Posts From Norway


Norway (Kirkenes, Norway)

Journal entry for Tuesday 15th Jul, 2014 (day 365, miles 2855)

This morning we headed towards the border with Norway and what started out as another great Finish summers day slowly turned into a cool overcast 50°F (10°C). The forest of evergreens gave way to stunted birch and the roads suddenly were quite bumpy.

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Another Mog! (Utsjoki, Norway)

Journal entry for Wednesday 16th Jul, 2014 (day 366, miles 3012)

Today we spent a good period following a section of Norway's rugged coast. What a difference between this scenery and Finland's forests. The weather continued cool, with a strong breeze that added to the sense of ruggedness. Low scrubby birch trees continued to be the main vegetation but with large areas of moor land as well, reminding us of the maritime provinces of Canada - not surprisingly.

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Sapmi Theme Park (North of Lakselv, Norway)

Journal entry for Thursday 17th Jul, 2014 (day 367, miles 3110)

The highlight of today was a visit to Sapmi in the town of Karasjok. In our guide book the place was described as a Theme Park and on the basis of that we almost did not go there but it actually turned out to be more like an historical village. There were many re-creations of dwellings and various other artifacts used by the Sampi peoples in their traditional way of life. It really was quite interesting. Not surprisingly there were lots of things related to reindeers.

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Most Northerly Point (Knivskjellodden, Norway)

Journal entry for Friday 18th Jul, 2014 (day 368, miles 3224)

This morning we drove the road to Nordkapp, and what as spectacular road it was. Narrow, clinging to the side of one mountain after another that bounded Fjord after Fjord, Some 14 km of tunnels, the longest of which at 7 km actually went under the ocean to join the mainland to the island of Mageroya (where the town of Nordkapp is located).

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Furthest North and the Midnight Sun (Nordkapp, Norway)

Journal entry for Saturday 19th Jul, 2014 (day 369, miles 3228)

We woke this morning a little stiff and sore from yesterdays adventure and one look outside at the pea soup fog (or low cloud) did not hasten our emergence from the comfort of bed. But eventually we got going and drove at a crawl along the remaining few miles to the entrance gate at Nordkapp. After paying our entrance fee of 490 Norwegian Kroners (that's right a little over US$80 for two people - these guys know how to run a tourist business) we drove into the car park, a large unpaved stoney affair, and joined the hundred or so other motorhomes parked there.

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Reindeer day (North of Alta, Norway)

Journal entry for Sunday 20th Jul, 2014 (day 370, miles 3335)

This morning there was no sign of the cold and mist of yesterday, indeed everyone was out and about wearing summer clothing rather than the down jackets of yesterday. We paid the various lookouts a final visit and then we were on our way south bound. What a difference the bright sun made as we retraced the narrow coastal road, and tunnels, back to the town of Olderfjord where our southerly route departed from the route we had taken going north. At one of the nameless villages north of Olderfjord the local Reindeer population decided to give the tourists a show and we sat stopped on the side of the road for perhaps 30 minutes while a small herd of the animals busied themselves going this way and then that. It seemed like a random coming together and parting of the group only for them to rejoin in a few minutes. At one point the entire heard got together and headed for and entered an old derelict building.

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Rock carvings and slate mines (South of Alta, Norway)

Journal entry for Monday 21st Jul, 2014 (day 371, miles 3427)

It was a short drive into Alta this morning where our first item of business was groceries, one of those never ending chores even when one is on a vacation/adventure. With the necessities done we headed for the local museum, a nicely situated building with a rather strange assortment of displays. The one that captured my attention was a short video on the local slate mining industry and small display of related tools. It was fascinating to see the miners split large slabs of slate into thinner sheets with just a hammer and chisel.

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Turned up toes (Finland Border, Norway)

Journal entry for Tuesday 22nd Jul, 2014 (day 372, miles 3525)

Our route this morning carried us along side a series of connected lakes through country that was covered in low birch trees towards the town of Kautokieno and its small museum. Our guide book informed us that this town is predominantly inland Sami people and traditionally was the winter camping place for the Sami.

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The Ice Hotel (Narvik, Norway)

Journal entry for Friday 25th Jul, 2014 (day 375, miles 3841)

After a comfortable night in the hostel parking lot and the luxury of long hot showers we were ready for our Ice Hotel tour. So at 10:00 am we strolled down to the large TeePee near the rivers edge to meet our guide. He was inside making coffee for the group over an open fire. The group turned out to be just Nina and I so we basically got a private tour.

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(Innhavet, Norway)

Journal entry for Saturday 26th Jul, 2014 (day 376, miles 3962)

The weather was overcast this morning with the local mountain tops covered in mist. The weather somewhat detracted from the splendor of the view as we wound our way along the coast through inlet/fjord after fjord. Around lunch time the road took us to a ferry dock where we waited with an assortment of motorhomes, cars and trucks for the ferry crew to decide it was time to load up and get going. The ferry was carrying the traffic across a rather large expanse of water that had not yet been subdued with a long under water tunnel. I guess that will happen in time. Incidentally the ferry cost us approximately US$50 proving that motoring in this part of the world is not cheap.

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Leaving the Arctic (Bjerka, Norway)

Journal entry for Sunday 27th Jul, 2014 (day 376, miles 3962)

The big event of today was that we are finally dropping below the Arctic Circle. It seems amazing that we have been traveling North of that imaginary line for so long. In North America there are only a few roads that actually go north of the circle but here we have traveled a whole complex of roads, towns and even countries above the Circle.

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Just driving along (Grong, Norway)

Journal entry for Monday 28th Jul, 2014 (day 378, miles 4299)

Our journey today was away from the coast and the scenery was more mountainous interspersed with many small farming villages, farm houses, lakes, rivers and the ever present trees. The volume of clean clear fresh water is hard to comprehend. When we first got to the US the abundance of water was one of the aspects of the country that surprised us, well the Scandinavian countries have surprised us again. Water seems to be endless. Today it was in the form of picturesque lakes and crystal clear mountain streams and rivers, some of them meandering and some of them roaring.

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Chips and hitch hikers (Roros, Norway)

Journal entry for Tuesday 29th Jul, 2014 (day 379, miles 4501)

This morning after a little while traveling the road brought us to a long thin lake called Snasavatnet and there after followed the shore for its entire length. Along the lake there were a number of villages and many farms. The area had a general sense of being less remote with the buildings being even more well cared for and more traffic on the road. By the time we reached the city of Steinkjer a little while later the density of traffic, sections of 4 lane highway, and bustling businesses confirm that we are no longer in the remote north of Norway but heading towards more populated areas.

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Mushroom picking (Kroken, Norway)

Journal entry for Wednesday 30th Jul, 2014 (day 380, miles 3228)

This morning we traveled the final leg to meet our German friends. Once through Roros the road was varied with some good sections and some really quite bumpy sections. Also, in places, the local sheep decided to make driving more challenging by sitting down in the middle of the road. We guessed that the roadway was warmer than the nearby grass.

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Looking for a camping spot (Kvam, Norway)

Journal entry for Thursday 31st Jul, 2014 (day 381, miles 4719)

Last night we all decided that today we would travel together (in convoy) and try and find a camping spot together since it seemed that both parties were traveling in the same direction for at least a few days; headed towards the coastal fjords and mountains around Bergen.

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Glaciers (Sognfjell, Norway)

Journal entry for Friday 1st Aug, 2014 (day 382, miles 4807)

We decided that the two vehicles would travel separately today but that if possible we would meet up for the night. Romy and Wolfgang were on the road first and so would probably find a spot first. If so they would text us their GPS coordinates.

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Descent (Sogndal, Norway)

Journal entry for Saturday 2nd Aug, 2014 (day 383, miles 4868)

Our two groups parted ways this morning. Wolfgang, Romy and the children need to start south tomorrow whereas we (Nina and I) are headed towards a town called Flam in the hope of being able to find a base for exploring the area. So we said our goodbyes and then the VW van was off leaving Nina and I to slowly get ourselves organized for the days travel.

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No messy pants on the snow road (Flam, Norway)

Journal entry for Sunday 3rd Aug, 2014 (day 384, miles 4953)

First let me explain the title of todays post. Between the towns of Laerdal and Aurland there is a famous tunnel. It is the longest road tunnel in the world at 15.23 miles (24.51km) in length. The tunnel opened in 2000 and made obsolete the original road between these two town that traveled over the mountains reaching over 4000'. That original road still exists and is called locally the snow road (I don't under stand why it is called that as when it is snowing is the very last time one would want to use that road). But never the less it has become a tourist attraction in its own right. We read some weeks back in our LonelyPlanet guide book the following statement about driving the snow road "the drive was worth the messy pants" Giving us the hint that the road would be steep, narrow and probably a little scary. Well this morning we got to the town of Laerdal and it was time for us to try the Snow road.

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A train ride to Bergen (Bergen, Norway)

Journal entry for Tuesday 5th Aug, 2014 (day 3386, miles 4953)

We have skipped a day. We spent August 4th in the town of Flam generally having a break but also getting some arrangements organized for today and tomorrow (Aug 5th and 6th). We plan a one night excursion without the big yellow truck. In the process we will get to experience two of the areas scenic wonders (we hope).

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Fjords, the second scenic experience. (Flam, Norway)

Journal entry for Wednesday 6th Aug, 2014 (day 387, miles 4953)

The second leg of our two day scenic extravaganza was our return journey from Bergen by high speed catamaran ferry. Now of course the ferry boat was not the scenic bit only the transport. The scenic bit was the transit down Sognefjord and particularly the final leg into Flam harbor.

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Underground roundabouts (Nesflaten, Norway)

Journal entry for Thursday 7th Aug, 2014 (day 388, miles 5091)

During this trip we have been often quietly amused by the enthusiasm Europeans exhibit in their efforts to take some sun. We often see travelers pulled up at some little way side stop, with their deck chairs out, sitting faces up catching the summer sun. Mostly the men (regardless of age or physical condition) have their shirts off to maximize their solar dose. Well yesterday evening we saw what might be the ultimate example of solar craving. In the parking lot of the Flam train station we observed a well conditioned young man repacking his car wearing only the briefest of swim suits (or maybe undies - we did not ask).

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Pulpit rock (Netflaten, Norway)

Journal entry for Friday 8th Aug, 2014 (day 389, miles 5195)

Today our goal was the famous Pulpit Rock (Prekestolen) it took us a while, and more interesting roads and nice scenery to get there, but eventually we pulled into the parking lot and were confronted by hundreds of cars and motorhomes all packed together. We had read in our guide book that this was the most visited tourist attraction in Norway and the number of vehicles in the parking lot gave credence to that claim.

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Grass tops (Gvammen, Norway)

Journal entry for Saturday 9th Aug, 2014 (day 390, miles 5366)

Today was pretty much simply a travel day. We headed approximately east all day (approximately because road directions in this country are dictated by valleys not the destinations) passing through a number of winter skiing areas and areas with what looked like lots of holiday cottages. We got captivated by the grass roofs and the little raised log constructions - see the final picture. We would be interested if anyone could tell us the function of these little structures, we speculated that they are some form of storage.

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