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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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  #1  
Old 6 Dec 2002
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UK to Norway (advice needed)

Planning a trip from London to Nordkapp in Spring 2003. I'll be getting the ferry from Newcastle to Bergen, and then the fun begins! I calculated that it's about 4566km round trip from Bergen to Nordkapp and back to Bergen again. This works out at approx 270km/day or 155 miles/day over 17 days. Although it's not a huge distance per day, it's a lot of riding if you decide to stay more than 1 day somewhere and then have to make up the distance on another day.
1) Can you transport bikes on trains there?
2) How much is it?
3) How regular are they and do they run from most places? I reckon we could make a lot of distance on the return journey with a few nights on a train, then going up to Nordkapp doesn't feel so rushed.

There is another thread entitled 'UK to the very top of Norway' where someone mentions the 'Hurtigruten' which I am assuming is a train. So more details on that would be great!
Another question...
4) The only ferries company I know that goes UK to Norway is Fjordline. Does anyone know of any others?
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  #2  
Old 6 Dec 2002
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Hello

First of all: Do not go to early in the spring, it’s bloody cold in Norway in the spring; 20. may this year I drove my bike up in the mountain and vent skiing! On higher elevation snow usually melt the two first week in June, although the roads is free from snow earlier. Watch out for the freezy mornings.
We do not have the European Autuzug , and I have never heard of any taking they’re bikes on the train. An quick browse on the www.nsb.no did not reveal an option for taking a motorcycle on the train. Up north there is only two trains a day., and they only go along one track. Oslo-Trondheim-Bodø.

Hurtigruten is actually a ferry going along the coast. Where you can take along your bike. www.hurtigruten.no, quite nice a heard.

Your distance of 4500km seems a little bit to long. I think Norway from far south to far north is approximately 2400km.I may be mistaken

Have a nice trip!
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  #3  
Old 6 Dec 2002
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Hurtigruten, the coastal passenger liner of Norway, runs all the way north along the coast. You can jump onboard in the evening somewhere and get off next morning rested and with quite som distance done during the night. It has plenty of stops. We got onboard during high season without any advance booking.

You also have the option to go the fast way through Sweden either north bound or back again. These roads go through boring forest but are a lot faster.

My advice with such a short time on your hands, is to either take Hurtigruten parts of the way, or take the Swedish route, then take your time and enjoy the fantastic coastal roads on your way south. This way you won't be as fed up trying to catch up towards the end of the trip.

Enjoy...

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  #4  
Old 6 Dec 2002
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Thanks for your very useful info frnas and dagjen. That ferry (Hurtigruten) sounds awesome, but the website does not seem to give an idea of prices. Now I need to decide whether to go the fast Swedish way or on the boat - I think I will go for the cheapeast option (not sure which that is yet).
frnas, my distance was for there and back, which kind of matches up with your estimate...I hope!
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  #5  
Old 6 Dec 2002
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Hurtigrtuen is expensive, very expensive. If you want several days on it during high season you need a cabin (we stayed one night and slept in an empty bar) which will cost you plenty. I didn't find any prices on the website either, and that alone should be a warning.

So I'm pretty sure the Swedish alternative will be cheaper, although more boring, because a sea journey along the coast can be fantastic if the weather is nice.

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  #6  
Old 8 Dec 2002
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The roads in both Sweden and Norway are excellent. So you can make good time. But be careful of the speed traps. They can be as expensive as the ferry. By all means take the Swedish route at least one way. Swedish petrol costs about half of that in Norway. Other prices: Toll through the Nordkapp Tunnel is US$10 one way. Parking at Nordkapp is US$25. So bring money, lots of it, and enjoy. It's a fantastic ride. I did the distance London-Nordkapp in 10 days one way. Easily.
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Old 17 Dec 2002
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thanks for all the info. I will have more questions soon!
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  #8  
Old 23 Dec 2002
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PaulJ - Regarding photos, I have a few which I think you'll like the look of. I'm hoping to upload them onto my (first, new) website. I'll report back here as sson as I've managed it - Hopefully maybe even later today. I've already done some of my Morocco photos, and am planning to stick a couple more trips there soon.
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Old 24 Dec 2002
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PaulJ - Photos now uploaded. Glad you asked, as I've been meaning to do this for months!

http://ichapp.users.btopenworld.com/

fireboomer - Ref your questions from Sahara forum(!):

* Do you have any info on places to go / not to go?

All was pretty good. Thoroughly recommend Lapland etc. though. That was the highlight of my trip.

* where to sleep? How do we find those little cabins?

You'll find them all over the place, as campsites. I don't think they all have cabins, maybe 50% or a bit less. I think the ones that do had a sign which looks like a hut!

* What are the roads like and is it possible to take back roads, we would like to take as much dirt roads as possible.

I don't know about dirt roads. The tarmac roads are extemely windy (twisty, not blowy!) in Norway near the fjords down the west coast. I think you can do all sorts of long-winded island hopping and get nowhere if you want, or attempt to cover some distance and get slightly further! Have a look at my route: http://ichapp.users.btopenworld.com/...main_route.htm.
The road up the east of Sweden is totally the opposite. I think there's an inland Swedish one as well which is also straight, but I haven't been there.

* Can you easely find fuel around?

No problem.

* Will it be too cold in September? I have checked the avarage temperatures and they seem doable.

I went in August and it was warmer than England. I would have though September would be fine, although chilly up north? Only guessing though.

[This message has been edited by IanC (edited 24 December 2002).]
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  #10  
Old 24 Dec 2002
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Ian,

Thanks for all the info. The website looks really nice. Will have to redo mine some day I think...

Timingwise we will be aiming for the last 3 weeks of September and the first week of October. Up North it will be chilly, but doable. That's exactly how we see it too.

I am going to start with making a list of places that are worth to pass or stop. Then line these up and try to make up a good route.


Wich maps did you use?

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  #11  
Old 25 Dec 2002
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fireboomer - I just used Philip's Europe 2001 Atlas. North of Gavle (Sweden) and Bergen (Norway) are only covered at a very small 1:3,200,000, but to be honest that seemed good enough for taking the main roads. There ain't much there!

PaulJ - you could use DFDS Seaways, which is the one I used:
http://www.dfdsseaways.co.uk/
Although I don't think they go any further north than Kristiansaand.
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  #12  
Old 25 Dec 2002
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Ok I'll check it out. I'll keep you posted.

Fireboomer
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  #13  
Old 30 Dec 2002
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Hi Guys, What a good thread. I,m planning a trip from Paris, through Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Murmansk, Finland and back. Middle of summer but no firm dates yet.
Some of the photos are fantastic.
If anyone has good tips or infomation it would be good to read them.
I,m also doing it on dirt roads where available so if anyone finds good ones please post them up.
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  #14  
Old 30 Dec 2002
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Nice one Ian, some good info. Good photo's, some of those Morocco ones look a lot like mine (especially that Todra piste - saw my arse big time there ;-)
I need to collate all this info and start making firm plans now. I'll post more info/questions as I get them.
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  #15  
Old 31 Dec 2002
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Hey Blackjack!
Seems that we have exactly the same plans only the timing is slightly different.
Most likely we will go in September. June is also a small option.
We were also planning to take Murmansk sort as the turning point. Head North Through Holland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland to Russia Murmansk. Then head South through Russia via St. Petersburg and then West over Letland, Estland, Litovia, Poland and Germany. We hope to do it in about a month.

I'll post any info I find on the HUBB. But feel free to mail me directly.

One question: who know the pro and cons about going in June or September? Is there a chanche to get a glimpse of Polar Light in September? Are the bugs in September as bad as in June? How cold will it be, what do we need for clothing? Will a electric undervest do it?

Any info more then welcome.


Fireboomer.
Pieter Maes.

PS: Ian, funny to see how we have been standing on the same spots in Marocco to take pictures! Dadas, Todra, Merzouga, Tizi N Test...
Good website. Gonna have to redo mine.

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[This message has been edited by fireboomer (edited 30 December 2002).]
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