Date: 11- 13/09/2017 From/To: Przewloka – Dubrauke Distance: 719 Km Total Distance: 15871 Km Weather: Sunny Road: Paved
During our ride from Andrew to Dubrauke, the GPS started to play up. After 150km it showed roads which didn’t exist and was consistently recalculating. I realise that the scope has changed and the GPS used the world map as back up. So I used the GPS as an direction indicator, which didn’t work so well when going through a major town. At the end we managed and stopped on a ‘Windmill hotel’. The interior was down my alley, in the eating area there were some water basins, with small waterfalls and in the hallway were some tables with china on the ceiling, were the cups had some bulbs in them and were the actually lights.
Two days later we arrived at Marion’s and Pitschl’s place. Marion just has started her REHA for her new knee replacement, but she organized to have a day off. When we arrived, she was just having a training run on the road and was surprised when two motorcycles pulled up close to her. Here is the first picture with Pitschl, Sigrid, Rico and Marion.
Not long after, Anke arrived with here daugther Tara-Marie.
Marion and Pitschel had organized dinner for us, so we had dinner together before we continued to talk. By this time, Katia was waking up, she had night shift and was sleeping all day. I hope we didn’t disturbe her sleep too much. Here is a picture of them both with Sigrid.
And here is the youngest member of the Förster family and we convinced Anke’s Sohn to sit on the bike.
And here is a group picutre with everbody who was visiting this day.
We were talking for a long time and looked at some pictures from Marions and Pitschls travel. They traveled a lot in Europa and gave us some ideas.
The next morning Marion had to go to her Reha, so we waited with her for the pickup.
After Marion has left, we packed up the bikes and made our way to Prague.
Date: 25 – 29/08/2017 From/To: Kautokeino – Helsinki Distance: 1535 Km Total Distance: 14046 Km Weather: Sunny, Cold, Rain Road: Paved
We sat out the rain in Kautokeino for a day and were contemplating to wait even a bit longer but checking the forecast we realised that the temperature would drop dramatically. The temperature was predicted to be close to freezing -2 degrees until lunch time the day after , so we decided to leave.
A the start of our ride the temperature dropped to four degrees for a couple of hours.
Here a quick shot from our border crossing.
Here we had a short stop at the petrol station, with some warm coffee. Not long after we passed the Arctic circle, this time on the street.
The campground that we earmarked for our stay was completely booked, they had a meeting of Norwegian motorcycle riders and only some ‘Luxury’ cabins were available, which was really outside of our price range. So we had a short talk with a couple of riders before we continued to the next camp ground, which was in woopwoop. Here we found a fantastic cabin, with its own sauna, and a marvellous view from the balcony.
We liked so much that we stayed an extra day. The next day we started early. When we were riding in the back streets, a nice windy road through beautiful forest, I was day dreaming, well, until a guy with a yellow vest jumped on the road and waved his arms franticly. It was a copper and I had to blow. At this point I thought that’s it, but after the result was negative I was invited to sit in the police car. The officer told me that I was speeding. I must have overlooked a 40km/h sign, doing, well let’s say double that. He said that with my excessive speed I would lose my driver licence L, he doesn’t like to do it, so he recorded the speed where I wouldn’t lose my license, but I got a fine. He did ask a couple of questions, one was my monthly income???? As it turned out, the fine for speeding in a 40 zone, regardless how much, is 240Euro, or 18 day sets of your income. So my income was not high enough, payed just 240Euro and so did Sigrid L. Apparently the highest fine in FineLand was 103.000 Euro, so 240 Euro are not too bad. Here you can see the nice copper which jumped in my way and on the right hand side, Sigrid being processed J
Close to Helsinki we got onto a highway where you could legally drive 120km/h J. We arrived at our booked apartment in Helsinki. We parked the bikes so we could see them from the balcony.
Here is the sign on the parking lot.
To make things worse, in the morning we had a parking ticket, 60Euro/person. First we thougth it was because the parking inspector couldn’t see the parking disk, after tranlating the fine, we found out that parking for motorcycles was not allowed here, only cars and trucks (bummer). These were the most expensive days during our trip. Anyway, we went with the public transport to Helsinki. First we stopped at the Helsinki Cathdral, which was impressive, but it was quite crouded as well
So we were headding for the side streets where it was less crouded. During the walk we found a seal eating a fish. Sigrid is trying to get a fish, which didn’t work. So she tried it again with the next seal.
Below are some nice pictures from Helsinki
When reading the map, a local approached us and gave us a tip to go to one hotel, use the elevator to go to the top level, then walk another level and there is a coffee. So we did. The view from there was great. We saw the roof with small glass pyramids on it.
Here is Sigrid leaving the coffee.
Some more sots from some sculpures and some faces at the house entrance.
We hopped onto the ferry to have a look at the Fortress of Suomenlinna. This is a fortess that was used from the Swedish and the Russians, depending who was occupying this island at the time.
First we visited a small island connected via a bridge. There was the marine accademy located, not much to see except two old cannons and a sculpture.
When we walked to the southern end of the main island, we came across an Norwegian submarine from the second world war. Certainly we were keen to have a look at it. In this tiny boater were twenty man, with maximum 16 bunks.
From here we continued to the southern tip, where the defence walls and cannons were. Sigrid is waiting to ride a cannon ball trying to imitate Münchhausen.
On the left a picture from one defence section and on the right, the Kings Gate.
On the ferry on our way back we found a pool in the middle of the habour, it was one of the public pools and saunas in Helsinki.
Before returning home we had a look at the Uspenski Cathedral which was nice to look at from the outside but closed. After walking back to the Central station (picture on the right) we caught our bus home.
Date: 21 – 25/08/2017 From/To: Tromso – Kautokeino Distance: 546 Km Total Distance: 12511 Km Weather: Sunny, Cold, Rain Road: Paved
Now the last push to the North Cape was on. Not to push it too hard we would split it in two days. The first day had two ferry rides and it started fine. After the first ferry the clouds came in and it started to drizzle. This continued while waiting for the second ferry. To amuse us we looked around and we found Santa Claus in the woods. On the picture on the right Sigrid holds him in the palm of her hands.
Finally the ferry arrives, it was still drizzling, so we were happy when we could board.
And here are the pictures from the ferry just before we arrive. On the left where we were coming from, on the right were we were going. We were quite happy about the sunshine.
We arrived on our half way mark and got a cabin with a grass roof.
The next day I thought I give our boots some TLC.
We noticed that the temperature started to drop quite a bit, we were now riding by 8 degrees, which felt much colder when the wind was blowing strong. Below is a picture of a small island on our way.
We booked a cabin, that Micha (a friend of ours and a Norwegian travel veteran) suggested. The location was just perfect and so was the sunset.
The next day we would walk to the most nothern point of the European mainland, which is not the place with where the globe and the visitor center is. The real point is reachable by a 18km return walk. We thought we do the walk first and then ride to the visitor center and take the mandatory pictures. Here a nice view from a fjord on our way to the car park.
Afer we parked the bikes on the car park, a group of rendears passed bye.
Since it was raining the last couple of days we followed a slippery path J
On our way we meet Jim and Ruth, a Candian couple. We attempted together to find the least muddy path.
And finally we arrived at the most northern point. The point itself is not very impressive, just some grey cement blocks stacked on top of each other. On the right hand you see the view onto the visitor center.
While we enjoyed the view we saw some whales. As usual I had difficulties to take a shot at the right time J
And here just a couple of scenic shots. Sigrid is fetching some water from the creek
The view back to the most northern point and some reindeer walking along.
A big puddle to cross and the road to the visitor center.
And here we are, at the car park of the visitor centre and the mandatory picture of us on the globe.
We made some new friends J
And as a bonus we had a magnificient sunset at the North Cape. We were lucky, the whole day was without rain, just some clouds to set the scene at sunset.
During our ferry rides we met up a couple of times with Oliver. He was travelling in a camper van on the way to Northcape and we met him there at the evening.
What a beautiful day, we made it to the North Cape on a nice day. No strong winds, clouds or rain. So we celebrated with some bubbly at night. The days were still long, but the temperature started to get a bit low so we would make our way south a quickly as possible.
When we packed our bikes the next morning, we got some visitorsJ
On the way we found some fish drying racks, where the fish is hang to dry for some time to preserve it.
When we arrived at our accomodation we looked at the weater forecast and found that it would be quite windy an heavy rain tomorrow, so we decided to stay put for a day. Our host told us that there would be an Sami wedding in the church nearby, and that we should have a look. So we did. Very interesing was the the ceremony was held in two languages, Sami and Norwegian
Here you can see the entrance of the camp ground, there are still some puddles from the last rain.
Date: 11 – 16/08/2017 From/To: Oddvar & Elfrida house – Bodo Distance: 837 Km Total Distance: 11385 Km Weather: Sunny, Cold, Rain Road: Paved
The next morning we had breakfast and a walk around their house. It is part of a recently house development and is reachable by only one road. Anyway, here is another attempt to use the phone remote control for my camera.
Odvar mentioned as well that just around the corner from their house there is Keikos grave, so we stopped there to have a look. There was even a street sign, that made it easier to find. Keiko was a Orka from the ‘Free Willy’ movie. After a the movie a foundation was founded to set Keiko free again. That wasn’t complely succesful and Keiko died in 2003. A ‘Norwegian’ tradition is to add a stone to the grave, so we did.
We continued torwards the ‘National Tourist Route Kystriksveien’ or the costal highway which goes from Steinkjer to Bodø, is 650 km long and includes six ferries. At the end of the day, we looked for accomodation after the first ferry, since it had rainded again and the weather should become worse for the night and the next day. There we met Leo; a Bulgarian motorcycle rider. We talked and then decided to have a coffee together before he continue.
Than we settled in our accomodation and dried our wet gear.
When we were sitting on the balcony we saw a fox just running around on the camp ground.
So we didn’t move the next day, and this was good choice. The next day was just perfect for riding.
We had to wait for an hour for our second ferry, so we walked around and found a nice exhibion, how people lived in the past here.
This ferry ride would take more than an hour and it would cross the nothern artic circle.
So I got the GPS out to see when we were crossing it. There was no need, since the captain announced it and there was a sculpture on the shore.
The scenery on the ferry was fantastic.
Back on land we passed a a glacier ending in a lake.
At the end of the day we managed to get all five ferries and found some nice accomodation in ‘Saltstrauam’. Saltstrauam is a small straight with one of the strongest tidal currents in the world. The tidal table showed high tight close to sunset, so we walked there and had a look at it. The sunset was funtastic, but we couldn’t se too much from the whirlpool, it was too dark.
The next day we gave it another go. Below are some pictures from the surrounding area.
On the pole is a small light house, which we climbed up to have a better view.
And here is a picture of whirl pool J.
Tomorrow we will hop onto the ferry to the lofoten.
Date: 10/08/2017 From/To: Afarnes – Oddvar & Elfrida house Distance: 204 Km Total Distance: 10548 Km Weather: Sunny, Cold, Heavy Rain Road: Paved
We started early using a ferry to get to the start of the Atlantic road. The Atlantic road is an 8.3 kilometre long section of County Road 64 and connects small islands by eight bridges—the most prominent being the Storseisundet Bridge. But first we were surprised by the Bolsøy Bridge, which was quite impressive but was not part of the Atlantic road.
We continued to the start of the Atlantic road, when we saw the black clouds coming in. And it didn’t take long before it started to rain heavily. So it became handy when we passed a car park with benches and tables with a grass roof. So we got out our lunch and hot coffee out and stopped for a break.
Well the heavy rain stopped but we could see another cloud band coming in, so we took a short nap before we continued.
And without rain, here it was the Storseisundet Bridge. We were riding this bridge a couple of times to get some nice pictures and movie clips. Cars in the background or in front can be really annoying J. We were really lucky, the whole time no rain.
After we wore out the bridge – back and forth, it was time for a treat, so we went into the fency coffee shop. When we had our coffee, there were these black clouds again L. So we hopped on our bikes and took off.
I would say we were either too slow or too fast, but we got into heavy rain again. We had to use a ferry to get to Oddvar & Elfrida house. We met Oddvar & Elfrida in a hotel in Denmark, the morning when we embarked the Iceland ferry. We talked a bit and they invited us to their house when we would pass through Norway. So we took them up on that offer and contacted them 2 months later and they were happy to meet us. The address was hard to find, so Oddvar picked us up from a carpark with his motorcycle. It was still raining, so we really appreciated it that he picked us up. When we arrived at their house, our boots and gloves were completely soaked.
Elfrida and Ottvar made us feel right at home. The fire was going and It is soo nice to sit dry in a warm house, particularely when its heavily raining outside. Elfrida cooked a typical Norwegian dinner for us, Kippfisk, which is dried and salted cod, very delicious.
We had a great evening talking about Oddvar & Elfrida’s motorcycle adventures and about what it means to live in Norway.
Date: 09/08/2017 From/To: Hornindal – Afarnes Distance: 242 Km Total Distance: 10344 Km Weather: Cold, Cloudy, Sunny Road: Gravel, Paved
Here is the accommodation on the farm, it looks even better in sunshine.
We started early to ride the Gamle-Strynefjellsvegen, the Dalsnibba, Geiranger and the Tollstiegen. Not a long distance but beautiful roads, partially single lane gravel, partially hairpins up and down. When we came to the first lake, we saw some fog just on the top of the lake. It looked fantastic.
Then we climbed up for the Gamle-Strynefjellsvegen scenic route. The road was partially single lane with hairpins, we were happy that nobody came the other way J. And here we got even more snow close to the road. And this close to the end of summer, imagine what it looks like here in winter.
The next road is the Nibbevegen which leads to the top of the Dalsnibba. When we reached the bottom, the weather looked good, so we decided to pay the toll and climb the road.
Arriving at the top we had sunshine for 5 minutes, then the clouds came in and the view was gone. Sine we had time, we waited for 20 minutes.
The clouds were gone again by this time and we had again a great view. Then we started to decend and stop a the Geiranger view point. Here you can look down the Geiranger fjord. The cruize liner in the background gives a bit of perspective on how high this really is.
Then we decended to Geiranger and climb out the other side. Here you can see the fjord from another direction.
On the side of the view point is a small waterfall running over glas pannels.
When we took a break, we stumbled across the ‘Gudbrandsjuvet’, another waterfall with stunning viewpoints.
And last but not least, we made it to the ‘Trollstiegen’. It took a bit of walking before we got this shot below, but it was worth it.
This was really an amazing day. I think that was the day with the most scenic views so far. Tomorrow we have another highlight, the ‘Atlantic Road’.
Date: 08/08/2017 From/To: Høyheimsvik – Hornindal Distance: 353 Km Total Distance: 10102 Km Weather: Cold, Drizzling, Cloudy, Sunny Road: Paved
Today we planned to ride the ‘Snognefjell’ scenic route. I was hoping to have still some snow laying around, but not too muchJ. So we started early in the morning, had beautiful weather, some clouds hanging in the mountains.
And then we went up, and up, and there was really still some snow around. On the right picutre you can see the road coming up.
Our first stop was at a prisma showing where particular mountains are. You line up a name with the two glass panels and the look down on them and you see the mountain. Well, most of the mountain peaks where hiding in clouds.
The mountains around were amazing and so are the roads. The road on the left was an exception, most of the time there were some nice twisty roads. But here I found still some snow close to the road.
There was another view point with a square granit picture frame J. The snow peaks at the back are the highest glaciers in Norway, there is skyseason the whole year.
On our way down we met a familiar number plate, a car from Tasmania. So we met Fritz and Ursula, we talked about their travel and how they got the car to Europa. Anyway, they suggested a nice bakery in the next town. Apparently people from the entire surrounding would buy from there. So we decided to check itout.
So we did, the shop was easy to locate, look for the longest queue outside of a shop. So we bought some bread and some desert and had a coffee. And we meet Fritz and Ursurla again. We had a nice long break before we departed and were headding to Geiranger. I had the idea that we could camp there for a couple of days and do tours from there.
Well, after we decended to Geiranger in a throng of tour busses, caravans and cars , arriving at the campground, we learned that there were no cabins left and only 1 camp site (I would say it was only one half of a camp side as crowded as it looked). There is a second campground in Geiranger, on the opposite site. Seeing no reason why this campground should have cabins or camp sites left I saw the ferry comming in-And in a quick decision we opted to get ‘outathere’. We took the ferry to Hellesylt, which was on our to do list anyway. The evening was nice and we had a great trip throught the fjord. A cruizeliner was leaving as well, and when he turned we saw all of the sudden a rainbow. What a wunderfull view.
When we arrived in Hellesylt, there was a small waterfall just ouside of the ferry stop. We took some pictures before we hurried to get going as we saw some dark clouds coming torwards us.
So we hopped onto the bikes, and got caught in the rain L but shortly after Sigrid found a great accommodation on the way, a nice cabin on a farm.
Date: 07/08/2017 From/To: Gudvangen – Høyheimsvik Distance: 127 Km Total Distance: 9876 Km Weather: Cold, Drizzling, Cloudy, Sunny Road: Paved
This time we packed up and started in good weather for a change.
The road wound up a mountain site, unfortunately we got stuck behind an Italian camper van, and the diver was not sure how to drive this thing. On one occasion he just stood in the middle of the road and waited for the oncoming car to do something. This was the time when we overtook him just to stop on the next turnout for a picture where he arrived not long after. So we hurried with the picture and took off again just before him.
A couple of hairpins later, we found a great viewing platform, so in this case we parked the bikes properly and took some nice pictures.
The view was just stunning.
From here we continued, this time we didn’t have a camper van in front. In fact, it felt we are the only ones on this scenic road.
At the end of the scenic road there was a ferry crossing. The weather became again warmer and less cloudy.
So we took the opportunity and had a coffee with nice cake. Unfortunately the earmarked camp ground was full, but the host was really friendly and suggested us another camp ground.
We got a really nice cabine, with a great view onto a waterfall on the opposite side of the lake.
Since the weather forcast was good, we aim toride the ‘Snognefill’ scenic road next.
Date: 02 – 03/08/2017 From/To: Preikestolen Campground – Rjukan Distance: 333 Km Total Distance: 9325 Km Weather: Cold, Drizzling, Cloudy, Sunny Road: Paved
We had breakfast and I could see the black clouds coming in. As you can see, I wasn’t too happy.
It started to rain heavily, so we packed up everything except the tent. When the rain shower stopped and we opened the tent, there was a collection of lakes in front the tent.
We packed up the wet tent and off we went. The rain stopped, started, stopped ….. and then we needed petrol. Well since were prepared, we considert to have lunch outside J. Not long after the break the weather cleared and the rain stopped. We hopped onto a ferry and it started to get warm.
At the end of the day we opted for a cabin on a camp ground.
We unpacked the wet tent and set it up, temporarily. It was dry in no time.
The next day we continued to Rjukan, a small town close to the ‘Rjukan Falls’. The falls don’t ring a bell, but maybe ‘Vemork’ does – The movie “The Heros of Telemark” is based on this location, more to that later. On our way we passed the farm ‘Myllareguten’ the home of the famous Norwegian fiddler ‘Torgeir Augundson’. To be honest, I didn’t know much about him before we passed his stature J
The Vemork hydro power station was built to produce fertiliser and years later to produce ‘heavy water’. This was one possibility to harness nuclear power or to build a atomic bomb. Germany invaded Norway and started to use the heavy water for its research. The allies realised that it would be dangerous if Germany continues with the research and did everything to destroy to ‘Vemork’ hydro power station. There were saboteurs, some bombardments and at the end sinking of the ferry “Hydro” that transported all the heavy water created in the last year or so. This was around 1944 and the end of the German research. So below is the famous hydro power station and the generator house.
And me trying to recitify some things – rumwuschele and of the Knöppsche drücken, dürfen nur mer, de Experden J
Anyway, there was an intriguing example of heavy water. Heavy water (deuterium) ways ~ 10% since it has an additional neutron. This gives deuterium different properties. So here is one litre of water and one litre of deuterium and deuterium is really ~10% heavier. Apparently the human body contains small amonts of deuterium and we can drink it without any problems.
When we left the museum the clouds were just coming in, so we hopped on our bike and rode home, to a nice warm cottage. Tomorrow we will continue on some scenic routes to ‘Geilo’.
Date: 01/08/2017 From/To: Preikestolen Campground Distance: 0 Km Total Distance: 8992 Km Weather: Cold, Sunny Road: Paved
We started really early, just before sunrise.
We arrived at the Preikestolen 30min later, parked the bike and off we went.
The sun just started to rise over the first valley
And after 90 min up and down, Sigrid was puffing and I needed a rest.
Just before the top, we had a great view over the Lysefjord
And here it was, the Preikestolen. We took the typica pictures posing on the rock. This was close enough for me.
This was the view back onto the Lysefjord with sunshine.
I thought I clean up the path and move the rocks laying around.
After the four hour hike, we passed streams of visitors going up. When we arrived at the carpark there were more then 10 tour busses parked. We hopped onto the bike and returned to our campground with private pool in front of the tent.