Scandinavia | Part 3
Saturday July 16, 2016 | Flam – Bergen | The tunnel trip
The morning starts with a hangover and rain. But after a good, plain breakfast, next to two smacking slurping Chinese from Hong Kong, we feel strong enough to step on the motorbikes. Anyway, it’s a tough trip to Bergen. Not so much because of the difficulty of the road and the heavy rainfall, but because of the fact that we both feel not 100% fit. We decide to ride the quickest way to Bergen. It is good that the E16 has many tunnels, the length of tunnels is almost as long as the length without tunnels and at 1 pm we arrive a little dry at Bergen. In contrast to Oslo, here we can simply park the bikes on the street. In Bergen it rains 265 days a year and it is no coincidence that it’s raining during our entire stay. After a visit to the Johanneskirken we decide to go to the movies: The Survivalist. A thriller about a few survivors of the dying world population due to a food shortage. In the evening we eat in the basement of the pub Naboem: reindeer meat and grilled steak, while enjoying Norwegian tap water.
Sunday July 17, 2016 | Bergen | Ultimate fish soup
We wake up early, but when we arrive at the supermarket, we find out that almost all the shops here are closed on Sundays. We were not expecting this in Bergen! We decide to try a breakfast at the local ‘fastfoodbar’. After breakfast we run from attraction to attraction in an attempt to run through between the droplets; Bryggen, Maria Kirken, up to cabelflobanen, via the fish market to the fish halls and at this final location we had a lovely fish soup! This was the best fish soup we have ever had! In the afternoon it is time for the museums. In halls 2, 3 and 4 there are for example paintings by Edvard Munch (“The Scream”). Late in the afternoon we do an afternoon nap at the hotel. What else can we do with this weather?
After defining the route for tomorrow we go into town to eat. We are looking for Kafé Spesial, because that should be a good café according to various forums. Along the way we play a few games of shithead (= Erik) and we sip a beer. Then we continue our search again to find Kafé Spesial and eventually find out that it is closed. Anyway, we have now seen the whole city Bergen! We arrive again at the fish halls where we start with Norwegian Fish & Chips. Not so successful. The mussels are prepared for a higher level! Divine! Boiled in cooking cream with red and normal onions. The best so far! Nothing could exceed this dinner, so we decide to go back to the hotel. During our walk home we agreed to do an oil check tomorrow morning in front of the fish halls and to get a take away lunch!!
Monday July 18, 2016 | Bergen – Skare | Fresh raspberries
Keeping in mind the oil check moment we go at a fast pace through our breakfast and packing ritual. We are still in Bergen, so we drive in our rain suits through the pouring rain to the fish halls. Erik checks the oil and coolant, Bertha goes shopping at Rema 1000 (kind of Aldi) and then buys two sandwiches with salmon and mackerel in the fish halls. Despite the breakfast which was less than 20 minutes ago, we become hungry again. Anyway, we resist the temptation. The first part of the day we ride on somewhat dull roads, 50 km per hour with a lot of traffic. After the ferry Tørvikbygd – Jondal the roads are narrower, the weather is beautiful and the views incredibly beautiful. It seems like we drive downstream on the river between the mountains. An unexpectedly beautiful route. Many tunnels during this ride as well, and nearly all lit up.
In the afternoon we check in to a campsite where the sun starts to shine before sunset. Erik is picking raspberries for dessert. The owner finds this great, because there are too many raspberries for his family alone. Tonight oriental sausages with sugar snaps and rice is on the menu. The camp site has no guest kitchen, but fortunately the owner lends us an electric cooking stove. In the fly-free party tent we prepare dinner. After the main course we enjoy the fresh raspberries. They are so tasty that we decide to start a second session together to look for more raspberries. Great for breakfast tomorrow morning!
Tuesday July 19, 2016 | Skare – Preikestolen – Stornes | Fastly move on after checking Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock)
We stay a bit longer in bed, it will be dry soon. And indeed, after the 15 minutes we spend in the shower it is dry outside. But suddenly it starts raining again and it will rain until around 5 pm. But that time we are almost at sea!
After baking sausages (English breakfast) in the party tent, we fold in our tent in the pouring rain. The tent has not been so wet before. For the first time, Erik noticed that the weather affects his mood. Grumbling and groaning, he drags himself through the day. Bertha tries to ignore this mood, but it is not really sociable together. Around 1 pm we arrive at Pulpit Rock. Free parking for the bikes, but two hour hike to the top. No problem, with the current mood of Erik we get there too. Just before the summit, Erik finally comes to his senses and can laugh again. Nevertheless it is still nice today.
At the top of the rock (Preikestolen) the view is as usual. This should have been a beautiful view in good weather, but with the rain and the fog now it is a desolate situation. Everyone takes pictures, but we are very curious about the result. We also shoot a couple of pictures ourselves, but when we review these pictures there is not much to see.
During the walk down we decide to ride further to a place where the weather is nice. Nice, or at least better than this. Around 6 pm we arrive at a roadside restaurant. On the outside it looks a bit shabby, but the owner prepares a very fine meal. We have a nice chat when we receive a good cup of coffee. Bertha orders a kind of a flat schnitzel and Erik chooses the trucker burger. “For many years the most popular burger!”, the owner says. And with a good reason. Simple, but made with love. Bertha also likes her schnitzel and will order more of these flat schnitzels in the future. We pay, including a well-deserved tip 300 crown, which is a really good deal for four cups of coffee, 2 apple juice and 2 meals. Satisfied and while the sun is shining, we drive further to the coast this evening. The camp where we ultimately end up is located at the seaside between two rocks. Very quiet, but with a lot of annoying little bugs. The wine tastes excellent anyway and we look back at a beautiful day.
Wednesday July 20, 2016 | Stornes – Farsund | Burned
At 7 o’clock we wake up to the alarm and if we walk to the shower, the sun is still shining. Today it will be a bright and warm day. After breakfast we start the bikes and drive to the next town: Flekkefjord. While enjoying our fresh made tea and free Wi-Fi we check whether we can change the ticket for the ferry Kristiansand – Hirtshals to today or tomorrow. Despite the bright sun today, the weather forecast is very bad and we would prefer to go a little earlier to Denmark to enjoy sunshine over there. Unfortunately, rebooking the ticket costs almost more than it has cost the ticket, so we decide not to change it. We drive back to the coast eastwards to Farsund and put the tent at 2 o’clock in the afternoon at Lomsesanden Family Camping, about 20 meters from the sea. It sounds nice, but the sea freezing cold! After some paddling, we decide not to swim. This afternoon we enjoy reading and we secretly burned in the sun.
Thursday July 21, 2016 | Farsund – Kristiansand | Entertainment at the square
We wake up early, so that we can drive away from the camp site as quickly as possible. The camp is in our opinion too full and although the sun shines we decide to drive a few kilometers further to Kristiansand. Along the way we have breakfast in peace along the road. Around 12 o’clock we arrive at the campsite Roligheden. Simultaneously two other bikers from the Netherlands arrive. Their bikes look like they ride offroad a lot, with thick studded tires. “Have you already driven many dirt roads?” We ask them. “No”, the middle-aged men says. “We use these tires only to drive safely on and off the campsites.”
After lunch we decide to go into town, about 45 minutes walk (with the detour, sorry Erik!). We visit the desolated church and then arrive at the busy shopping street. Most probably all residents and tourists in Kristiansand gather in this street. So crowded! Get out of here! By chance we pass a small harbor with tasty fish. While enjoying a non-alcoholic Erdinger and fish soup, we are spectators of an organizational unity. In the evening there would be a music festival with The Police cover band and it’s downright amusing to see how some young people have to build a too big tent on a relatively small square. After the first beer, the tent is not ready and it starts to rain. We sit dry and this makes us decide to take another beer. We really like to see how all this will fit on the square. Meanwhile, the band starts to sound check and this sounds pretty good!
In the afternoon we walk in high speed back to our ‘apartment’ (Bertha had to pee) and we had dinner (wraps) while enjoying our recently purchased wine.
Friday July 22, 2016 | Kristiansand – Hirthals – Hobro | Driving until sunset
Yes, we slept late! Very relaxed we buy some bread and cook eggs. After noon, we drive slowly towards the ferry. It is expected that you arrive at least an hour before departure at the harbor. Our boat leaves at half past four (€ 73.80 p.p. incl. motorbike), but when we arrive at half past three at the harbor there are already some big queues.
From a quarter to four our motors are allowed on the ferry and we tight them with the straps that are already present. On board we play games and read. We have taken our own bread and drinks. At a quarter to eight in the evening we arrive at Hirtshals. Fully fit we are, we decide to drive at least an hour before we finding ourselves a campsite. It is still not dark outside and the sun is shining. After an hour we decide to leave the motorway to find a campsite and arrive at the beautiful Bramslev Baker campsite near a lake where they’re waterskiing.
Saturday July 23, 2016 | Hobro – Bremen | Looking for adventure…
This morning we get up early, so we leave for Bremen at half past nine. The first two and the last two days of our holiday we must make a lot of kilometers on the highway. Of course, we prefer to avoid this as much as possible, but if we had not chosen these four days on the highway, we had to extend our holiday with two months to exchange this highway for scenic routes through small villages.
After a successful drive we arrive mid-afternoon in Bremen. A permanent campsite guest quickly offered us two beers and looked forward to hear about the adventures that we have experienced. In the end it appears that he likes to hear more than that, but at that moment we closed the discussion…
Within half an hour walk from the campsite there is a Greek restaurant. We enjoy delicious meat dishes which are alternate with shots of Ouzo. On the way back we see several deer walking in the meadow. Huge fun!
Sunday July 24, 2016 | Bremen – Amsterdam | Home sweet home
Again we had a wonderful day on the highway. The weather in the Netherlands in the last weeks was better than in Norway. Instead of rain, Netherlands suffered from a heat wave. Although these last two days on the highway were relatively boring, we greatly enjoyed the weather!
Around 2 pm we arrive unharmed in Amsterdam. Glad we’re home again. After we cleaned the motorbikes we look back on a fantastic adventurous holiday!