Norway the report (+photos) days 1, 2 & 3

Discussion in 'Denmark Norway Sweden Finland' started by timdownieuk, Jun 15, 2016.

  1. timdownieuk

    timdownieuk Funster

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    I've already posted our route so I'll try and recall our itinerary.

    Day 1
    Drive from Ayr to Riding Mill east of Newcastle to visit and stay with relatives.

    Day 2
    Drive to Middlesbrough to see the Transporter bridge. We have a bit of a thing about these bridges and it seemed too good an opportunity to miss before jumping on the ferry that evening in Newcastle. It's a magnificent structure and well worth a visit.
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    From Middlesbrough back up to NC to catch the overnight ferry to Amsterdam.

    Day 3
    Off ferry and straight off to our next stop at Bremen. Great site by the university near a lake and large park with easy cycle access to the city centre. (Campingplatz Bremen). Separate (cheaper) area for motorhomes and great toilet/shower/kitchen/dining block. Spotlessly clean and all very modern. Bremen turned out to be a fantastic city for a short break and would recommend staying several nights if you have the time.
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    The last picture is of the "Bremen drop tower" which is where the university does microgravity experiments by dropping them in a near vacuum over 100m. This takes about 4.5 seconds. If they want to double that time they fire things up fromthe bottom which gives about 9 seconds of weightlessness. Only open to the public 4 days in the years but would be worth planning a trip around a visit if that kind of thing interests you. Only 5 minutes by bike from the campsite.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2016
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  2. timdownieuk

    timdownieuk Funster

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    Day 4
    Drive from Bremen to Osten to see another transporter bridge! There are only six working ones in the world, 2 in the UK, 2 in Germany, 1 in Portugal and 1 in Argentina. Not sure we'll take the van to see the last one. ;-)
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    Like all of these crazy bridges, run by enthusiasts and great places to visit and natter.

    After Osten we drove on to Rendsburg via the ferry across the Elbe. (As we discovered on the way back the massive roadworks around Hamburg makes this quite a good way to travel north). At Rendsbug, there is the other German transporter bridge. Unfortunately earlier in the year there was a "coming together" between the gondola and a ship so the gondola is away for repairs. Normally you can ride across the river on it. The Rendsburg bridge is unusual in having been built as a dual-purpose rail and transporter bridge and trains pass overhead.
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    We then drove up to just south of the Danish border to stay near Flensburg. Can't really recommend Campingplatz Langballigau. A bit "tired". It was just an overnight stop for us.

    The next morning we drove up to Kolding and across what I think they call the "Great belt" stopping for lunch and a trip to the railway museum in Odense. A good museum by any measure although not quite in the same league as the one in York. Found free parking in a carp ark behind the museum. Beware the station car park. Eye watering charges!
    The bridges across the islands are just amazing. No pictures alas as it was a bit hazy and I was driving.
    We navigated to the "City camp" in Copenhagen which is a rather scruffy looking bit of brownfield site near a power station. This might sound bad but in fact it's very handy for the city centre by bike, has excellent "portaloo/shower units"' electricity and wifi. The power station is also home to what was the biggest Diesel engine in the world for 30 years.
    http://www.dieselhouse.dk/en/news-2/
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    It only runs for 5 minutes at a time on certain occasions (and we'd missed the last running by a few days) but amazingly a private group had booked a "start-up" (only about £250 quid for anyone looking for that perfect present), so,we got to see it running after all!
    22,500 horse power of supercharge, twin action, two stroke diesel is very impressive!

    Copenhagen is a fascinating place and if our hearts hadn't been focused on Norway we would have spent more time there. Will probably fly back for a city break.
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    Enough for now... More later.
     
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  3. tony_g

    tony_g Funster

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    We are reading this with interest because we are planning a Denmark/Norway expedition next Spring, having done a long Baltic states, Finland, Sweden a couple of years ago. We've always been a bit concerned about ferry fares and tolls in our 6.8m van but your costings are encouraging. So, more posts please!
    Btw...are there any checks on beer stocks when crossing into Norway (essential element of pre-planning!);)
     
  4. timdownieuk

    timdownieuk Funster

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    We decided that the ferry trips were just an intrinsic part of the holiday and that it's not worth worrying about the cost.

    We went with 20 bottles of wine stashed under seats. ;-) We didn't see any vans getting inspected.
     
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  5. Hotelman

    Hotelman Funster

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    We will be entering Norway with 4 trays of kronenbourg, 5 X 3 litre boxes of wine half s bottle of pastis and some gin ( how much depends on swmbo, as she is drinking it) oh and 4 bottles of Tesco's champagne.!!

    P. S how do you get the smell of pastis out of a glass, before you put wine into it !!!
     
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  6. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    Just going for a week? :)
     
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  7. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    you drink it :D:D
     
  8. laird of Dunstan

    laird of Dunstan Funster Life Member

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    one has the same issue,swimbo enjoys an evening glass of wine and im on the tea or soft drinks
     
  9. timdownieuk

    timdownieuk Funster

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    Day 6

    We had two nights in Citycamp in Copenhagen so it was on our sixth day that we ventured forth on to The Bridge! Sadly no outline of a body on the road at the border which was disappointing (but understandable). ;-)

    The Bridge itself is impressive but we both felt that the big one in the "belt" was "better". It's quite an expensive crossing (£72) though and did mean that we had to then drive up the west coast of Sweden to reach our "goal" country. Still, it was another tick off the bucket list so worth it despite the inconvenience.

    We thought about stopping near/in Gothenburg but when we starting web searches for sites we came across so many scare stories about van break-ins we decided to play safe and stop before we got there. We ended up in a small town called Bua where there is plenty of parking for vans by the marina. There's a credit card operated machine to pay for your parking and it also gives you the wifi & toilet block codes.

    Day 7

    We left warm weather to drive north to Oslo and the further north we went the greyer and colder it got and we had several showers of rain on the way up which wasn't exactly encouraging. Things cleared up by the time we reached Oslo and we decided to check out a recommendation of parking by a large sculture park. Unfortunately there was no dedicated van parking and it was pretty crowded (and a bit pricey). Still, we quite enjoyed the sculpture park, even if a lot of the stuff is quite weird. It's all by one artist rather than a mix of artists and styles so don't go expecting variety.
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    Anyhow, we didn't fancy camping by the park and we had read about a large campingplatz by a marina near the city centre and that sounded ideal, apart from the fact it didn't "open" until the 1st of June. Still, we thought we'd have a look at it and once we'd seen the vast empty expanse of parking available, we decided to just park up and open the wine and damn the consequences. ;-)

    There is a pleasant woodland walk accessible just behind the site that's worth exploring.
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    Later on in the evening a chap did wander over to us and explained that the site wasn't open but didn't seem prepared to make an issue over it. We just shrugged our shoulders in "helpless foreigner" style and that was the end of it.

    Day 8
    Neither of us are huge city fans but thought that we ought to at least try and take in a bit of culture so we visited the Viking museum and the Munch museum. It was at the latter museum where we came across our first credit card problem, namely, their machines would only take Norwegian credit cards which was a bit of a nuisance. This happened a couple of times in Norway which surprised us as we've always found that wherever the MasterCard/Visa/American Express sign is displayed, the card nationality didn't matter.
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    After our little bit of culture, we headed north to Lillehammer to see the ski jumps. For those interested there is a Winter Olympics museum here that I'm told is good if that sort of thing floats your boat. I just wanted to run/climb/crawl up the 936 steps to the top. I always enjoy a physical challenge but the steepness and irregularity of the steps made it very hard to run up and I ended up taking a lot of walking breaks.
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    Afterwards we picked up a takeaway pizza and carried on northwards to look for a place to pitch up for the night. We had hoped to just find a convenient lay-by or rest area but they seemed thing on the ground in that area so we ended up on a small site north of Øyer called Odden camping. A bit unnerving to enter as you have to drive through a 3x3 metre square tunnel to get in. There was no-one on reception so we just parked up with a view over the lake and settled down.

    Day 9
    The owner turned up in the morning to collect our money and then promptly drove off again. It seems that no one holidays in Norway before the first of June! The toilets and showers were "free" and clean and power is available. No wifi though.

    In the morning I found a nice track & hill for a spot of running.
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  10. timdownieuk

    timdownieuk Funster

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    Day 9 (continued)

    A couple more photos from my run.
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    After my run we headed off to continue our journey north. We really didn't have much of a plan other than "up the middle and down around the edge" and just see where the road takes us.

    On the way north I spotted this symbol on a side road image.png .

    We didn't give it much thought until about 30km up the road we stopped for a break and found an information board explaining all about the Norwegian National Tourist Routes. Liking what we were reading about them we decided that we could really ignore the road we'd passed back down the road so it was about turn and off to our first Tourist Route (27).
    http://www.nasjonaleturistveger.no/en/routes/rondane

    This route winds uphill on to a high plateau in the Rondane national park that is obviously popular with langlauffers (?sp) on their cross-country skis. Kind of desolate but fascinating nonetheless.
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    As you continue north you come across a large car park and viewpoint for a magnificent mountain range at Stor-Elvdal.
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    We eventually rejoined the E6 which is the main road north from Oslo to Lillehammer and onwards to Trondheim. Don't think that "main" equals motorway or even dual carriageway. 99% of roads were single carriageways and the E6 frequently has a central barrier stopping any overtaking and low speed limits so was rather tedious.

    Our plan now was to head west of Trondheim to take in the next national tourist route (the Atlanterhavsvegen) which is a stunning collection of bridges linking islands.
    http://www.nasjonaleturistveger.no/en/routes/rondane

    That was a long way off still so we found a quiet rest area by the main road to Trondheim and camped there for the night. More wine ensured. ;-)
     
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