How did it happen that in the middle of July we landed in Norway? I do not know.
About a year ago I met on the Tatra Road Race Matthew. This is also the author of photos with me in this post, and as he is a pilot - on his Instagram you will find some Norwegian views from a slightly different perspective. He mentioned the trip to Scandinavia - I am not surprised at him if I would watch her from above, I would also like to visit her. I do not know, I do not remember, after Tatra, I was busy throwing a bike forever.
About three months later, he wrote to me that we were going, though I still understood little: something about Stavanger and Alesund ... wherever they are. I never refuse such proposals. So I wrote to Piotrek that there is a nice trip: that I do not know where and with whom, but it will be cold, wet, far away, and on the first day we will want to come back home. For a working man - an ideal situation: you go back to work and enjoy yourself. Piotrek is such a guest that when we go out for a bike in the morning, we have to take the lamps, when we go out on a hot day we take raincoats, and if we went before the block, for a walk, I would probably take a shovel, NRC foil and harpoon.
Quickly, before it reaches us, it does not make sense!
Flights to Norway are currently ridiculously cheap. The price of a trip to Stavenger in the south or Tromso in the north is the equivalent of 5-6 snickers at a Norwegian gas station. A very reasonable method of pushing responsibility and lack of courage to ask "is it a good idea?"We approve Mateusz's idea, we add a few more places and we look at tracka, which is over 1300km. Yes, planning from a chair perspective with a jack is convenient.
It also quickly turns out that my statement that if we have such a large distance to cover, we are probably going from the south of the country to its north, it is very exaggerated. The distance from such Stavanger (without leaving Norway) to the Vardø lying on the actual north is further than a trip from Warsaw to Valencia.
Three words about Norway
The entry about Norway has already appeared on the blog for three years parts of the route were even overlapping. Then we were stationed with Panda in Molde and we learned that Norway is disgustingly expensive and very difficult for cyclists. The roads are ideal, the traffic is insignificant, and almost non-existent beyond the main tourist routes. Drivers are ahead of you that you want to get off the bike, approach the man and ask him to finally speed up his Tesla (car traffic is made up of 40% electricians, 30% of motorhomes and 10% of old, vintage vehicles).
Have you ever been in Kutno at the station at night
It is so dirty and ugly that the eyes are bursting ...
It is the same in Norway, just the opposite. Eyes burst, because all the time you are attacked by fjords, waterfalls, huge mountains, crazy asphalts, sheep, lakes located on mountains, mountains on lakes, identical houses that look like from a horror of kidnapper (most of them are located a considerable distance from others, in the least accessible places - for example, islands). At over 1,300 kilometers we have defeated, I would call a 1280 absolute championship. Remember the entry about the Yosemite Valley (this short or this very long one)? Here Yosemite is behind every corner.
The basic problem of Norway is that by taking a break to admire the view, you can lose all motivation to ride and sit until the night falls. And there are places where the night will be in three months ...
With the weather we came perfectly, because in the perpospektywie whole departure temperature and precipitation were just right. A little rain and around 20 degrees. It spread out not too fortunately, because for the first four days it was raining, and the temperature could drop to 4 ° C, and then the warmest days in Norway came for several dozen years and the meters showed in the sun around 40 ° C. Statistically - perfectly.
Equipment. Because the equipment is always the most important.
We decided to go by gravel, although practically the whole route was asphalt (except for the fragment that was not, but it did not change anything, because it still had to be driven). There are many reasons for this - the main fact is that the wide tire is more comfortable, especially with such a heavy load of luggage, and we do not care about the speed at all. Our tires are quite smooth 38mm or 40mm.
Since I have been avoiding gravel purchase for a long time, I still stick to the version that maybe driving on a road is more pleasant, but I would still like to drive 3 trips a year in a gravel rather than patting the same routes on a sports road. The Specialized company came here to help me Specialized Diverge Comp at Ultegra. Just in case, I put here the speca logo, which has suffered somewhat away, so maybe thanks to that I will not have to buy it ;-)
I admit with great sadness that it is a genius bike, and a 20mm jump from the front on the one hand brings back memories of the past, but on the other hand it really helps. The effect is like if I dropped from the front wheel with 2 bars, but only at the moment of hitting the bumps. Depreciation is the future (... someone said ~ 20 years ago). The ultegra, the shields, the amorphoot in the seatpost are of course flawless, and the hook made a wince and half of the cartridge did not work, it's only I'm guilty ... and I discovered a very serious advantage of the 2 × 11 drive over 1 × 11, especially in the absence civilization.
Other bikes that go with us are Canyon Grail (but in the aluminum option, the best price-quality and no-frills as in our Grailach in Albania) and cross-country Canyon Inflite, which Piotrek bought just after we borrowed him testówkę coming back from visits to the Azores.
When it comes to gravele, Diverge is my favorite in the category above PLN 10k, aluminum Grail in the category below PLN 10k
At this point, I would like to put a very solid thank you to Specialized for saving me at the last minute.
What's cracking in the bag?
2 pairs of socks + dexshelle, gloves long + short, such thing on the ears (headband), hat, warm jacket, vest, long rain trousers, legs, towel, cycling shorts, cycling shirt, warm + cold T-shirts, 2 inner tubes, one bottle of 0.7 food Huel powder.
UNDER THE FRAME:
shampoo, disinfectant, lenses, Lsalads, Lyobs, charcoal, nurofen, grease, toothpaste, two clips, Lcharger + camera, cable for garmin / gopro / micro usb, 6 bars, first aid kit, camera, pump, two water bottles
BY THE BRIDGE:
gopro, camera. powerbank, multitool, lighting lamp, mains charger, cable for garmin / gopro / micro usb
UNDER THE STEERING HAND:
7 lyophilizates, Lyczkowidelec, tourist sheet, eye cover, ultralight
It was useful in principle - the vest was perhaps an unnecessary luxury.
What was good and deserves to be honored?
Lyophilisates are a beautiful invention, and Trec Boostek bars pulled out in a radius for PLN 4.5 are the cheapest and most handy ~ 500 kcal I had.
Endura FS260-Pro Adrenaline Race Cape Jacket, or better version
trzepotki ultralight from Decathlon. We ride three of them and it is excellent, both in the rain and in the cold. In bike24, we hit -50% off, so at the price of 41.3 €, it was one of the best purchases for a long time.
What was bad and deserves a pillory?
The famous, two-color lamps from Decathlon - died in the rain, misted up, began to turn themselves on at night - two independent, so you can not talk about the case.
Thermoformable Shimano insoles in the new SH-XC70 MTB shoes. On the second day of riding, we put the shoes and insoles on the "ski radiator" and one day later one of the inserts shrunk by at least one size, which puts a big finger on for a good 1000 km.
Waterproof Dexshell socks, which I described here. The socks are actually good, but not if we use them for a long time with short pants. Water trickles down the leg and stays there. As the sock dries much longer than normal, it does not work in changing weather conditions.
The whole: bike + lumber weighs about 17kg. You ride it like a tank. I can not imagine moving in heavy rain on a road like Stalheimsklevia without disc brakes. All the time you have to be careful not to hit the knee in the bags (he he he), but how all this has a total meaning ... Every day, we are able to easily beat an average of 190km, with an average exceeding of 2,500 meters. It does not bother the guys either, get dangerously close to the top 10 downhill KOMs. On such Trollstigen Downhill, full of serpentine, Piotrek reports with 11 time driving with an average of 53.5 km / h for 7.5 minutes.
How much does a visit to Norway cost,
because money is also the most important
According to most rankings, Norway is in TOP3 of the most expensive countries in the world. Add to this the fact that the buildings here cry as much as the cat cried, and the largest cities that we pass through are Alesund, from which we fly out (45k residents) and Molde (26k residents) and we will get the right vision of spending on the spot. In addition, we are talking about a country where the average earnings exceed PLN 20,000.
To put it mildly: it is expensive ... more expensive than anywhere else.
Our excluzy-cebulak trip, which included 7 nights amounted to:
PLN 2,850 (+/- PLN 150) per head
(including flights, ferries, accommodation, food, etc.). Is it a lot? This must be assessed individually, I will only say that Norway is also one of the most beautiful countries in the world.
PLN 550 for flights with a bicycle (Gdańsk -> Stavanger, Alesund -> Gdańsk)
350 PLN: 5x ferry crossing (including 2.5 hours by Gudvangen-> Kaupanger is more than half of this)
PLN 950: 7 nights (linked below, in relation to specific days).
PLN 200: food from Poland (bars, freeze-dried products, izo tablets)
PLN 100: insurance, because the kind of EKUZ works, but if you look for a helicopter, then KL + Assistance per million (literally) is helpful.
rest: consumption on the spot
The internet is part of European packages.
I will buy a shade of ... food for the last penny today
I would like to write here, which stores to choose and that it is worth visiting Rema 1000, Kiwi, Bunnpris or Spar or Coop, but there is a problem. Our route is arranged so that initially there is practically no meaningful civilization - that is, there are some houses sometimes, but we do not see any stores or gas stations. The further north, the better, but the beginnings are dramatic. For example: after leaving Stavanger, the first small shop we meet at 150km. Not only that, it is such a sensation that we were prepared for him, because he has his own website and we found him so slightly off the route.
Prices are from space, and 50% should be added to gas stations. I vividly say this:
Snickers in the supermarket is PLN 9, at the station almost PLN 14.
Beer in a roadside camping bar: PLN 40
A half-liter Coca Cola does not drop below PLN 10.
The most expensive bun with pudding we saw was PLN 28 (in a supermarket), normally from PLN 5 to PLN 10.
Pizzerinka (such a pancake cake): PLN 10
on the other hand, 100g of very good salmon is also around 10 PLN, and a kilo of bananas costs a little over 5 PLN.
A lot of products, especially those whose expiry date ends in the near future, receive a -40% sticker.
The cheapest mineral water in a 1.5l bottle is PLN 2, but very often there is only a glacial over 10 PLN. We drank mainly water from streams and rocks (with our own pills) and survived. Plastic bottles are returnable to vending machines!
Generally, as long as we pay attention to prices (apparently a bun can cost PLN 5 and PLN 25), it is possible to live with dignity.
When it comes to cash: I used it only once, for a shower at the campsite, which cost ~ 5 PLN for 5 minutes. Once I also ran out of this cash and had to wash in the sink, because it was 23.30. Card terminals are everywhere, so Revolut took everything.
In short: Norway is very expensive, but if you are very careful, it is not so bad ;-)
The route: hours of planning
And believe it, it was not easy to plan it. In Norway, nothing is straightforward, and the main reason for this is the terrain. Numerous fjords make even such ill-conceived architectural heads as those who invented the driveway at Geiranger, are unable to connect cities so that the bike can pass without complications. The first and most important page to visit is map of Norwegian tunnels. There are tunnels marked here, through which we will ride a bike, we will not pass or "drive through", along with descriptions of the alternative road ... if it exists. The next step is to find ferry crossings, the hours in which they sail and the appropriate ones fit into our plan.
Pictures will not show how it really is in Norway. This pleasant feeling of a vast space and undisturbed by nature's people is finding it harder and harder to look anywhere else. Even tourists are better, because instead of the allinclusive sunbathers, mainly adventurers meet.
Then, when everything is ready, just go to the booking and Airbnb to find out that the accommodation is not ... Yes, each of the campgrounds, and there are not many of them, has a card that there are no vacancies. There are so few offers on the internet and they are so far away from each other that we take the "last possible" principle and reserve the whole in advance, which does not allow us to make any mistakes.
Tip: when searching for Norwegian accommodation, you should use the search engine. Norwegians have a clear reluctance to support "solutions from the west" and many lodgings can be booked only through the website of the facility. If we want to sleep under the roof, we ALSO need to book accommodation well in advance, especially in July, that is, the peak of visits in this country.
In retrospect, the route seems almost optimal. We would only introduce light fixes on the fourth day ... and we would extend the route to two weeks in order to be able to pass all known places, which we are forced to avoid because of the lack of clothes / shoes for trekking and lack of time. Let's admit, however, that it was a strict cycling trip.
Day I: Warm up, meaning the walk
133km / 2610m, moving time: 10.5h (gross: 11.5h)
I have a very good connection to Stavanger. On Friday after work, I go to Gdansk, sleep with a friend, and leave at 6.10 am to check in at the Norwegian airport less than 2 hours later. Along the way, I discover that instead of the Norwegian map with beautifully marked mazaczki route, important points, etc., I took the map of Albania with an equally beautiful, but completely useless route. It takes at least a few turns of the page to reveal my mistake. This is just the beginning of my never-ending professionalism on this trip, because just after unpacking the bikes in the luggage room, something does not suit me. Like bikes twisted, like the luggage mounted, like everything fits, because I wear the outfit, and in SPD I flew ... only I do not have much to connect in. I do not have pedals! :-)
And only 4 pedals
Can they make it?! *
* read in the voice of an American teacher
Here is a quick contact to the man we met on Instagram, who helped us a bit (generally a lot of people from Norway, despite my small instagram ranges, for which I thank you) and we are directed to the XXL store in Stavanger, in which for a bargain 175 PLN You can buy 520's. After a 7.5km walk in the drizzle I'm in the shop and we can move on. Good start.
The suburbs of Stavanger is the ugliest place we visited in Norway. Not that it is ugly, but the gray and gloomy aura combined with a completely deserted city creates a climate that connects Silent Hill with Resident Evil. At that time, we did not know that this day was just starting.
After 33 kilometers, we get on the ferry, the rain intensifies, and we are slowly getting everything done. From now on, we will be completely wet for the next 3 days with sleeping breaks ... and for a gale that rapes us somewhere between the 80th and 100th kilometer. It is very nice, because that's where we get a 10 km driveway with an average of 6%, which looks like Islanadia. It blows so much that it's hard not to fall out of the way. Oh, it blows so much that when we go back a bit to see if Piotrek died, we do not have to pedal uphill ... because of course she always blows in her mouth.
The wind in Norway is always very good
only the opposite
For the first 7 days, the wind always blows against the wind and we agree quite quickly. In Norway, every fjord has its own weather, and if you're heading east to jump to the next fjord, which you will drive west, the wind will probably change direction as well.
It takes us almost 7 hours to get to the hundredth kilometer (taking the stops). We are heavily tired, and the fact that the first day was supposed to be a typical warm-up, after which we will gain strength for the rest of the tour somehow does not comfort us, although it is suddenly only 30km. It was 30 of the heaviest kilometers in my life. We were prepared for fighting with nature, but not for such. I did not achieve such fatigue even by finishing the route on Śnieżka Krkonoše Triathlon.
What is going on?
The first important cycling point of our route is the driveway from Lysebotn called Lysevegen. I am traveling without a drone, but click on yourself here and see photos in googles or on the official Norwegian website. The problem is that it is a road to nowhere. The Norwegians have built a road that has 27 serpentines, and leads to a village in which (according to Wikipedia) 13 people live. As a joke I will add that, according to Wikipedia, she is also visited by 100,000 people a year. Going down this road just to drive it seemed extremely stupid, even for us. We decide to look for an alternative route from the north. Modern technologies come with help here. In Google's satellite map view, we find a technical route along the high-voltage line. At Stravie, we search for any segments that are turned around this area - we find a few. Each of them was defeated two years ago by a dozen or so people. In the commentary to each of these activities, I put in a question whether the road is passable or even passable with gravels. The answers are clear:
In our ears it sounds like this: it is impossible, but it can be. In retrospect, we would unfortunately reply the same. Besides, bypassing this fragment would leave us anxious for the whole trip: was it possible to go there. Well, if you plan to recreate our tour one day, officially inform: do not go like this. Take a ferry, preferably one from Songesand. We would even turn to this ferry, but the schedule was a bit unobvious and I did not realize that Saturday is the only day that it does not float. See for yourself how the layout looks like:
On the left is the line number, then the days in which it runs, and then the hours of departure from the next ports. The days in which it runs are marked with a number, that is, Saturday is 6 ... unless there is x in front of it, then it means not. If we have so D meaning "every day", then x meaning no and the day number is eg. Dx6 gives every day without Saturday. Simple and convenient, like everything in Norway.
This is not
What you wanted
What you had in mind
The route, which bypasses the ferry is 102km to 115km, which overcomes us, it takes us 4 hours to walk (plus probably half of it on standing and thinking, what we did not have time to do). We go first through a dirt road that breaks through someone's backyard, so we open the gate illegally, then the road is less and more, and more and more stones, until the road is not there at all. On the way, we stop to fill empty water bottles in the stream and lose glasses borrowed from Panda. They ran about 100km ... (Panda: Panda greets with the middle finger)
Then there is no hope and we are going to the azimuth, following the high voltage lines, to the pass, which turns out to be half the way. We are a bit disappointed because we used up all the energy to get there. In the meantime, a view appears to our eyes (in the picture I have marked the place to which we must
get to bring bikes). This is the moment when we would normally give up, but here it is not like it.
To illustrate the slope and condition of the surface, connecting our route with asphalt road, I will give only the time from the last segment: 1.1 km defeated in 41 minutes. We are escaping to Lysebotn absolutely murdered. It's good that we have an excellent overnight stay with Airbnb and breakfast. We even avoid the lookout points at the most epic road in Norway, which we will start the next day.
Lysebotn Airbnb, "Dalabu" - PLN 585
Places for which we would extend the route if we had strength, time, walking shoes and weather:
Day II: Lysebotn, meaning up and beyond the horizon
238km / 4045m, moving time: 12.5h (gross: 13.5h)
The second day was supposed to be the harder day after the first rest. The problem was that we were tired as never before, and the soreness was a problem even when going down the stairs for breakfast. We also forgot to take an artificial mustache and a hat, making it difficult to catch up with the calorie deficit of the previous day at a breakfast like a "Swedish table". Fortunately, we're professionals.
We leave without thinking that the worst thing that awaits us this day is the heavy rain that begins when leaving the house and the legendary driveway Lysevegenabout which I wrote a bit higher. Counting from home, it is 15km not very stable 6.3% (Lysebotn itself is 8.7km / 10%). However, it is not bad, almost nothing visibly distracts us.
At the top we pass a huge parking lot of people who went to walk on Kjeragbolten. I doubt that they would notice him that day. At 35km (or about 3 hours of driving), we return to the store where prices hit us for the first time. Converting everything into zlotys does not stop making me laugh. We go among rocks, lakes, constant descents and driveways balancing somewhere around 1000m above sea level. The whole looks probably much better with a blue sky and with good visibility, but the fact that we are completely alone, combined with rain mist creates an amazing atmosphere.
In the vicinity of 80 km, after a half-hour freezing descent, we land at a height of 200 meters. I can see a sign suggesting that we still have close to 100 kilometers of the route, of which the nearest 90 is practically continuous uphill and wind, with an apology, in a rattle. Calculations in the head say that we will be in the place late in the evening and we will die. A little further, in search of hope and water from a roadside toilet, we stop to watch the route on the phone. We repeat the action many times, because our not very effective brains do not allow the results from calculations to be conscious. The more we count, the more we get out that we're not even close to halfway or the day's heights. We are moving thoughtlessly away.
At 113km, we pass the tunnel through gravel. We drove a truthful country, but neither the views nor traffic on the road completely confirmed this. Here, the advantage of the countries is that there will be no exaggerated inclinations ... and that 100% will be wind. We lose hope on this gravel. It's a 7-hour drive, and we're still not getting close to half. There are no stores, the bars are ending, Mateusz is looking for the next return flights to Poland, I am closer to accommodation, and Piotrek puts a water bottle on the rocks to catch him water. It seems all for nothing, because the accommodation is unimaginably expensive, and the nearest airport is still too far. The situation is rescued by Shell in Hovden - 145 km of the route.
In which moment of our comfortable trip planning from the level of a comfortable chair, we found that 240km / 4000m with gravel bagged bags is a good idea - I do not know, but I like this optimism.
Then it's better, we're going for a long time with a flat pass located around 900m above sea level. This is how I imagine Scotland, green hills to the horizon, lakes, metal, long-distance sticks marking the winter ... and only these Scandinavian empty houses reveal where we actually are. At 170km, full of energy, we go down a great exit to Haukela, where we had to wait for us relatively easy, the last 60km. Of course, it was not. I mean it was, but by the time ...
In the area of 200 km, we pass through a tunnel that drastically changes the landscape. We are high again and snow-capped peaks are beginning to surround us. The counter shows 4 ° C, it is hot on the climbs and dramatically cold at the descents. We dress almost everything we have. Never in my life have I changed my clothes as often as here.
230. kilometer of the route, 13 hours in the saddle - we get a cold exit to the gas station, which is now closed. We manage to jam our pockets with breakfast for the next day. Piotrek checks the accommodation, it turns out that the place is very good, only about 400 meters low. We have already traveled the last 5 kilometers on credit.
At 23.30 we drop into the ski hostel, the owner promised to leave us keys in the door. The door is open, so we fall in with the last of our strength, welcome to the partying Russians and start to embrace. Shocked Russians take a moment to find themselves in this situation and only after a moment they make us realize that it is their house and our rooms are located in the house next door.
The room we have is a record small, but there is an additional kitchen and a drying room for things. I do not have 10 crowns in cash, so I wash under the tap. I do not care. At least a cheap and warm night.
Håradalen Cottages and Hostel - PLN 172 (!)
Day III: rest, Garda lake and a vertical road
169km / 1346m, moving time: 7.5h (gross: 9.5h + ferry)
We start the third day, how else, in heavy rain. We climb about 300 meters, reaching again 4-digit values at some ski station and start a crazy 30-kilometer descent. On the way, a bit unexpectedly, we get to Låtefossen - two 165 meter high waterfalls connected together. Huge waterfalls (several times higher) in Norway in abundance, but this falls directly at the asphalt road, and its width actually impressive.
Then only breakfast (second) in the village Odda, glacier in the distance, the route along the lake reminiscent of the delusion Garda (only without people), ferry from Utne to Kvandal, for which we wait 45 minutes, because we do not understand the rozpiski and a little climbing the country. The E16 road near Vossevangen is probably the least nice part of the trip, mainly due to traffic and trucks on a relatively narrow route. However, there is not a single situation that I would describe as "dangerous".
The last kilometers before our goal are something we did not expect - streamers passing the tunnel. Serpentine so steep that when driving in heavy rain I was afraid of slipping sideways. As it turns out later, it is the steepest road in northern Europe. We beat her down because there would not be any chances up. Ba, the car traffic up is off, because it could not be. Segment on Stravie has 1.5km with an average of 19%, but believe me - there is a lot more.
The valley itself, in which Guvangen is located, is one of the most beautiful places in which I have been, and our camping, although expensive, is wonderful. We have a large, 3-room house, overlooking the colossal waterfalls and wall, to the edge of the sky. It is so good that in the depths of our soul we are considering the possibility of staying there for a long time and looking at the rock walls all day long.
What is the name of a Norwegian companion?
We also try to do the laundry on site, but for a long time we return to the reception to ask where exactly the washing machine is, because we can not find it. Subsequent attempts do not bring positive effects, so finally the man comes out to show us that the laundry is done ... in the ladies' room. It makes us laugh mercilessly, until we try to turn the washing machine on. It turns out that it is not easy. The situation is saved by the lady who comes out of the toilet next to us, we laugh together that the washing machine in the women's toilet ... and we ask her for help. Curtain.
Gudvangen Camping - PLN 640
Places for which we would extend the route if we had strength, time, walking shoes and weather:
Trolltunga - Troll's language, lying (actually hanging near the town of Odda).
Day IV: Glaciers
178,5km / 2482m, moving time: 8h (gross: 12,5h with a ferry)
The fourth day is the glacier search day, with particular attention to Galdhøpiggen - the highest peak in Scandinavia (2469 m above sea level), which we plan to see from a hostel located over 1800 m above sea level. This is the only thing during our trip that fails (at least in the category: place).
With Gudvangen you can get out only by ferry and the version of the route we have 2:
The ferry to Flam, then the streamers and the famous viewpoint Stegastein then to Laerdal, where we would be stuck in front of the longest road tunnel in the world, because it has no detour. If we succeeded, we would join the second road option in Kaupanger or, as we know today, we would go to Øvre Årdal and then to the north. Due to the fact that overcoming the distance of over 200km turned out to be difficult, and eventually we did not find the tunnel detour, we decide on a simple version.
2.5 hour trip by ferry taking off at 9 am, then 80 kilometers by rolling along lakes and rivers. To this day, we do not know what is going on, but during a 3-kilometer downhill ride to the village of Gaupne, we experience a thermal shock. The weather is so decent that day that we are going in short sleeves ... this is the downhill ride where I know that my fingers will not bend. In the area around Gaupnefjorden there is a slight mist like from King's film. Immediately, we freeze and for a dozen or so minutes we must arm ourselves with sleeves and jackets.
In the vicinity of the 75th kilometer the essence of the day begins - the driveway to Sognefjellshytta. Strava speaks about the segment 32km with an average of 4%, but this is a lie. For the initial 10 kilometers, the slope is practically all the time around 8-11%. On the way, people are applauding us, the motorcyclist is stopping to take a picture - we are coming up this week - so subjectively. A completely different world awaits us at the top. It should be true that the highest mountains in the country surround us, but limited visibility does not allow us to notice them unfortunately. We do not complain because it is enough to surprise us with crystal blue glaciers. It's a different planet, it's a bit magical, and a bit scary.
A descent begins, on which nobody knows whether to enjoy the views or the ride itself. After 10.5 hours, we must make a difficult decision - whether we are attacking the hostel at Galdhøpiggen. A quick look at the map and the watch decides for us. We are not yet that far to the north, but the day lasted most nights. Segment has 13km with an average of 10% - at least two hours in our case. The remaining 50 kilometers are slowly crawling down the hill to our super-cheap but perfect campground:
Furuly Camping - PLN 204 (!)
Day V: Dalsnibba, Geiranger, Troll Road - Norwegia.zip
185km / 2905m, moving time: 9,5h (gross: 12h with a ferry)
Day five is the crème de la crème of cycling in Norway. 3 ramps, each of them on the list of top10 ramps in Norway. Let me say straight: Dalsnibba crushed us, despite the fact that we traveled the entire route in an unprofitable direction.
And on the fifth day, summer of dreams came
... the warmest for years.
That day the sun woke us up. The clouds have been replaced by the burning heat. A few days later we hear on the radio that the highest temperatures in the north of Norway have been recorded in 50 years. A bit behind our campsite we pass another - with an open pool and mass sunbathers - the last view we expected, based on previous days. Maybe it was extremely difficult to do it all, but the views ...
We eat breakfast in Coopie, a few minutes away, and a drama takes place there. A bun with pudding (whether I have already mentioned that they are in EVERY store) loses during the transport of puddings and falls out into the center of an asphalt parking lot. I look around, I see Norwegians looking at me, I make a quick calculation and I think that the pudding on asphalt did not lie 5 seconds, so it does not matter. I grasp it with my fingers on the bun, bringing back my joy.
The initial 55 kilometers of gentle climbing is like driving through Alaska: forests, lakes, winding roads, emptiness and warning signs about reindeer. At the height of Grotli, the views start to break the brain, and then it's only better. The final result is the last 5 km (9.2%) of the climb to Dalsnibba (1495m above sea level) - the highest road in Europe with a view of the fjord. The road is paid (though not for bicycles) and blind, that's why we decide to leave our luggage downstairs and enjoy the unloaded ride for a while. In general, when it comes to leaving anything, anywhere in Norway, there are no problems with it. Even bikes are left in front of the stores and based on the night for bungalows.
Behind the horizon, a large crown of mountains
Let me, instead of a long description of nature, let me say photos. From the top, we also see the famous climb up to Geiranger. From the moment we discover that we are probably reading "gej rendżer" our embarrassing jokes gay renderer they do not end ...
Remember how I wrote that the loop was in the wrong direction? The exit from Dalsnibba to Geiranger (he he he) is 21 kilometers with an average of 7%. Damn ... .. At the bottom, there are Sopot's Norwegian possibilities, a 200-meter long promenade and a dozen or so houses that make it one of the largest cities that have been passing by for a long time.
We die many times on Geiranger (he he). It is so warm that it can not be warmer. I would say that the view is worth it, but the viewing deck is dominated by tourists and buses. So we stop for 5 minutes to eat the bars and smother them a bit and take the 600-meter long ride to Eidsdal. Jokes about the village of Eids after Geiranger are silent, because they are equally embarrassing. With the momentum we fall into the ferry, which departs about 10 seconds after our entry. The last attraction awaits us - probably the most famous road in the country and the most known driveway among cyclists - Troll's Road.
Troll's way, just like Dalsnibba, is coming from a much easier physically, but heavier side. For people with 7kg of luggage, it is much better - a 32km driveway with an average slope below 3%, instead of 9.5 with an average of 7% serpentine on the other side. We pass strawberries fields. Strawberries so big, so delicious and so sweet that we regret that we discovered them so late. Especially looking at the price - about PLN 10 for half a kilo.
We reach the top of the Troll Road when it is covered with a shadow. It does not make such an impression on us as it should do. I blame it mainly on Dalsnibba and all previous days. It's good, but it's not what it used to be. To the next campground, we have 30 kilometers after the convention, which goes on forever.
Korsbakken Camping - PLN 400
Places for which we would extend the route if we had strength, time, walking shoes and weather:
Day VI: Commuting
141km / 1354m, moving time: 6h (gross: 8h)
From Andalsnes we could go straight to the airport in Alesund. This was our emergency option, if something went wrong along the way .... but it did not go, we bravely stuck to the plan. We decide to do it Day-zapchajdziurę and head towards Molde, where we hit the Atlantic Road the next day. Immediately I will tell you that if you do not want to see the famous Atlantic Path, you can easily miss our next two days. It is nice, but it does not bring much new.
That day we simply go, mainly along the fjord. Nice views, but well-known to us - we treat it almost like commuting. Along the way, we meet a German with 20kg of luggage, who went on a multi-month tour - we envy him a little, and feel a little bit sympathetic. Especially when he says that the warmest day of the year is coming, he says he will do it himself rest day on the beach.
Drive up the road we have one - Visdalsheia. As if only 12km with an average of 4%, but the burning sun does not make it easier. At the congress we are accompanied by figurines of bicycles and cyclists, we never manage to find out what's going on, because Tour of Norway is completely not the area. We also visit a shop in a village so small that there is not even a name. If I ever feel unnecessary, I will think about the guest at the checkout in this store. Shop the size of our big Lidl, and in the middle ... 3 riders and cashier looking at the big screen live stream from a nearby river (of course under the water). We break up in the middle with strawberries and Coke, and it's only after 10 minutes that we notice that a small booth with a bike rental shop is hidden behind us. A little creepy.
When we reach Molde after 100km, for the first time on this trip we can see lights at the intersection and a stopper (ie a line of cars for about 100 meters).
and at night comes the day ... for a few months
In Molde we sleep in a school converted into a hostel, which also results in a very pleasant thing - breakfast in the cafeteria. For the first time, we also discover that it is not dark outside anymore. White curtains help us with this.
Molde Vandrerhjem Hostel - PLN 604
Day VII: The Atlantic Road - classic
189km / 1723m, moving time: 8h (gross: 10.5h)
The seventh day is the day my knees died. Do you remember when I mentioned a crooked bike hook? It was not until day 4 we dared (with Piotr's hands) to straighten it up a bit. Earlier breaking the hook would result in the end of the trip, because I would not come back to civilization, and bicycle shops on the way not much. From that day on, I had 6 instead of 4 rear sprockets. We analyze what hurts me and Matthew comes up with the idea that the saddle will probably be too high. That's how it happens with borrowed bikes whose geometry is completely different from the ones I ride every day. I am leaving the saddle by more than 1cm, the situation is improving slightly, but the damage done will not be able to be repaired.
Wojtek from Absolute'a (for which I make fitting) would be proud that after over 1000 crushed kilometers I left my saddle about 1.5cm.
The upside is that we leave our luggage at the hotel, as we will be returning through Molde. The characteristics of the bicycles are changing radically, although our average speed does not increase significantly. On the day scale, these are probably two stops in the store - this reminds us that at longer distances, stops are definitely more influential than driving speed.
This day is also an almost faithful copy of our journey from Panda, so I refer to the curious ones old entry. The destination is the famous Atlantic Road. When you see it for the second time, it makes an even smaller impression, although I clearly saw that the boys are not impressed either. It's a good-looking piece of a bridge, and there are a lot of similar ones. Maybe not so steep and clear, but nevertheless - there is a big disappointment here especially for him. Especially since the entire Atlantic Road is not passable by bike, you have to turn back.
The whole route is like 189km, but except the last hill to our campground (I have the impression that we chose the booking filter "on the hill"), there are no more difficult moments here. It's nice, nice and empty (except for the Atlantic Route, because tourists are almost always there) a route, like most in Norway. To get there, we take a ferry from Molde to Vestenes. We are already so aesthetically mannered, that while everyone is amazed by the views, we focus on the fight with canned tuna, which we pour on rolls and plunge into the food of ecstasy.
In the evening we drop in to the campground, located in the middle of nothing, near the lake and from which there is a minimum of 300m down to any civilization. However, this does not bother the owner, in the arrangement of a dozen or so Superchargers for Tesla. In addition, there is also a restaurant, but closed at this time. The only thing they serve is a half-liter beer for PLN 40. Well, calorie is calorie.
Fjellstova Ørskogfjellet Cottages - PLN 198
Day VIII: a walk with cardboard boxes
Sjøholt (almost)Alesund + Gdańsk
43km / 369m, moving time: 2h (gross: 2.5h)
On the last day, hunger makes us probably reach the speed record in the nearest store. The first 8km are overcome at an average speed of around 50km / h. In Coopie, in Sjøholt, I experience the biggest departure profession, because my favorite pudding wafers cost PLN 28 - WTF (at the end of the day, slightly dilapidated, so I bought a discount for PLN 4.4).
We have about 35km left to the carton store. Driving the E39 route is extremely onerous, so we quickly run away from it. To our surprise, the views, which in principle are not much different from those we see here all the time, continue to delight. A side, empty and level road by the fjord overlooking the snow-capped peaks and these individual houses facing the water ... We are comforted by the fact that the winter here is probably still dark.
We visit the store before Alesund Peder Øie ASwhose owner promised to put away 3 cartons for bicycles. The airport is far away, and the flight is only a few hours, but we do not want to risk it. This is the optimal place, because there are also other sports stores in the area, if something went wrong. Fortunately, everything goes well, and the store next to us also supplies us with adhesive tape and protective film.
When we leave Norway, we reach the Stockholm Syndrome. We were cold and warm, it was very wet and very dry. The knees bend in all directions, and the Spec is in such a state that I will probably have to buy it out. We do not need the back lights anymore, we just have to raise the back of the saddle ... but it was worth it!
Getting a bus to the airport is not trivial, because our brains do not work well enough to quickly understand timetables - help Google Mapsy, which set the route for us. We go by public bus to Alesund (ticket about PLN 20, bicycles in carton went inside), and then by coach to the airport (the driver opened us a luggage hatch for cartons). At the airport, swim in the sink, ~ 6 hours looking at the wall, 2 hours of flight and you can complete a trip with a kebab on the Old Town of Gdansk. The End.
Norway, an unreal land
Norway is a terrible country, it looks like an exaggerated movie set. It is absurdly clean and minimalist. There are no advertisements, no billboards, all the houses are similar and built in a very similar style. Even when driving through small towns, you can see more automatic mowers (Roomba equivalents) than people. The only colors are, depending on the weather: a thousand shades of gray or a contrasting combination of blue, green and gray grays. All this translates into the fact that Norwegians are described as the happiest nation in the world.
According to our observations, the favorite activity of the Norwegians is sitting on the porch of your modest, gray, remote house and looking into the horizon.
Return from the country where the photo taken anywhere, in any direction is ready to hang on the wall is a hard subject. Yes, it is expensive, and logistics is hard, but let's be honest - heavy logistics in the 21st century is like a logistics trip from Silesia to the sea 20 years ago. With sadness you have to accept the fact that of course - you can visit distant corners of the world, but one of the most beautiful countries lies just 2 hours flight from us, and the cost of the trip corresponds to a double pizza (with drink and dessert).
In Norway, it is generally a bit sucked, because you go for a walk along the fjord and no sign tells you how much are currently lawn mowers in Tesco.
A definite disadvantage of such trips is the fact that all everyday sports activities lose their sense after returning. Questions about the equipment, considering the type of bike, comparing the wheels, wondering if it's better to have a gear in the front or not, workouts. This is one of those trips (like USA, Albania, Montenegro etc.), that if someone gave me a choice, the whole year of riding around the chimney, training and losing at races or a week so spent, the decision would be obvious. That's why the bike was created. To ride him.