That was my tour of Norway ...

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by Jimmy Doug, 15 Aug 2012.

  1. Jimmy Doug

    Jimmy Doug If you know what's good for you ...

    Hi everyone,

    Just reporting back after completing my 3000 km tour of Norway/Sweden. It was a truly fantastic experience and one that I'll never forget. The weather was mostly OK-ish - but I did get washed out a couple of days during the tour. At one point it got so bad that I had to rent a hut and just sit it out for a couple of days. But I was lucky - I got to see all the things I wanted: the day I went to Bergen was sunny, an unusual occurence! And the weather when I cycled up to the Troll Wall was ideal. I met some wonderful people, and stayed with our very own Dayvo who was a true gent and a scholar! I stayed at Dayvo's flat for two nights and had a great time (by the way, I confirm that he DOES have a Cannondale, for those who don't believe it!).
    I had a lot of advice from this forum while I was planning - I thank you all. There were indeed many tunnels (I went through 72 of them with a total distance of over 40kms!) and, yes, cost was an issue. Whilst it's true you can "get by" for a while, the prices become more of an issue the longer I stayed, particulalry with food. There were some nice surprises, though: the campsites were generally quite cheap (I didn't do much wild-camping because of the climatic conditions) and the ferry crossings weren't expensive at all.
    Of course I'm now thinking of going back. I'd like to complete the journey to Nordkapp, seeing as I made it so far north, and there remains many other places I'd like to explore.
    Thanks to everyone who shared their nordic experiences with me. And a special big thanks to Dayvo for his hospitality and good company!
    If anyone is interested, I kept a (maybe too chatty!) blog with photos and a couple of not too bad videos (linky in my signature).

    cimg35861.jpg
     
    coffeejo, ushills, Teuchter and 2 others like this.
  2. Danny

    Danny Legendary Member

    Location:
    York
    Good blog with great pictures - apart from the fast food sign!
     
  3. RWright

    RWright Veteran

    Location:
    North Carolina
    Very nice, thanks for sharing your trip.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Jimmy Doug

    Jimmy Doug If you know what's good for you ...

    :laugh:I'm glad you like it! I took a lot of photos - anything from a gigantic snow-topped mountain to a tube of cheese! The fast food sign was to illustrate the biggest problem I had with Norway which was, unsurprisingly, the cost. I mean, €17 for a hamburger! Come on! I also wanted to post a tube of bog-standard Colgate at €4, or bottles of 75cl water sitting in the fridge with a price-tag of €5, but I couldn't take these photos discretely! I posted other photos like that - whatever caught my eye at the time: the slug crawling along the road, the stack of toothpaste cheese in the supermarket, the characterless but functional housing in Mo i Rana ...
     
  5. Teuchter

    Teuchter Über Member

    Location:
    Erskine, Scotland
    Great photos, James.

    I haven't cycled it but did the Nordkapp from Bergen by motorbike in 2005, following some of the same roads which you did. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life and I can recommend touring Norway (by whatever means) to anyone.

    I only wish they still did the ferry direct to Bergen from Newcastle :sad:

    I agree about the Arctic Circle centre being a tourist trap. The centre at the North Cape is even more so but after travelling so long, you do feel compelled to pay the money to enter. You really need to do this trip with the view that the journey is the destination to avoid any sense of anticlimax when you reach the top of the map!

    2500483020_f440a7691a_z.jpg

    There was a lot more snow when I was there (though the roads were always totally clear). Apparently it was one of the coldest Junes for a long time. It was strange going from real arctic weather at high altitude (with roads sometimes passing between 10 foot high walls of ice) to near Mediterranean heat an hour later at sea level.

    If you go again, I can totally recommend making the trip to the Lofoten islands, probably the most beautiful place I have ever visited.
     
    Jimmy Doug likes this.
  6. OP
    OP
    Jimmy Doug

    Jimmy Doug If you know what's good for you ...

    Thanks for the tips. I'm thinking maybe starting back in Mo, cycling along to Bodo then taking a ferry to Lofoten from there. What you said about Nordkapp corresponds with what I've heard about the place. But I wonder whether it would be better just not to go there at all: after all, it isn't actually the furthest point north - that honour belongs to Knivskjellodden. Perhaps there's a campsite where I could leave my bike and then I'd do the walk there. Dunno. It's just speculation for the moment. Don't reckon the wife would let me go galavanting a second time!
     
  7. Teuchter

    Teuchter Über Member

    Location:
    Erskine, Scotland
    A common problem, I'm afraid :sad:
     
  8. Dayvo

    Dayvo Just passin' through

    Location:
    oSLo
    Great blog, James, and some excellent photos.

    Thanks for the kind words: it was a pleasure having you here and I look forward to your next visit.
     
  9. Risex4

    Risex4 Dropped by the autobus

    Bookmarked for proper reading. This is something I dream about doing!
     
  10. psmiffy

    psmiffy -

    Location:
    Midlands
    Your video reminded me - it was a lot slower going south :sad: - weather was fairly good going up - cloud down on the road and deluging going down - changed out of bibshorts into fleece bib tights and fleeces various plus full waterproofs for descent - which i cannot remember anything about - and yes HS33s are my weapon of choice - camped on the other side of the fjiord after the ferry supposedly overlooking it and about 15m from the edge and I couldnt see anything - woke up in the morning and view was just spectacular
     
  11. coffeejo

    coffeejo Ælfrēd

    Location:
    West Somerset
    Some friends of mine are currently cycling round the world - they started in Nordkapp in June and are now somewhere in Germany, having come south via the Lofoten Islands and then down through Jutland: http://north2northcycletour.wordpress.com/
     
  12. vernon

    vernon Harder than Ronnie Pickering

    Location:
    Meanwood, Leeds
    Then I must be truly blessed. My wife encourages me to disappear for three weeks every summer on a cycle camping tour. Once the oldest has graduated and flown the nest I suspect that her sentiments might change.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    Jimmy Doug

    Jimmy Doug If you know what's good for you ...

    I look forward to seeing you again too. You know that if you're ever in the Amiens area you're more than welcome.
    How was the chocolate cake, by the way? Next time I'll make you something really good!

    I fear they're a little expensive for me. I may install some Avid SD7s or something similar. Anyone any suggestions?

    I can't complain too much, I suppose. After all, she did let me go this once! Usually I cycle by myself for a couple of weeks and meet up with her later in the holidays. But I don't think she'll let me go too far out of her sight again!
     
  14. It is really worthwhile going to Nordkapp (assuming you actually see it). We cycled up there from the UK last year. We arrived for the midnight sun on the 26-27th July (see my profile picture) and it was totally wonderful. It really was one of the highlights of the trip - that and getting to Grense Jakovselv.
    We didn't go to Knivskjellodden (which has a parking area where people camp and leave bikes btw) for a number of reasons not least of all it is not the most northerly mainland part of Norway. Mageroya is an island. We had planned to get to the most northerly mainland part as well, but when we arrived at Mehamn on the Nordkinn pennisular the weather was so bad for those 2 days that whilst getting to the Gamvik lighthouse would have been easy, stopping and getting back again would have been impossible. As it was just staying on the road was almost impossible let alone the right hand side...

    For anyone considering it - it was worth it for us, but for us it was the top of the trip, not the start or end and I think it gave it more of a purpose. It had been a long term target one that I had never imagined I could acheive and I did.

    As for Norway and expense - yep it is seriously expensive. Like you we wanted to cycle across the arctic circle but we had really good weather and found the journey up from Mo I Rana enjoyable.

    The Lofoten Islands are stunning but full of tourists and cyclists! and I know we were glad to leave there by the end.
     
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