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I’m looking for a riding companion for a trip, some after August this year “2005” for a run through the Scandinavian countries. I’m initially looking at catching a ferry from Newcastle over to either Bergen or Stravanger in Norway and then Island hopping in an easterly direction all the way up to the Russian border. There after heading north, staying this side of the Russian border all the way up to the northern coast and then swinging a left “West” and following the coast back around to Bergen in Norway, or a convenient ferry crossing point back to UK. My first thoughts for a route is Bergen to Oslo to Stockholm to Heisinki/Kriistenstad to Koiovesi National Park to Kajanai to Inan, then up to the coast and Norway, follow it to the west passing through Hammerfest, Tromso, Trondheim and back to Bergen.
I’m looking at a ratio of, 3 days camping to 1 days B&B to help keep the costs down and stay clean!!. I would be looking at a duration of say 10 to 14 days. My start date is flexible and will depend of my work schedule closer to the time?
I did a solo run down to Morocco last December on my “Africa Twin”, so my bike is pretty much ready to go, so hopefully I just need a repack for colder climes.
Most of the above is just a wish list and all is subject to change.
Do not break down in Scandinavia - it's very expensive (250 quid for a rear tyre fitted, 150 quid for a chain and sprockets fitted myself). Give your bike a good service before you head out - replace anything that is not going to make the distance.
Alcohol is expensive in the bars, not so much if you buy it in the supermarkets, but they can only sell it between certain hours...
Norway, Sweden, Finland have a law which allows you to camp anywhere for one night as long as you are not within 150 meters of someones private residence. This makes camp site finding really easy and cheap.
The sun does wierd things up there. The daylight and night time hours don't gradually change, it's more of a flip over system. By September it'll be dark by 5pm in the north and getting very cold. I recommend going early\mid August. You'll miss the end of the tourist and mosquito season but it'll still be warm enough to ride comfortably with decent clothes (I have HG Voyager suit with thermal lining) Heated grips are a must - as is a WARM sleeping bag.
I would also think about heading north first for the weather and light as then you are heading south when the temps and light hours start to drop - and trust me, they will drop really fast.
Norway: Kristansand (sp?) through the center to Trondhiem is a good ride, north of Trondheim there is a coastal route - E17 I think which heads off from the E6 to the coast and has some good riding sections and some nice ferry crossing sections ride an hour, wait for ferry and give your arse a break then ride an hour - etc. well worth it, the views and riding are superb. Hit this mid week (NOT the weekend) for good timetables for ferry crossings on the fjords.
Crossing the Arctic circle is worth thinking about. there are two routes. One continues north from route 17 and uses the coastal route with more ferrys, the other heads inland to the E6 and then heads over a massive mountian over a barren plateau - I took the mountian route and it was fantasticly wierd - have heard the coastal route is magical too but can't comment. Pick one and go for it.
The Lofoten Islands are worth a look when you get up there. Ferry north out from Boda (nice Harley biker bar on the way - right hand side of the road on a bend) to the islands and then ride back on the E10 (kings highway) across a load of bridges linking the islands - trust me you've seen nothing like it before.
The E10 brings you back to the E6 where you can head north more. If you are there it's really worth taking a trip up to NordKapp - the wierdest place of them all and litterally unnerving.
This should take you about 7 days - do not underestimate the distances in Norway. Also do not underestimate the crippling speed limits and the eagerness of the Norwiegan police to issue a VERY big fine if you get caught speeding.
Sweden has higher speed limits and the the riding is not as interesting as in Norway, but you can make up time and distance if you find yourself behind schedule. Can't comment on Finland as I didn't get that far.
Remember that they are joined in the North, so if you need to head back accross to the west because you are behind schedule then it'll be easier to head south through Sweden and then from Stockholm accross to Olso. If you are a Geordie lad you'll like Gothenberg, there is a really nice bar down under the main bridge that has a feeling a lot like the Cluney under Byker bridge.
Gothenberg to Krisiansund can be done in about 5\6 hours..
If you need any more info or have any questions about what to plan for just ask here.
One more thing, make sure you have a chip and pin card, the petrol ststions are often 24hr unmanned and require chip and pin - some stations (Elf) only take members cards so be carefull.
Hi Twin Rider
I am looking to make a trip about that time and haven't decided where, so may be able to join you. I may only be able to do 10 days due to work commitments etc. I like the idea of touring around a Scandinavia for a few days. Let me know if/when you have any more details (pteverettatbtinternetdotcom).
A quick update on my Scandinavian trip, the departure date is firming up and it is looking like some around the 10th to 14th August 2005.
Departing from Newcastle and onto Bergen by ferry. You will probably have read my reply from ewano, which all makes good sense to me, no point trying to invent the wheel again. So it sounds like a slow ride up from Bergen “E16” to Voss to Aurland “228” to Laerdalsoyri over the bridge to Solvorn picking up the “55” to Lom then the “15” to Otta, there picking up the “E06” to Trondheim. After that staying on the “E06” all the way to Bodo after that its over to the Lofoten Islands either by ferry from Bodo or further up the coast via Narvik by road. After that I was planning to go via Tromso onto Hammerfest then up to Nordkapp. After that it would be playing it all on a daily basis but once we are up that end of the world it would be easy to do Sweden, Finland and maybe even a Russian trip(paperwork nighmare no doubt).
Hi, I'll be heading off about the same time, going in the same direction. I haven't actually looked at any maps yet (that's how un-organised I am - oh and the bike isn't going yet!)But I'm hoping to take my 1979 BMW R65 over to Norway, up north, into Sweden and across to Finland. I've got months, maybe years, as I'm only a youngun, but that's going to be my start. I've got to wait until August 13th because I'll be needing an IDP later in my trip and I'll have to be 18 to get that. May see you on the road!
Thanks for the reply, it sounds like you are up for a life off adventure, no plan, bike not ready and out on a wing and a prayer. Great!!. If you need any cheap spares for the BMW try http://www.motobins.co.uk. They are good for new and used spares to help get you up and running. I’ll keep an eye out on the website, a little closer to my departure date??? . If it looks like we may bump into each other we can exchange cell numbers.
how is it all
you are a bit late for me as well ,i am going up that way some where after the roskilde festival in denmark .it finishes around the 4 th of july any one going that way around that time ,i will be on a xtz 660
Hi Twin Rider, I did a similar trip last year - Kristiansand in the south to KIRKNESS in the north. 10 days return you will never be out of the saddle - I think you are really underestimating the distances,delays by ferry and road/weather conditions. It is possible but you will really miss out on a lot. I would suggest either get more time or just do norway and maybe only as far as Nordkapp and back. The roads in Finland and Sweden are quite boring straight and very heavily forested for hundreds of miles and loads reindeer which are a hellish danger on the roads and forest edges. I have done a write up of my journey which is being published I believe in next months issue of UBG it may help you decide a route. If your in the north east and want to meet up soon (I am off to russia in a fortnight)give me a ring and I could give you a few pointers for the trip.PS little hint if you want to buy in Norway ask the GERMAN coach drivers in Lay-byes as they carry German in crates on the busses and will often sell it for euros at 25% the cost of Norwegian Beer.Brad- 01665 510312
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