Scandinavia | Part 1
Saturday July 2, 2016 | Amsterdam – Ostermade | It’s raining cats and dogs!
At four o’clock I look at the alarm clock, still two hours to go before we get up and make ready to leave. Unfortunately I cannot sleep, because I am super nervous. At a quarter to six finally the alarm goes off and we can start showering, have a breakfast and saddle the motorbikes. With a slight hangover from the drink with the neighbors last night, we leave exactly at nine, with small sunrays in our back. Before we were on the ring of Amsterdam, the first raindrops fall down. At that moment, luckily we did not know that we would only have 3 dry days out of the 23 on our holiday.
Beforehand, we decided during the many “meetings about the holiday’ that it should be good to do an hourly stop to stay sharp. The one time for a sip of water, other times for a sanitary stop. In a retirement home that serves as a restaurant we eat our lunch. During this lunch, all black clouds in the area gather above this retirement home. Quickly we start the engines and we hope to drive faster than these clouds. Not much later, the storm reached us. We want to shelter, but unfortunately too late. Although we are already quite wet, we decide to put on our HEMA rain suits so we stay warm anyway.
Luckily the sun is shining in Ostermade, where we arrive at seven o’clock in the evening. The clothesline (“Are we going to use that?”) is suspended right away. In the middle of the German party (European Championship finals Germany-Italy), we enjoy our well-deserved schnitzel and beers. After the first half we decide to sleep, but the camp site was noisy for the rest of the evening ….
Sunday July 3, 2016 | Ostermade – Copenhagen | Hippies in the city
We woke up at seven in our ‘apartment’ after a night of cheering people (the match ended in penalties “Yeah, Yeah, Yeeeeeaaaaah”). Just before ten o’clock we fill up one last time in Germany (very cheap). Let’s go to the ferry which departs from Puttgarden to Rodbyhavn (109 euros for 2 people and 2 motorbikes).
After a delicious breakfast with pastries / jam / pate / coffee we arrive at Rodbyhavn ( 45 minutes). We enjoyed the sunny ride to the Sleep in Heaven Hostel in Copenhagen. Unfortunately the room did not smell heavenly, so we moved as fast as we could to the city center. The weather in Copenhagen is unpredictable. Hot sun rays are alternated with heavy rain and hail storm.
In the center we first visit the Rundetaarn, a beautiful viewpoint over the city! Then we walk on to Kristianshavn. The distance was longer than expected and those rain showers every fifteen minutes do not really help. Kristianshavn is a kind of hippie community in Copenhagen where the police is not welcome. People deal drugs, blow cannabis and drink a lot of alcohol. However, actually it was fun people watching in this area. It is a mixture of addicts, old hippies, tourists who are stoned, parents with children who are not even able to come onto their bicycles and a lot of near-crawling people. In short, a cozy chaos. We stare our eyes out!
In the evening, when we arrive at the hostel, the atmosphere appears to be beyond expectations. Sitting at long wooden tables we exchange several tips about Copenhagen and Scandinavia with fellow travelers.
Monday July 4, 2016 | Copenhagen – Gothenburg | Chaos at the bridge
It took forever to fall asleep, but eventually I slept like Sleeping Beauty on a bed of nails. Or on a bed of concrete, with a constant drone of a door on the background. Which Danish idiot designed that door?! Last night I did not hear the hostelcafé, but the noise of the saloon door is designed for a bad B-movie. Anyway, I do not wake up broken, a miracle! Showering in Heaven is not a punishment. I guess that everyone is very clean, almost no (pubic) hair to find.
Packing the luggage and saddle the horses go faster every day, just one and a half hour later we sit at breakfast. Fine breakfast, especially that Danish rye bread with a crispy crust tastes great! With a full belly we leave. Waking up with blue skies and leave with rain, everything is possible in Denmark.
The wind is blowing strongly today, it comes from everywhere. During a fuel stop, a German lady also said it from a motor sidecar “Da ist sehr viel wind, ja!”. Relax on the bike is the best you can do, though I occasionally drive almost to the guardrail. Driving over the Oresondbrug, the bridge between Denmark and Sweden, it gets really exciting. I’m so pleased to ride over this 8 km long bridge, but unfortunately I had not realized on beforehand that it was so high. The combination of the height and strong winds results in pure chaos in my head. The bridge, which should be fun to drive on is the real nightmare during this trip. While Erik enjoys the view, many thoughts are going through my head; “Concentrate on the road. Especially do not look down. Wow! we are so high! Shit, this is very high! Aaargh, I blow off! Concentrate on the road, because you will go to where you are looking at! Aaargh, another gust of wind, Oh dear, I look accidentally at the guardrail! Look ahead, onto the road!”
In the afternoon we stop for lunch on the parking lot of a local supermarket. In Kristianshavn it was more fun people watching, however the cheese rolls with jam taste excellent. Pee and gas back on. A few times rain, several times we put on our rain jacket and take it off again when it’s dry. Eventually we arrive dry at the campsite. The receptionist asks if we have a camping pass. ‘No? Be happy somewhere else with those white monsters! “She referred to an unmanned campground (Lisebergs drop-in camping Delsjon), a few kilometers away, 24 euros for one night and we can park the bikes next to the tent.
The camp even has a kitchen. The stove has not been out of the panniers yet. Pasta with mini broccoli, sausage, peppers and mushrooms is on the menu tonight. While cooking dinner, a Swedish / Danish couple offered us a glass of red wine. And after eating another beer! Life is great!
Tuesday July 5, 2016 | Gothenburg – Oslo | The rough Oslo
We ride over the camping to warm up our bikes and to get them ready for an oil check. The level of oil seems to be ok. At half past 9 we leave to the Vitlycke Museum which is at half of our ride today. At this museum you can see rock paintings made between 2000 and 200 BC. This open-air museum also shows how people lived in that time. The entrance is for free. In the garden of the Bronze Age inhabitants, we can shoot with bow and arrow. Both got into the round plate at once! This is pretty cool to do!
We continue our ride again after lunch. En route we sheltered at a flat and later at a station near Oslo. The rain showers are really heavy, but after every shower of 15 to 30 minutes, the sun shines again.
In Oslo we expect to drive straight to the hotel. But unfortunately we booked a room at the hostel, with the same name as the hotel in which we thought we would stay. The motorbikes go into the garage for 60 euros a day, very expensive, but safe. After a shower we explore the area Gronland; At first glance, it really looks like a neighborhood in Amsterdam (Bijlmer), the people are all very different and there is a nice atmosphere. The evening we started in Café con Bar and Frau Hagen. Subsequently we greatly enjoyed the fish with pronounced varied tastes at Olympe. Highly recommended!!
Wednesday July 6, 2016 | Oslo | By bicycle into the Vigeland Park
Erik discovered a tick on his leg and decides to get the tick tweezers out of the panniers in the garage. He comes back with bad-good news. The good news is: the engines are still there. The bad news is: Bertha has a fine of 90 euros. It turns out that you cannot check in two vehicles with one credit card because when you check in the second, you automatically check out the first bike. In short, a ridiculous system, but it is hard to explain this to the Municipality of Oslo. After several calls we raise an objection in writing, which was rejected after a few days. Ultimately we have never heard again from them.
Despite this bureaucratic wrangling we decide to visit the city. Via the beautiful cathedral we walk to the Viking Biking office to rent bicycles. Just in time, as it turned out, because we were given the last two bicycles. The tourists after us unfortunately had bad luck.
The seller had outlined two scenic routes. The first route starts along the water in Gronland and goes north. After a coffee at the Food Halls of Oslo, we continue our journey along the water and arrive at two waterfalls. We continue through a posh neighborhood, ride along the royal palace, including a brass band procession, to the Vigeland Park, where we have eaten our fresh sandwiches and Snickers, while above us a young god was watching over us. Vigeland Park is a sculpture park and a lot of these sculptures are naked and symbolize the cycle of life; from a baby to elderly. Hugely impressive!
The second route starts at the park and goes downstream (steep!) towards the water and the new port. Very expensive restaurants, but nice area with water and mountains with snowy peaks in the background. We enjoyed an Italian ice cream with brownies and caramel and cycled via the parliament building back to the owner where we had to drop off the bikes before 6 o’clock.
After our cycling adventure we begin our search for a liquor store to buy a wine box for the next few days on the camping. It turns out that this store is called a Vinmonopolet; the letters stand as a hotel sign outside and from the outside you cannot see that liquor is sold and besides this, the shop seems to be closed. The store is great, but has an expensive range (3 liter red wine = 35 euro)!
Before dinner we had a drink on a terrace in the sun. Then Bertha went pee in an Irish pub, which turn out to have a beautiful courtyard and this made us decide to dine here. After eating, we walk in a straight line to the hostel, brush our teeth and go to bed. Both exhausted!
Thursday July 7, 2016 | Oslo – Beseggen | Into the wild
At half past 8 we leave from Oslo via Fagerness to Beseggen. A beautiful one-lane road with mountains, forests and lakes. It reminds me of the puzzles that my grandmother made previously. At a height of 1000m the tops are covered with snow. We ride with our motorcycles almost literally through the snow!
After we had done some shopping, we arrive around 3 pm at Camp Beseggen. We set up the tent, wash clothes, make tea and make a short hike in the area. The river next to the campsite flows very fast. Near the campsite there is a bridge across this river. This river made us both think of the river that Christopher McCandless had to cross in Into The Wild.
It’s cold at the camp so we need to start drinking wine. But first create a windbreak between the motorbikes. After a glass of wine it is time to cook. Fortunately there is a kitchen where we can cook inside. But unfortunately we forgot to take the peppers, leek and Brussels sprouts out of the fridge of the hostel this morning…. So we improvise with a stew with onion, potato, chorizo, which was really delicious!
Friday July 8, 2016 | Beseggen | Breathtaking Beseggen trail
Last night we went to bed at 9 pm, because this morning the alarm goes off at a quarter past five! At 6 o’clock we walk to the boat (about 3 km) in peace. At the harbor we eat our prepared sandwiches with coffee and tea. We are almost first in line for the boat, while a stone cold wind is rushing past our legs. We felt a little underdressed in our shorts and sneakers, while other walkers all wearing long pants and hiking boots. At a quarter to eight the boat leaves from Gjendesheim to Memurubu. Fortunately, we did not arrive later, because the last people in line could not take this boat and had to take the boat tomorrow. At half past 8 we arrive at the starting point of the trail, and because it is very cold, we start immediately. Directly steep uphill! Soon not regret being underdressed. Various zipper pants are zipped off, thick sweaters and hats go off. With the sun at full strength we walk up the mountain. The beginning of the trail is fairly simple, but soon it becomes more difficult. Shorts were no problem, but All Stars and New Balance shoes are not made for a mountain trail to more than 1800m above sea level. Anyway, both we have a strong character, so we will finalize this trail! During the trial we also apply the hourly stop we used to have on the motorbikes. Just to take a sip of water, eat a cookie or a sandwich and then again go straight on full of energy. The views are indescribable. Beautiful. The view of the lake is so beautiful, you can look 30m deep (like we read in the brochure)! The water also tastes delicious, cold and without a taste of chlorine or something like that.
The route goes from high to low. Bertha’s afraid of heights occasionally emerges. After about 4.5 hours of climbing we reach the summit at 1745 meters above sea level. Here the view is not that beautiful, as if we spend already the most views during our trail to the top.
Let’s go down. We walked through the snow, loose pebbles and water and finally we reached the starting point in 6.5 hours. A great result, because an average tourist spends 8 hours! We must celebrate this fact with a beer. After the first two sips it starts to rain a little. Erik stressed, because the WAKAWAKA is laying outside the tent! We drink the beer at once and quickly walk back to the five-star camping. Eventually there were only a few drops and there is nothing to worry about.
The 4 minute shower is followed by a wine, peanuts and noodles. So very healthy! And now let’s get some sleep! xx