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Old 07-06-2010, 01:42 PM   #1
pip_muenster OP
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Cool2 Let's find those vikings

Set sail and head into unknown waters. Leave everyday life behind.



It is the summer of 2009 and the weather hasn’t been friendly with me in the last weeks. Will it be better up in the North?



I’ve had enough of everyday life in the office, drinking coffee and pushing the mouse around. My job allows me some traveling, but now it had been a complete week at the desk. It was time for a break.
There had been little chance for riding in the last months, so first I checked the battery. It had dried out and died while on the battery jogger, good start.
Apart from that my trusty CB750 was fine, so I just needed a day for some last minute laundry and packing my stuff. My idea was to ride fast through Denmark & Sweden towards the north and then slowly back along the western coast of Norway, just what you would do between oil changes.


The first day brought me to the Baltic Sea where I visited friends. I also stopped at a bike shop, since the bike’s mileage was critically bad. The mechanic immediately pointed at the tank switch which was spitting gas all over the place. Ahem, that’s embarrassing … I should have seen that myself.
Before the tour I only had checked the oil and replaced the battery. Should I worry about the bike’s condition? Ah, no, it’s a Honda, right?

Anyway, that gave me another day at the beach. Also, my friend Tania decided it was better to spend the afternoon with me and have a BBQ than to work. Hurray.
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Old 07-06-2010, 03:07 PM   #2
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Due to the prices in Scandinavia there’s a 4-storey liquor shop near the ferry in Puttgarden. To keep the weight down and the spirits high, I got me a bottle Tequila. Others used a forklift to load their vans with beer. That’s something you may see daily at your local Walmart, but in Germany it’s a fairly unfamiliar sight.

With the ferry from Puttgarden to Rødby and then from Helsingør to Helsingborg I arrived in Sweden, where I immediately almost crashed when exiting a roundabout. Someone had just put a solid layer of gravel on top of the asphalt. Well ok, everybody comes to Sweden for the gravel roads, so there’s no point complaining …



This night was my first night in the new tent and I wanted to see how it would compare to my old dome tent which I loved and which had toured with me since 1994. In the night I learned to hate its tunnel design, as I had to use more and more pegs to keep the canvas from buffeting.



The next two days I was driving through the forest. Not many hills, a lake here and there. Barely a bend in the road and a foreseeable speed trap on each intersection.
Things immediately changed when I turned away from the coast near Lulea and met this guy on the road.



It was my first reindeer, so allow me some excitement. And it only took 10 more kilometers to get a different view on them: “Oh yeah, reindeer, they’re a plague up here.”

Further north in Finland a rusty structure called for a photo of the bike. (By the way, that huge top box was almost empty, I kept it for groceries or locking my jacket when away from the bike.)



Then it was getting colder, so I grabbed my stuffed rain coverall. Now while it is comfy and warm, they should have sold it together with some yoga exercises. Getting in required some flexing. If you’ve ever find yourself in one of these tiny rest room cubicles where the toilet paper is located -behind- you, you’ll understand what I mean.

In the evening I started looking for a spot to set up my tent. Only when I stopped to pee, I noticed the midges all around me. I hate them! So I decided to ride on northwards, speculating that eventually they will disappear in the colder climate.
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Old 07-06-2010, 04:14 PM   #3
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That's some reindeer... makes the deer around here look like dwarfs!

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Old 07-06-2010, 05:33 PM   #4
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So I kept on riding. I found me a car in a hurry and followed it, thus frequently exceeding 100km/h (at a speed limit of 80) - and hoping it was a local who knew the speed traps.
And then I saw it, I was almost there:



(You'll probably know about the tunnel and the entry/exit fee etc. so I won't bother you with details.)


It was getting late in the night and quite cold, but here it was. It was almost 12 o'clock, so there in the distance, that was the midnight-sun.




Been there, done that.




At midnight, there were hundreds of people here: Germans, Italians, Japanese ... but after an hour everybody was gone except for an Australian GS-rider and me.

Since I was still freezing and very tired, I found me a quiet place and build my home.


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Old 07-06-2010, 09:09 PM   #5
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Excellent a thread that includes both Vikings and the midnight sun.....
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Old 07-06-2010, 10:59 PM   #6
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Old 11-27-2010, 11:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pip_muenster

With the ferry from Puttgarden to Rødby and then from Helsingør to Helsingborg I arrived in Sweden, where I immediately almost crashed when exiting a roundabout. Someone had just put a solid layer of gravel on top of the asphalt. Well ok, everybody comes to Sweden for the gravel roads, so there’s no point complaining …




My version of Kronborg Castle in Helsingør...and it's big guns :-)



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Old 11-27-2010, 11:08 AM   #8
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Excellent photos. Thanks for sharing
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Old 11-28-2010, 10:26 AM   #9
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Nice shot with the moon ...
I've been there around 1989 (on a bicycle trip to Goeteborg), so I skipped visiting the place this time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MustTourEurope
My version of Kronborg Castle in Helsingør...and it's big guns :-)
[...]
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Old 12-01-2010, 12:49 PM   #10
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Continuing my voyage along the Lofoten islands I was again overwhelmed by the landscape. Also, the weather changed from dramatic to nice & sunny.



There were a couple of small restaurants offering fresh sea food in one of the fisher villages, so I stopped for lunch.





I finally reach the town of Å - that's the shortest town name in all of Norway. Near the harbor were some nice rocks with a guarantee for a beautiful sunrise - providing the sun would eventually set.
Dozens of young people had invaded the area and put up their tents everywhere. I gave in and retrieved to the nearby camp site.
Although it was crowded with bikers, bicyclists and RVs it was promising a hot shower and - more important - some silence at night.
Sitting at the coast, I considered my options: I could take the ferry to Bodo on the mainland. This would give me time to check on the fjords in the south.
Or I could take the ferry to Rost, the southern-most island in the Lofoten group. There were not many people living on Rost, but it was known as a bird's paradise.


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Old 12-01-2010, 06:43 PM   #11
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Very nice. Why don't you take RV 17 from Bodo, and visit my hometown Glomfjord, then continue south on 17 towards and past Svartisen glacier (trust me you won't be disappointed) then just follow 17 south. Incredible scenery. If not you would have to spend hours on E6 across Saltfjellet. Man I miss trout-fishing back home.......ride on!
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
We arrived on the island of Austvagsoya around 8am. Everyone was still sleeping and the RVs had build a corral in defense against the Vikings.
Hahahaha!

I need more vikings!
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Old 12-02-2010, 12:37 AM   #13
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The next morning I saw the islands passing on the ferry. It looked like someone had thrown huge rocks into the ocean.





Typical for the area are the racks to dry the fish. As this is only done at the end of the season in Spring, there was no fish now.



I also passed this small island with the 2 hill tops, reminding me on a famous children's book 'Jim Knopf'. Can you see the tunnels and railtracks on Lummerland? I think I can.



One house in the harbor of Rost caught the eye.



The guy living here is the tour guide, offering boat trips to the last small islands which are a bird's reservation.

When I arrived at that pier, I met a nice, young woman with a packed bicycle, preparing her lunch. She strongly reminded me on Smilla Jaspersen. (No photo here, but you may know the actress Julia Ormond ...)

A lot of other tourists showed up which were then told to climb on the tourist boat and a fisherman's boat. It seemed like the number of people for the tourist boat was limited, so most of us ended up on the latter.
It also seemed to be more fun ...

Some parents had brought a special life vest for their kid - not a bad idea as there was nothing but a single rescue raft on our boat. I pointed to that vest asking Smilla whether she'd brought her own vest, too ... She turned pale and decided to switch boast. Have I punched a nerve there?









We stopped at the last island to visit an old lighthouse. It's lens was actually manufactured by Frenel
himself and is a masterpiece.



Here we met the other group again, each of them wearing a high-vis life vest. Life on the fisherman's boat was somehow more relaxed ...



The best place was right at it's bow.



Walking on the water?



After half a day on the sea we came back to Rost.



Next: Back on the bike.
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Old 12-02-2010, 06:03 AM   #14
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Really enjoying reading this, looking forward to more.
Thanks
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Old 01-05-2012, 07:03 AM   #15
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Excellente.

Yet another great trip PIP.

McFury.
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