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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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  #1  
Old 1 Feb 2005
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Norway and Sweden

I've been considering Norway and Sweden for my next tour. I would be thankful for help with the planning. If this information already exists on this forum I will be glad to go there.
Would it be best to ship my own bike there, or rent? What are the best months to go? Is it even more expensive than I fear it is? Can I get by on just my english away from the cities? Is it realistic to consider a combination or camping and motels? What paperwork do I need to be aware of?
Grateful for answers to any of the above questions and the ones I don't know enough to ask.
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  #2  
Old 1 Feb 2005
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I can reply to some of your questions:

What are the best months to go? I would say June, July and August, although August may be wet

Is it even more expensive than I fear it is? Maybe 20% more than the rest of Europe if you don´t need a lot of luxuries, wood huts at campings go from 25€ to 80€,, the later having four beds, kitchen, a bathroom and a TV, Ibis hotels in the large cities are nice, but check prices in advance.

Can I get by on just my english away from the cities? Absolutely, no problems

Is it realistic to consider a combination or camping and motels? I would only consider hotels in the larger cities, since campings offer almost what you consider a motel does.

[This message has been edited by Pedro Rocha (edited 01 February 2005).]
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  #3  
Old 1 Feb 2005
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Hi, and a warm welcome to Scandinavia - if you choose to go, that is.

To answer your questions from a Norwegian perspective:
1) I think I'd rent, but then again: How long do you plan to stay? Will you do off-roading, gravel roads, or asphalt only? If you want to do some off-roading, check out
http://www.otc-mc.org/english/

2)Best months are from May to September. Then you'd stay clear of any unwanted snow storms that may haunt at least the northern parts and mountains. This period is usually quite warm - at least June to August is.

3)Depends on what your fear limit is. You don't have to make it expensive. You can stay in hostels, camping areas, or - even better - bring your tent, as you can camp virtually anywhere. Or you could stay with people for free if you check out www.globalfreeloaders.com. I, for one, have a spare room should you need somewhere to crash for a couple of days near Oslo. Petrol is ca 1,30 - 1,40 USD/litre (current exchange rate - which is not so favourable for the dollar). You'd get by fine by preparing you own food. Beer might be expensive, though. At least in pubs and restaurants. But we have means to overcome that too

4) Yes, Scandinavians everywhere are quite familiar with English. In Norway, English is (for most of us) mandatory 2nd language in school. You'll have no problem at all.

5) Yes, see 3). Also check out www.vandrerhjem.no and www.camping.no (both with english pages)

6)Bring your passport (...), international drivers license - that's more or less it, I think. If you want to bring along your bike: Just pack it up, throw it onto a cargo plane, and pick it up in Norway. As long as you'll not be staying more than 3 months, there are no problems importing your own bike as you're a tourist. No paperwork, no hassle at the customs. Check your insurance, though. (I got this from the Norwegian Customs, so it should be reliable info.)

You could contact the Norwegian Embassy in DC if you want specific details, check out www.norway.org.


Please feel free to contact me if you need specific information, route suggestions, need a place to stay for a couple of days, or need any help if you choose to bring along your bike.

Kind regards

Hans

[This message has been edited by indu (edited 01 February 2005).]

[This message has been edited by indu (edited 01 February 2005).]
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  #4  
Old 1 Feb 2005
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here's a rain-map
the yellow parts are the dryest areas.

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  #5  
Old 1 Feb 2005
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Great weather map! Is this average precipitation during a normal year? Or is it summertime?

This is what the Norwegian Meteorologial Office says regarding the weather over here:

Summer
In summer the warmest areas are the southern part of Østlandet (South East) and the coastal areas of Sørlandet (South). The highest monthly mean temperature ever recorded is 22,7 °C for July 1901 in Oslo. The highest recorded maximum temperature is 35,6 °C, measured on June 20th 1970 at Nesbyen (Buskerud). Because of the midnight sun, also Northern Norway can enjoy temperatures above 30 °C. The record is 34,4 °C from June 23rd 1920 at Sihccajavri (Finnmark). Because of very low winter temperatures and high summer temperatures, the Finnmark Plateau has the largest recorded difference between the highest and lowest temperature recorded. The record difference for Karasjok is an amazing 83,8 °C.

Differences in precipitation
There are large differences in the normal annual precipitation in Norway. The largest amounts are found some miles from the coast of Western Norway. In these areas the frontal and orographic precipitation dominates, and most of the precipitation is received during autumn and winter. Showery precipitation occurs most frequently in the inner districts of Østlandet (South East) and Finnmark (north). Here summer is the wettest part of the year, and winter and spring the driest.

Rain shadow areas
The inner part of Østlandet (south east), the Finnmark Plateau (north), and some smaller areas near the Swedish border, are all lee areas in relation to the large weather systems mainly coming from the west. Common for these areas is the low annual precipitation and that showery precipitation during summer is the largest contributor.

Driest
Øygarden (Oppland - northern south east region) has the lowest annual normal precipitation with 278 mm. This is lower than the normal monthly precipitation for the 6 wettest months of Brekke. Other noteworthy dry places are Dividalen (Troms - north) 282 mm, Kautokeino (Finnmark - north) 360 mm and Folldal (Hedmark-northern south east region) 364 mm. However, the lowest recorded precipitation for one year is only 118 mm, measured at Saltdal (Nordland - middle) in 1996.
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  #6  
Old 2 Feb 2005
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I do appreciate you folks taking the time to reply and provide the links. I will be looking at every one of them.
Would two or three weeks be enough time to see a fair bit of the countries? I will usually choose time spent talking to people over covering ground.
I own a Suzuki Bandit. Would it be better having a dual purpose bike? Are there that many opportunities to get to smaller communites on back roads?
Again, thanks for your thoughts.
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  #7  
Old 2 Feb 2005
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Your Bandit will suit just fine. No problem at all. Even smaller communities have paved roads leading to them these days. If you plan going north, you should allow 2-3 days from south to north one way - so maybe you should choose which area you'd like to cover? You could check some distances at www.viamichelin.com.

Rx
Hans
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  #8  
Old 2 Feb 2005
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Where would be the best place to come into these countries: Stockholm or Oslo, or maybe Hamburg? I gather that in the end it's best to air freight the bike to a large city.
I'm going to guess that the weather there would be similar to that of Newfoundland's and that wasn't bad with preparation. I had days of hot sun and then days of cold, wet rain and wind. No problem.
Growing up in Minnesota, where the most common last name is Anderson, made me curious about these places.
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  #9  
Old 2 Feb 2005
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I think Amsterdam or Frankfurt has better direct flight connections to your state. Copenhagen is the Nordic flight hub - it might be possible to air freight it there too in one flight. You can search for air freighters on this site and perhaps get a price quote or two from them to at least give you an idea. In any case it is no problem to fly your bike to Oslo either. Just make sure you don't air freight it FROM Oslo, which will cost you a lot more than from e.g. Amsterdam.
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  #10  
Old 3 Feb 2005
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Hi,

Is there a place in Minesota called new Sweden?
I have a branch of relatives in the US, they´ve allways been very nostalgic about their ancient mother ground.
"The old, the free, the calm and joyfull north.
Here I want to live, here I want to die.
Send my greetings to those back home,
in the land of the midnight sun.
As the bird we left when summer reached its end, he´ll come back again at spring but we´ll never see our home again."

If you go to Kiruna in the northern part of Sweden, there is a great hostel called "The yellow house", not expensive at all 15-20$ for a double room.
Then you can continue to Abisko where you´ll find another hostel, this one even have a sauna!
Then you´re on the beautiful & savage road for Narvik in Norway, choice is yours if you want to continue to Nordkap etc.

Have a great trip,

Mattias
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  #11  
Old 3 Feb 2005
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Some notes on sweden.

Best time of year is from late May until August. If you plan to camp in the countryside you are allowed to camp almost everywhere for free, just ask the land lord. There are a lot of god curved paved roads

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  #12  
Old 3 Feb 2005
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Mathias: Yes, there is a New Sweden, and an Oslo and a Stockholm here. In the mid-1800's Scandinavians came here by the thousands to farm and cut trees on land recently taken from the Indians. Minnesota still has the highest population of Swedes in the U.S. Norwegians are well represented, too. In the northern part of the state and extending up into Ontario are many people of Finnish descent.
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  #13  
Old 5 Feb 2005
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Looks like it would cost about 3500 USD round trip to air freight the bike to Rotterdam.
Can anyone point me toward bike rental companies in Sweden or Norway?
Much obliged.
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  #14  
Old 6 Feb 2005
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Maybe the best is to buy one and sell when trip is over, or let someone sell it for you.
say 2000-2500$ for a dualsport.

Matt
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  #15  
Old 7 Feb 2005
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There are many bike rentals - alas, most of them have Norwegian only sites. I have found a shop renting Yamaha Diversion XJ600 for 9.900 NOK for three weeks. That is approx. USD 1550.

What kind of bike do you want?

Also, have a look at this page:

http://www.beachs-mca.com/nor-tbl.html

Rx

Hans
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