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Thread: Norway & Sweden Trip

  1. #91
    Should Get Out More Bigyin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Norway & Sweden Trip


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    Quote Originally Posted by Yorick View Post
    Do customs check for hookie alkihol ?
    It was pissing down when we got off the ferry from Sweden and had been for hours so they didnt even check for passports (which i didnt have) and waved through the 2 soaking wet bikers and didnt even come out of the hut

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  3. #92
    Should Get Out More Cousin Jack's Avatar
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    Default Re: Norway & Sweden Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigyin View Post
    It was pissing down when we got off the ferry from Sweden and had been for hours so they didnt even check for passports (which i didnt have) and waved through the 2 soaking wet bikers and didnt even come out of the hut
    It has been pissing down with rain here today. Swedish rain is very very wet. Almost as bad as Manchester rain.

  4. #93
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    Default Re: Norway & Sweden Trip

    Just drink that. Has about the same taste and effect as Spendrups

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    Default Re: Norway & Sweden Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Cousin Jack View Post
    Sweden is also into this transgender stuff too!Attachment 42741
    Except “ö” is a soft vowel so it sounds like “shurk” which is less childishly amusing

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    Default Re: Norway & Sweden Trip

    Exit Sweden stage left. Gothenburg is a nightmare, the sat nav hasnt caught up with the roadworks, so getting to the ferry was 'interesting'. Southern Sweden is not that spectacular, and was a bit moist. Speed cameras are frequent, and limits quite low. Ferry was the usual, queue outside for an hour, then queue inside on the dockside for another hour. Now in Denmark, knackered and off to bed.

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  8. #96
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    Default Re: Norway & Sweden Trip

    Spectacular rainbow taken from ship. Crap picture but the rainbow really was good.
    IMG_20190812_202846.jpg

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  10. #97
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    Default Re: Norway & Sweden Trip

    Exit Denmark for Germany. Reality is kicking in, we will have to go home.

  11. #98
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    Default Re: Norway & Sweden Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Cousin Jack View Post
    Exit Denmark for Germany. Reality is kicking in, we will have to go home.

    That's how it goes. Plan, dream, suddenly it's here and suddenly it's over.

    But it soundly beats what I've done this year !!

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    Default Re: Norway & Sweden Trip

    Home, safe but soaking. The last 150 miles were in torrential rain.

    After a day or two to recover I will post some more photos.

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  14. #100
    Should Get Out More Bigyin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Norway & Sweden Trip

    <drums fingers on desk>

    well?






  15. #101
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    Default Re: Norway & Sweden Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigyin View Post
    <drums fingers on desk>

    well?






    Working on it. Watch this space.

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  17. #102
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    Default Re: Norway & Sweden Trip

    And finally!

    Recovery complete (and some of the list of jobs from Memsahib completed) so here is a fuller write up.

    Day 1 - Cornwall to Bristol – on the last Friday in July. Weather warm, traffic sticky. Lots of filtering on the M5, glad I split the trip to Harwich into two bites. Riding with Mark, the guide on this trip.

    Day 2 – Bristol to Harwich. Bored with M’ways, so A4 from Bath Riding with to Newbury, via Calne Bike Day. Calne was stuffed, no room to stop. Back on M’ways, stop at Reading services and meet up with Mark (again) and a couple of guys from Wales. More filtering on the M25. Weather damp in parts, and getting damper. Overnight on ferry, after a loooong queue, in the rain naturally.

    Day 3 – Holland. First taste of sat-nav navigation. We all have Destination, Waypoints, and Routing Points as delivered by tour company Magellan. What can possibly go wrong? Quite a lot actually! I have named my Garmin Mavis, and Mavis can be a bitch at times. She managed to route me over the bridge at Arnhem, and back over the same bridge, followed by a tour of the ‘pedestrianized’ bits of the city centre. Mavis really really doesn’t like Arnhem, she screwed up there on the return too.
    Holland is flat, and can be boring. Mavis makes sure you don’t get too bored by adding little ‘diversions’ to cut a few yards off your route. Those few yards may involve a trip down along a very narrow dyke, sometimes over cobbles or pave, and dirt or gravel bits, but Mavis doesn’t care. Pave on a VFR is ‘interesting’. The other ‘interesting’ bit today was a road closure, a village literally cut in half by a road building scheme. Rather than give up we talked to a local, and were re-routed via track across a ploughed field, a rough and rocky lane, and a farmyard, to the other side of the road works. The Africa Twin and the GS riding with me seemed to cope better than the VFR!

    Day 4- Germany. The flat bit, Germany looks just like Holland. Several ferries, including a long one across the Elbe estuary, with a very long queue. Bikes naturally filter to the front, so it wasn’t too bad. The enduring memory of this part of Germany is the stench of pig farms. Oh yes, and their habit of closing M’ways without any indication of an alternative route. Mavis doesn’t believe it is closed, so keeps taking me back to the same M’way. Then in Flensburg she excelled herself, we (me and a Welsh lad with a GS whose BMW sat-nav was even worse than Mavis) went round the houses for about an hour looking for the hotel, faithfully following the directions. Again we solved it by stopping and asking. Locals 2, Sat-nav 0.

    Day 5 – Denmark, and it is flat too. Bit boring really, not a lot else to say

    Day 6 – and a ferry to Norway. As became very normal, ferry queue = rain. Why do ferries make you queue up, just to join another queue? Never in my life have I seen a ferry deck in such chaos, with stuff packed in every which way. Never mind, Norway started with a massive improvement in scenery, and just kept getting better. The rain even stopped.

  18. #103
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    Default Re: Norway & Sweden Trip

    Day 7 - Waterfalls? Days 6 & 7 left us all pretty much overloaded with waterfalls. And tunnels – Norway has out-swissed the Swiss in the tunnel department. A tunnel with a roundabout inside, no problem sir. And a glorious fast twisty road down the mountain to a hotel beside a fantastic fjord. I may have exceeded a speed limit or three, but since no-one was measuring it didn’t happen. And, as Screwd will probably tell you, time is a human construct, so speed must be too, only distance is absolute. I was only going from A to B officer.

    Day 8 was a day off in Ulvik. I rode absolutely nowhere, I just wandered around the village and fjord in the sunshine. With those view who can blame me.

    Day 9 – on the road again. Up a set of nice hairpins and through the longest road tunnel in the world. 24.7 kms of it, and then over a mountain to another fjord, then a mountain, than a fjord, followed by a 1 hour ferry cruise up the Geiranger fjord. A long wait for the ferry again, but the sun was shining, it was beside a fjord, and a waterfall was close by, so no real hardship. And so to Geiranger itself, and a hotel called “The view” in Norwegian. I can understand why.

    Day 10 was another day off, in Geiranger this time. Again I didn’t ride anywhere, walkies was the order of the day. Wander down to the fjord, I even had a paddle. Beer and lunch in the sunshine.

    Day 11 was hairpins (up the Eagles Road, and down the Trollstiggen), ferries (two), the Atlantic Road, and a boat trip to our hotel on an island. Ferried out in a Viking longboat no less (although it cheated – it had a motor). Hotel is based on a series of fisherman’s huts, and was pretty cool. We even had a Rusian oligarch staying, with his helicopter parked on the grass. The Eagles Road and Trollstiggen were a severe disappointment, we were inside a cloud with visibility about 50-100 yards at best for most of the way.

    Day 12 was boring, by Norwegian standards. Got lost in Trondheim (thanks Mavis), and had to negotiate a long stretch of 70kph limit with average speed cameras. Hotel at the end of it was fantastic, in an art gallery. It even had a Tracey Emin bed as an exhibit, on the way to my room.

    Day 13, still going North, and into the official Arctic Norway. Nice roads and pine forests, but road works too. Norway is building big modern roads as though they are going out of fashion, the downside is the temporary surfaces and diversions while they do so. Long lengths of 50 kph limit, often ridiculously low, but sometimes not. Dirt road diversions on a VFR are uncomfortable, and 50 kph sometimes feels too fast. Ended the day at Mo-i-Rana, which (surprisingly) has it’s own Anthony Gormley statue in the fjord. Mavis behaving well, although to be fair the opportunities for deviation were few, and mostly self-correcting, back on the same road within a couple of miles.

    Day 14 – another ‘rest’ day, but within reach of the Arctic Circle, and it would be rude not too. I have the tee shirt, and the photo of most of us sans tee shirts.

    Day 15 – and so to Sweden. Lakes and forests, for miles and miles and miles. Northern Sweden is basically empty, a few houses in the woods, lovely sweeping roads. Low speed limit, but no enforcement.

    Day 16 – south again. Some really long straights, 6 miles, followed after a slight kink, by another 3 miles. A bit boring, fo. rests, bloody forests As we went south it changed, more villages, more traffic and LOTS of speed cameras. All signed, and a speed camera sign is always followed by a speed camera. They seem to drop the limit and install a camera on every junction. AFAIK I didn’t get flashed, time will tell.

    Day 17 – a rest day in Mora, which was packed – some sort of Mountain Bike competition. The main even was the day we arrived, but the next day seemed to be a family team effort. Lots of 10 year olds desperate to beat Dad to the finish. Also lots of people carrying their carbon-framed bikes No bike today, had a wander around an open-air museum of old farm buildings, and had a look at an art exhibition. Also got rained on, but that was normal so not a problem.

    Day 18 – south to Gothenberg and a ferry to Denmark. Gothenberg was a PITA, lots of roadworks and the ferry port involved going through most of them. Of course Mavis was totally oblivious and kept try to send me elsewhere, thank god for little pictures of a boat and “DK” on most of the road signs. Ferry was usual, queue for an hour, go through gate, queue for another hour, and finally get on boat. Arrived in Denmark at bedtime, fortunately hotel was within a few 100 metres of ferry.

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  20. #104
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    Default Re: Norway & Sweden Trip

    Day 19 - Denmark – actually saw a few more picturesque bits today, but got rained on – hard! Mavis had several hissy fits today, routing me via lots of very wet slippery cobbles in one town, instead of via a shorter and very serviceable tarmac road. No it wasn’t just the waypoint programming, unless Magellan had deliberately decided to send me out of town to a roundabout, only to come back over the same cobbled road, round the houses and finally out of town. The hotel at the end was actually about 500 yards into Germany in Flensburg, and Mavis doesn’t like Flensburg. Eventually we made the hotel, but by the picturesque route. Yes, it involved cobbles again! Had to park in a multi-storey about 50 metres away, more about that tomorrow!

    Day 20 – Germany (and a tiny bit of Holland). But first, that car park! Checked out, paid hotel reception and swapped ticket for pre-paid one to get out of park. Except it didn’t! Much confusion, some bikes got out without problem, at one stage about 5 of us were blocking the entire exit and trying to persuade a remote call centre that yes, we had paid, and no, the ticket wouldn’t work. Eventually we all got out, but it took ages.
    Germany, ferries, including the one across the Elbe again, and another problem with level crossing. Filter to front of long queue, crossing closed, no train in sight but lights flashing and barriers down. Wait a bit, then turn and look for another crossing about a mile away. Filter to front of another long queue, and train is parked across the crossing. More waiting, and just about to abandon that one too when train crawls away and barriers open. Rest of Germany is uneventful, apart from pig smell, which is back in spades.
    Overnight just inside Holland – a memorable hotel for all the wrong reasons – no beer! Delightful little girl from Mauritius was having problem with beer – all froth and no beer. Grumpy fraulein, does no better, even more grumpy boss man jumps up and down and also fails. Assorted bikes (one of whom ran his own pub for 10 years) explains problem, girl from Mauritius understands, but is shouted down by fraulein. Beers take 30 minutes to get 1 beer with an acceptable amount of actual beer. Finally chef fixes problem in 3 minutes by turning down gas. Never mind, we spent longer chatting to girl from Mauritius who will go far.

    Day 21 – Holland. Via Arnhem again, and Mavis doesn’t like Arnhem. After a demand that I do a U-turn in a 4 lane section of underpass, she then routed us via a pedestrian walkway. By this time we could see the bridge, so we pretended to be pedestrians. Then off to Hook of Holland, via as fine a collection of motorway junctions as you will find anywhere. Mavis routed us OK(ish), although we did detour along a dyke, through a housing estate and then a car park. Others were less fortunate, and found themselves in Europort, on the wrong side of a large river. Cue some minor panic, but they found a ferry back to the right side, and made the ferry to Harwich.

    Day 22 – Harwich to Cornwall. Early excitement, a pickup lost a scaffold pole on the A120, almost speared the car in front, and a full emergency stop was needed. Then M25, stationary for a few miles, so filtering practice. Reading services and it looked like rain, suited up and it pissed down soon after, all the way to Cornwall. Arrived soggy but safe.
    Last edited by Cousin Jack; 01-09-19 at 21:48.

  21. #105
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    Default Re: Norway & Sweden Trip

    Anyone else going to Scandinavia – a few lessons that I learned, some of them the hard way.

    Navigation - have a map, sat-navs are fine when they work, but knowing the basic route on a map is foolproof. And Google maps is your friend in towns. You will get lost, everybody did, including the guide who has done it before. You will also get found, and a bit of exploring off-piste is good for you.

    Petrol – fill up when you can, sometimes the chance may not come again for a while. Many petrol stations in Norway are unattended, and sometimes your card of choice doesn’t work. Cash doesn’t work at all. Several people with pre-paid cards had problems, I used credit cards, and when Visa didn’t work Mastercard did.

    Bikes – a sports tourer is not always the best choice. Adventure-style bikes (spit!) coped with the rough bits better (although on the autobahn I could cruise at 120 mph and they were only just clinging on). The restricted lock on the VFR was a pain at times. If I could choose any bike for the trip I think a Tiger 800 would be top of my list.

    Bikes – if you do have an ‘unsuitable’ bike just go anyway. I coped on a VFR, another bloke coped on a Bonneville America 2 up. Several people coped on RTs 2 up.

    Rain gear – I used a BMW boil-in-the-bag one-piece suit. A mistake. Waterproof yes, but far to difficult to get into and out of. In showery weather a cheap rain jacket would be better, with pants for really wet days. Most days I wore a plastic coated hi-viz waistcoat if it rained, it kept my body fairly dry, my legs were mostly ok behind the fairing and my arms got wet, but mesh jacket sleeves dry quickly. The BMW suit was reserved for full-on biblical stuff. And it eventually leaked anyway.

    Gloves – I had waterproof gloves and never used them, but thin non-waterproof summer gloves were fine. If it rains turn the heated grips on.

    Packing. 22 days and you cannot maintain sartorial elegance, so don’t try. I took one pair of shorts and one pair of walking trousers for off the bike wear, that was enough. The trousers drip dry overnight and were ideal. I had too may tee shirts, and mostly the wrong sort. Forget good quality cotton, you need thin wicking stuff that will drip-dry overnight. Mine (eventually) dried, but then they needed ironing. They didn’t get it, and looked as though I had slept in them. Underpants had the same problem, but since they were not on view ironing was not an issue. NB. Heated bathroom floors (quite common in Scandanavia) are useful for drying stuff, but you may need to leave the light on to stop the floor switching off.

    Ferries are a PITA. Expect zero help from Stena line staff to help you strap you bike down, learn to do it yourself. Padding (eg gloves) on the seat, bike on side stand, rachet on same side as stand. Use chocks if you can find them, bike in gear.

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