|Monday 9 August
From Hafslo there
are two possible ways to get to Skjolden. The
route along the eastern bank of the Lusterfjord
has many advantages: shorter, quieter, no climbs,
and above all, the road goes past the famous
staffchurch (polechurch) at Urnes. Also the high
waterfall Feigumfossen is on this side of the
fjord, but it seems you get a better view of the
falls from the opposite bank. The rainy weather
sticks around for a long time, so the 30 km climb
(from sealevel) to the Jotunheims (1440) is no
fun. Luckily from Turtagro on (900m asl) there
are mountain hotels placed at regular intervals,
where simple but plentiful meals are served. In
the neighbourhood of Krossbu (1440 m) I camp by a
small stream between two snowfields. It is quite
dry and sunny, but not very warm (5C).
Today the route descends for the
most part through the cloudy Bøverdal, with a
very limited view, unfortunately, of the
snowcovered tops of Norways highest mountains. On
the way I pass by the magnificent restored manor
farm Elveseter. In Lom (with famous staffchurch)
the weather clears. Via half sealed minor roads (a
sensible alternative to the busy national highway
15) I finally arrive,after 113 km, at the
campground in Otta.
Stavkirke in Vagamo
|Wednesday 11 August
statistics the Ottadal is one of the driest
places in Europe. The whole night and all morning
it rains for extended periods. Meanwhile an
unsettling amount of water seems to have gathered
under the tent. The water even seeps into the
tent via the corners and through the groundsheet.
There is nothing else I can do but pack away all
my gear and the inner tent and wait for a break
in the weather. Luckily it stops raining (finally)
late in the morning.
The route goes southwards, towards Lillehammer.
At Vinstra the busy E6 is left behind and the
road climbs toward the Golå plateau - Peer Gynt
country. Half way along the unsealed Peer Gynt
Way I follow a cycle path that truly leads to the
middle of nowhere. Here you can camp anywhere
completely undisturbed. There is no shortage of
water here either. It's obvious I need to boil
the brownish looking water (from the peat moors)
before consumption, because of the many sheep
that wander around up here.
After riding back a little way, I
follow the Peer Gynt Way. It is cold and drizzly
again. On the descent through the Gausdal the
gentle rain stops: all the way to Lillehammer, 77k
further on, it rains buckets! The budget hotel in
this Olympic town seems an excellent alternative
for a few rainsoaked cycle campers. In the
evening the weather clears.
Peer Gynt Veien
After changing two completely
worn out brakepads, and oiling the chain I
continue my journey to Hamar. In Hamar a visit to
the Vikingskipet (Vikingship, the famous indoor
speed skating hall) is not to be missed. The
magnificent road along the Mjosa lake ends in
Minnesund. The last part runs parallel to the E6,
which is carrying a great stream of traffic out
of Oslo towards weekend or holiday destinations.
Vikingship skating hall in
|Saturday 14 August
it is a mere 90km to Oslo. The ride takes me
through a rolling rural landscape, that makes me
think of Tuscany. Once in Oslo it is no longer
clear which direction the city centre is in.
Finally I reach the camping ground on the Ekeberg
by way of the flyovers and horrendously busy
roads . The campground is fabulously placed on
the top of the Ekeberg, and has a *** panoramic
view over the city. I explore further downtown on
foot. Lydia and Ståle live quite close to the
centre, but unfortunately they are not at home.
|Sunday 15 August.
rather a cycle free day. The day is put to good
use sightseeing in Oslo. At first on foot to the
Akershus fortress. From there past the royal
palace to the Vigeland sculpture park. Following
that a visit to the Bygdøy peninsula, where
there are many museums, including an open air one.
Vigeland sculpture park
|Monday 16 August
My last Norwegian
leg goes through the Ostfold region. Luckily the
campground is situated to the south of the town
so that it is really easy to find my way out. The
countryside to the south of Oslo is not so
spectacular: sloping fields, alternating with
forests and lakes. In the fortress town of Halden
the campground is set nicely above the town on a
hill next to a castle.
|Tuesday 17 August
I know it, I cycle into Sweden. The same
countryside presents itself: many woods and lakes
alternating with fields and meadows. After around
80km or so on quiet roads I land on the busy E6
highway. Alas there is no alternative route.
However, cycling is not unpleasant: broad
shoulder, perfect asphalt, flat surface and a
tailwind. The kilometers fly past, Göteborg
approaches at great speed. Just past Munkerdal
the fun is over. Via a picturesque side road
through Bohuslän I reach the campground of Ab
Hafstens, on the fjord with the same name. This
nicely positioned campground is set on a narrow
finger of land, surrounded by water.
|Wednesday 18 August
The last cycle
stage is to Göteborg. The national road 160 over
Orust Island is busy and narrow. Because my map
is lacking the needed detailed information I
can't find any alternative route. I am
compensated for the heavy traffic conditions by
fine weather and great views over the beautiful
coast with many islands and spectacular bridges.
Beautiful coast of Bohuslän
Thursday 19 August
The last day is spent sightseeing
in Göteborg. Göteborg is a whole lot more cycle
friendly than Oslo. Notable are the well
signposted, separate cyclepaths and the many
cycling (ATB) commuters. In the evening I am
firmly but pleasantly requested to move my tent
from the empty campground (for campervans and
caravans only) to the much smaller, egg-filled
area set aside for tents. The following day this
campground also proves to be one of the most
expensive of the whole trip (f 25 per night)
Friday 20 August
Up early in order to check in at the terminal on
time. The Skandia terminal, where I have reserved
a ticket on the boat back to Amsterdam, is a long
way outside of town at the harbour. I still have
19 kilometers to ride to the harbour. With this
added in the total distance adds up to ±2485
kilometers in 25 days.
Unfortunately the weather is hazy as the boat
travels towards Amsterdam. The long crossing (23
hours) can be spent on board in one of the many
restaurants, in the casino or at the
pokermachines. With a bit of Norwegian change I
try my luck, and I receive a windfall of 85
Swedish krones! Just the thing for a free hot
meal on board!
Saturday 21 August
Arrival 8.45 at the Suez dock in Amsterdam.
The cyclists are first off the boat, riding en
masse. As I am riding off, mom and dad drive up
just in time to pick me up.