøysund is quite impressive.

    We arrived at Torghatten after 20 minutes and started walking up the trail to the cave. Halfway we had to strip off some riding gear as the weather had improved. It was dry and getting hot. We arrived at the cave and climbed thru it to enjoy the view on the other side. The cave is a lot bigger than it looks in pictures. It is 35 meters tall, 20 meters wide and 160meters long. Some say that the cave used to be two underwater caves, where the wall collapse and it formed a tunnel, but that sounds very unlikely.

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    Leaving Torvhatten it started raining again, we decided to head off to the main road and push south as quick as possible. Trying to get away from the rain. The next 4 hours was miserable. Wet and cold and I made the decision to get a hotel for the night in Steinkjer.

    We arrived at the hotel cold and wet. Well, the Rukka riding gear did a good job keeping us dry, but everything else was wet.

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    We checked into the hotel and then went out to have dinner.

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    Ended up eating kebab before turning in for an early night
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  19. JohnnyTh

    JohnnyTh Been here awhile

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    After a good hotel breakfast, we were back on the bike. Today we were entering south Norway again. We chose a eastern route taking us around Dovre national park. I did not expect much from today as eastern Norway is more rolling hills and farmland and not as spectacular as the west coast. But still there are many nice places.

    The Target was Røros and we arrived in perfect weather. Not so hot, but sunny. Just perfect for city sightseeing. Røros have the record for coldest weather in south Norway with -50,4°C. This was in 1914 and will probably keep that record for a long time.

    Along the road we where back in Hell and we pulled over for some pictures.
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    First time i was in Røros was in 2013 with my daughter, our first bike ride together. That time my stay here was cut short because of work and we had to rush back home. This time i luckily did not have any work nagging me.
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    In 1644 they started digging for copper in Røros and it was in operation up to 1977. The city was damaged by Swedish soldiers in 1679 during the war against Sweden. The building in the city is from 17 and 18 century and very well preserved.
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  20. JohnnyTh

    JohnnyTh Been here awhile

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    Røros is on UNESCO World Heritage list.
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    We got groceries in Røros and planned to do wild camping again. But we did not have any luck and after scouting several locations we ended up at a small campsite near Alvdal. This was not a bad thing.

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    Gjelten Bru Camping

    The campsite was small but well kept. Restrooms was clean and of good quality. And the owner was a very friendly guy. It was also the cheapest campsite on our whole ride.
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    This ride is quickly comming to an end. We still had a couple of days to go before arriving home. Tomorrow we are back in Oslo and the Adventure would be over.

    Attached Files:

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