Bicycle tour Scandinavia 1993

Bergen-Sognefjord, Norway


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Wednesday 4 August

After a restful night on the ferry we reach the oil/port city of Stavanger around 7 am. Due to the dry sunny weather the trip to Bergen (still another 7 hours on the ferry) is like a holiday cruise along the magnificent fjord coastline of southern Norway.

In all respects it is worth taking the trouble to visit Bergen. Especially nice are the little coloured timber houses of the "Bryggen". Less pleasant is the nearby Bergenshallen camping ground. This is laid out in a dismal outer suburb of Bergen, behind some sporthalls. Many dome tents are pitched on a soggy piece of grass between the tennis courts. The parking area in front of the halls is camping place for caravans and campervans, and the campers are allowed to use the athletes showers. And, as might be expected in Bergen, towards evening it starts to rain..

Stavanger, Norwegian coast to Bergen

Thursday 5 August

Just like every large city, it cost some sweat to get out of town. As soon as I have left Bergen it stops raining (pure chance?).

The first cols show up en masse just after the first punt crossing to Haus. These "obstacles" are passed without any problem thanks to the great buildup I have had from a week's cycling through Germany and Denmark. A real obstacle though, are the many, often unlit, tunnels. Only with the aid of an electrica torch (brought along on the advice of the Experienced Norwegian Traveller Luddo) is it possible to get through these dark cold caves unscathed. Moreover the longer tunnels are an atrocity owing to the exhaust fumes.
Around 2 hours and 65km later, I reach the second ferry crossing near Tyssebotn. Alas this punt doesn't cross as often as I had expected: the next (and indeed last) leaves in two and a half hours time.


To cycle on to the next camping ground would mean another 80 km, a mountain and a punt over the Sognefjord, hardly an attractive alternative. On the other side of the fjord, at Vikanes, there is a small camping ground (20 Kr or merely 5 guilders) with full catering facilities. Practically every ferry-stop has a supermarket , which somewhat alleviates the (sometimes long) wait.




Friday 6 August

It is a warm, dry day. The cycle route travels from Vikanes via the Romarheims valley over the Stølheimen mountains. The new tunnel near Hogsvaer is out of bounds for cyclists. The old route is 15 km longer and follows a narrow road through magnificent mountain scenery. Near Oppedal I cross the Sognefjord by ferry. After 114 km I come across an empty "farm" camping ground. The marshy field is "protected" by 3 (ex) police dogs. The shower, as expected, is inside the farmhouse.

Stølheimen, Matrefjord


Saturday 7 August

The first serious col presents itself. The climb to the Gaularfjell (748 m high) is very gradual from the western side. From the top of the pass a magnificent panorama over the Skarvedalsbreen snowfields, and over the spurs of the Jostedalsbreen. This is the largest glacier in Europe after Vatnajökull (Island).

The descent is spectacular: with many hairpin bends the road snakes continually downwards towards the fjord. At Dragsvik I cross the Sognefjord once again. Many orchards along the banks of the fjord. At a good camping annex at the youth hostel in Hafslo I exchange a few experiences with two Germans, who have also arrived from Bergen by bike.




Sunday 8 August

From Hafslo I make a day trip without my baggage to Nigardsbreen, a tongue of the Jostedalsbreen glacier. Unfortunately this morning the surrounding mountains are partly shrouded in mist

The strip of glacier is a top tourist attraction - it can be reached by foot as well as by boat across the glacial lake. It is also possible to walk on the glacier if you take a guide.

The return trip is chiefly downhill (±30 km per hour). Luckily the snow covered mountains around the Jostedalen are now fully visible. This evening I can enjoy a good spread at the campground for a very small outlay (40 Kr).

Nigardsbreen glacier

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