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Fireboomer - I was going to stick the info I had on the Midnight Sun here, but I've now stuck it at: http://ichapp.users.btopenworld.com/...and_lights.htm
in case anyone would like it in the future. Then I re-read your post, and wasn't sure if you were maybe asking about the Northern Lights! Anyway...
BTW, despite reading about mosquitoes (I think in northern Sweden?), I didn't come across any.
Here's a route suggestion for Bergen to Nordkapp and back. It may seem complicated but it's actually among the shortest (but NOT fastest) routes:
From Bergen go E16 east to Voss, then #13 to Vagnsnes, ferry across the mighty Sognefjord to Hella, then #55 over the mountains to Lom (from Boverdal 15 km before Lom there is a small toll road going up near the top of the mountain Galdhöpiggen, there is also summer skiing and a hotel/"mountain station" at the end of the road).
From Lom go #15 west, then #63 to Geiranger (to see this beautiful fjord, go on the ferry to Hellesylt and back).
Continue on #63 to Eidsdal, ferry to Linge, continue on #63 to Andalsnes.
From Andalsnes continue on a little less spectacular roads, go east on E136 to Dombas, then go north past Trondheim (a few road tolls there) to Steinkjer. If you have time and money (all the ferries cost money), go on #17 along the coast all the way to Bodo, or reconnect with E6 earlier (from Bronnoysund or at Mo i Rana). At Straumen near Bodo, the tidewater flushes in and out of the fjord through a narrow canal.
From Bodo/Fauske continue north on E6 to Ulsvag, the go west on #81 to Skutvik. Ferry from Skutvik to Svolvaer (Lofoten Islands). Then E10 north to Fiskeboll, ferry to Melbu, then E10 through Lofoten to E& at Bjerkvik.
Continue north on E6 and E69 all the way to Nordkap.
Going back from Nordkap, go back on E6 to Alta, then #93 south to the Finnish border, then #958 and #21 to Kolari.
Cross the Swedish border (bridge) over to Pajala, then go on #392 and E10 to Morjarv, the #356 to Alvsbyn. Near Alvsbyn are the falls/rapids of Storforsen. From Alvsbyn go on #94 to Arvidsjaur, then some 1000 km south on #45 to Mora.
Go northwest on #295 to Oxberg, then there is a small unnumbered (tarmac) road to Salen (this road roughly follows the route of the big 90 km ski-race Vasaloppet). From Salen a small road goes to Rorbacksnas at the Norwegian border. Cross the border onto #25 and follow it to Hamar. Go northwest on E6 for 25 km or so, then go south on #4 to Gjovik.
From Gjovik go on #33 and E16 to Leira, then #51 south to Gol and finally #7 back to Bergen.
In the unlikely event that you want more details, feel free to contact me.
Yes, all these roads are paved.
Fireboomer, I saw you asked about dirt/gravel roads in Scandi on another post.
There are huge amounts of small gravel roads all over Sweden (mainly built to access for timber vehicles etc). Almost all of them are open for everybody so it's perfectly legal to use them and to camp in the forests too of course.
It's hard to describe any route without knowing between which points you want to go.
Here's a great source for detailed on-line topographic maps of Sweden: http://www2.lantmateriet.se/ksos/index.html It's in Swedish though, this service doesn't seem to be availible if you choose English.
Hopefully you can figure it out anyway.
This is not the case in Norway, these types of roads all seem to be private and locked.
I guess Finland is similar to Sweden, but I don't know for sure.
There are lots of open gravel roads in Norway, but different from many other countries many are pay roads (often private). Get a good map. They have the detailed information and includes signs explaining if the gates are payable and passable or if they are closed for traffic completely.
Thanks for the info!!! I'll start looking to it as soon as I have a bit more time. If I know between wich points we will be riding I might get back to you.
Same goes for you: thanks for the info. but some questions. WICH maps are talking about. What woudl YOU ise (besides a topographical map) to get the info you mention. I don't live in Scandinavia so it's quite hard to know wich maps are the good ones. But I do have a connection in the biggest map distributor of Europe. So if I know wich maps I need, I most surely will get my hands on them.
Thanks for all the advice. Looks like the trip is comming together!
I use the map series from Cappelen, which is split up in:
Sør-Norge Sør (Southern Norway South)
Sør-Norge Nord (Southern Norway North)
and so on. You'll find it in many gas stations in Norway, but I don't know about getting it in advance outside the country. You don't really have too though, just get a decent road map and plan from that, then get the more detailed Cappelen map once in Norway.
Tagemi, that's some really useful and detailed routes you've described there. I don't have a detailed enough map of Scandinavia yet to follow your route properly on a map (only Lonely Planet), but I will be getting a proper map soon and then as I trace the route you described I will probably have some questions for you. I won't do it in the order you described though. I have booked ferry tickets from UK to Gothernburg in Sweden, we ride up Sweden and then down Norway to the ferry in Bergen. What would be useful is if you can give me the reasons for all the different routes you suggested i.e. is it a nice road to ride on, is there good scenery etc etc. This will help me decide which routes to take!
Fireboomer, I got an email from someone called Antek who red this thread and they suggested using Freitag&Berndt maps which they got off UK Amazon (four maps cover the whole area of Norway - scale 1:400 000). Apparently these give a lot of detail for those small roads WE LIKE and they also said that the Michelin maps are not very good and have mistakes.
I'll see if I can get the capellen maps here. Think I saw them on the list. Is it possible they are around 1/200.000?
I've seen the Freitag&Berndt maps. It's true there are a lot more indications on there then on the ING maps I bought. Haven't seen a Michelin map of Scandinavia yet. Didn't bother because the scale was to big anyway. But what Alek says only double's up my opinion. I had simular experiences with Michelin in Marocco.
FOr the moment I am in touch with several folks in Scandinavia who are organising or riding off road trips over there. I simply started surfing on the net comming across several sites with the kind off stuff we liked. I then simply dropped a mail to them. I got response from:
Tom Cevro from OTC (see http://www.otc-mc.org/english/)
Sue Sculrock from the Action Factory
Pekka Heikinnen from the Allroad Tour Team (http://www.finnbike.com/allroadtour/index_en.html)
Pekka also gave me the email from Ari Peltola. He is supposed to know a lot about ring in Russia.
All these folks told me they would sent me info on routes and so. The more I get my route together, the easier it gets for them to give me the correct info. So it's a working progress.
I have good hopes this might become a great long distance gravel and dirt track trip!
The Cappelen series is in scale 1:330 000, and is the map I've been most happy with in Norway - and I try to seek out those hidden gravel road treasures (there are lots of maps with errors in them). you can see a list of available maps here: http://www.kartbutikken.no/europa/norge/regioner/ (in Norwegian though)
I saw Tom C's forwarded message from you on the OTC mailing list. I'm a member of OTC as well, and knowing that the knowledge of Norwegian back roads in that group is formidable, I'm sure there'll be loads of information for you to digest (am at work offshore Angola without my maps, so it's a bit hard to go into detailed route suggestions).
First of all:
Gotta tell you, those folks over in Norway, Finland and Sweden, seem to be extremely friendly! They are helping me out in a great way! I am getting quite response and have good hopes to put together a real long dirt track and gravel road route.
Thanks a lot guys, if the countries are gonna be as pretty and nice as you all are it's gonna the best trip ever!
Dag and Paul,
Thanks for the advice on maps. I am putting the buying of maps on hold for a short while.
I am awaiting info from Elving Solli that is mailed to me by snailmail. Then I should really have a good idea wich maps I need.
I hope it is true what you say and that I will get loads of info. I am willing to invest a lot of time in putting this route together. Would be great if the result is a long distance gravel and dirt road route to the Nordkapp.
Something that has been pointed out to me quite a few times already and wich I want to recognize to all those concerned:
In now way I am considering real off road. The Leave No Trace principales are well know to me. Respecting the environment is important.
I'll keep you posted on the trip planning.
(who is really getting hungry for some long distance travel...)
Why these roads? Well, the general idea was to suggest smaller scenic roads instead of the major roads where possible, without adding too much to the travel distance. There are a lot of beautiful areas between south Scandi and Nordkapp that you shouldn't miss to see.
Norway: Bergen-Andalsnes is a very beautiful area, Jotunheimen (Scandi's highest mountains), Geiranger fjord (very touristy though), Trolltindene with the serpentine road Trollstigsvei.
North of Trondheim the coastal road #17 is more beautiful than the inland E6, but E6 is quite OK too. Lofoten Islands are also very beautiful.
Sweden: There are basically two choices going north, the coastal E4 or the inland #45. Although E4 is beautiful between Harnosand and Ornskoldsvik, I think that #45 generally is more interestering and much more typical of Sweden in my opinion.
Dagjen, thanks for the info on gravel roads in Norway, it seems that there are a lot more possibilities than I thought.
Just "called back" to this thread to see what's going on. I've just got to agree with you on your comments about the friendliness of the Norwegians/Swedish/Finnish - they're _really_ nice people. Personally I always seem to get on best of all with people in the remoter areas, i.e. further north in Scandinavia, they always seem more down-to-earth. And even better (with my language skills) they all spoke impeccable English!
I'm sure you've spent enough time studying maps to realise, but some of the distances up in the north are plenty big enough without deviating onto _too many_ dirt tracks, unless you have a lot of time and really want to. The main roads up there are not straight/plain/boring (except perhaps the coast road in Sweden, but certainly not the E6 "Arctic Highway",) as we might find further south in our continent.
Good luck anyway! Me, I'm busy planning my ride to SE Algeria for March/April, providing the political situation isn't too suspect.
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