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Photo by Ellen Delis, Lagunas Ojos del Campo, Antofalla, Catamarca

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by Ellen Delis,
Lagunas Ojos del Campo,
Antofalla, Catamarca



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  #1  
Old 18 May 2012
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Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia: Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings


May 13, 2012

With some planning and more structure then we are used to, this 5000 mile trip has been honed down to under 3000 miles by adding transportation on three boats and one train. We have been resisting our tendency to put three pounds of sh** in a one-pound bag. That’s what happens when you want to combine the fjords of Norway, the Arctic Circle and Russia in the same almost-month-long trip.
Our planned route is May 15 -- Seattle to Frankfurt by plane, pick up bikes at Stephans (Knopf tours in Heidelberg), complete some maintenance on the bikes, May 20 – pick up ferry in Kiel, arrive in Oslo on May 21, the evening of May 23 – leave Bergen on a boat, arrive Alesund May 24, May 26 – Trondheim, May 29 or 30 – Rovaneimi to see the midnight sun and Santa Claus village at the Artic Circle national Park May 31 – load on train in the evening, June 1 – arrive Helsinki, June 2 – St Petersburg, June 5 Psklov, June 6 – Latvia, June 7—Lithuania, June 10 1AM ferry leaves Lithuania and arrives in Kiel at 10PM. June 12 – Heidelberg to put the bikes away, June 13 – fly to Seattle.
See what I mean – lots of structure. The good side of this pre-planning is less time on the road required for planning. The down-side, of course, is less freedom for spontaneity. Regardless, we are both excited to take this next tour.
If you want to read about our previous tour blogs see http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/ride-tales/eastern-europe-two-v-stroms-59213 And http://2seniorsonabike.blogspot.com
Back to packing: two tires, chain, sprocket, kuba-links, center stand and personal stuff. And this time, we are taking our camping gear.

Last edited by Grant Johnson; 19 May 2012 at 22:48.
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  #2  
Old 20 May 2012
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No holding you guys back, had hoped to do a similar route this year but life got in the way. Looking forward to seeing the pics and hearing your report, good luck from Enniskillen.
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Old 24 May 2012
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Hello Paul and Teresa. We are currently in Alesund Norway getting ready to get our trip diary posted. Had a few technical difficulties in posting but hoping that we will get it started tonight. Wish you were here.
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Old 24 May 2012
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Attachment 6716May 17

Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-p1000011.jpg
Arriving at Knopf Tours is a great way to get energized for a motorcycle trip. There are bikers just getting ready to start their trip and others just coming back.

Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-p1000009.jpg
Bikers are busy preparing for their next adventure or preparing their bikes for storage.

We met Mike,Debbie, Harrison and Ellen, all from our neck of the woods in Washington, who just returned from their trip. They have travelled extensively around the world and have impressive tales of their adventures. Nick, from Florida, like us, was just heading out. What a war history buff he is. He will not return to Heidelberg until November. He has travelled 375,000 miles on his bike.

Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-dsc_0011.jpg
Nick

One of the first challenges of a trip crossing several time zones is jet lag. Check that one off. As usual, we (almost) managed a 9-hour time difference and we are ready to go after only one night in Heidelberg. But let’s get to the important stuff. Mike accomplished his priorities for bike maintenance and improvements; Kubla-links for Beverly, adjust clutch for Beverly, install center-stand for Mike. We still have a few other minor things to accomplish but by the afternoon we are ready to go. We can’t go far, but we are definitely ready to go.

Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-dsc_0053.jpg
Kubla Links Install

Stephan Knopf (of Knopf Tours) said suggested the towns just beyond Bingen on the Rhine. Bingen is just over an hour away (that is, if you know where you are going and you travel 80mph on the autobahn. We took 2 or 3 hours. We stopped in Bingen, asked our GPS for a hotel nearby and near the water and came up with Hotel Koeppel where we could park the bikes in a garage. Mike led the way. Should I be surprised at the seemingly round about route? It seems that those are the characteristics of the best European towns – you know you aren’t in the U.S.

We asked at the hotel for a good restaurant nearby. We were interested in good German food. She suggested a place near the church on the hill. After getting a few pictures of our hotel sign with the castle on the hill in the background, we walked down to the Rhine river. The walkways and cruise boats were deserted at 8pm. What a beautiful evening.

Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-p1000025.jpg
When our walking route took us by a restaurant with windows at eye level and the diner’s tables in view, we could see some beautiful Italian dishes. I (Beverly) insisted that we stop now. We had missed lunch and I was hungry now. We had a nice dinner and then walked back to the hotel. The Hotel Koeppel & Café.

Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-p1000019.jpg
Bingen has a long history of battles dating back before the birth of Christ. The joining of the Rhine and the Nahe gave Bingen strategic importance. Bingen is also a wine area. In fact, this is where ice wine was “invented” in 1830.
In 1829 the grapes could often not be picked because they were not ripe enough. The flowing harsh winter, with lots of problems for people and animals, caused many people to take the grapes from the vines and feed them to their cattle. It was then discovered that the grapes, which had survived 22° of frost, still contained liquid. The grapes were pressed through a piece of cloth and the juice was fermented in the usual way. The result was a thoroughly good, sweet wine.
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Old 24 May 2012
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May 18
Today we are going to Cologne through the Rhine river valley.
Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-dsc_0023.jpg
Mike on Rhine

The roads were perfect. What an enjoyable ride to Koblenz along Hwy 9. We were treated to a scenic view of a castle overlooking the Rhine every few miles. It rained a bit on us after Koblenz but didn’t interfere with our enjoyment of the ride.
Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-dsc_0045.jpg
Cathedral in Cologne

Both of us have memories of a previous life of the beautiful cathedral in Cologne. The cathedral is beautiful – maybe not like we remembered some 30 years ago – but still, pretty awesome. We both remember that there weren’t so many tourists many years ago. It is under maintenance construction and, apparently, will be forever.

Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-dsc_0030.jpg
Parking wasn’t a problem though.

We didn’t want to stay the evening in Cologne and although it was already 6:30pm, we had a few more hours of daylight. We decided to go to Hamm which was on our route but outside the highly populated areas in the city. We stayed at the Mercure hotel – an upscale hotel for our tastes. It has an elevator, fancy lights in the room and underground parking. It was almost 9:30 PM when we were all settled. Daniel, the bartender, suggested a big hamburger and a Ceasar salad when we asked him what we should eat that would be easy for the kitchen. Add to that our and wine and we were set
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Old 24 May 2012
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5-19
Breakfast at the Mecure in Hamm was quite a spread. After eating, checking email and finding a room for the evening in Kiel, we drove out of Hamm at about 10 am. Our goal for the day was to make it to Kiel. We started our ride through the countryside. Small town after small town, connected by bicycle paths, little traffic and pleasant roads. What an enjoyable ride.

Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-dsc_0050.jpg
Mike grinding to lower the kickstand

Upon seeing an auto shop, Mike stopped to see if he could use a grinder to make an adjustment on my kick stand, which is now to high after he lowered my bike. It was lowered a bit but not enough to make it stable. The solution is going to have to be a shorter one or one that is adjustable. We will have to use the center stand until then.

After a few hours of just roaming around the side roads, we decided to hit the autobahn. It is amazing how fast you can put on the miles on the autobahn going 70-85 mph. We arrived at our hotel.

Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-dsc_0056.jpg
Beverly at Hotel Catherineberg

Catherineberg in Melfsee, just South of Kiel. We got on the internet and did mail, pictures etc. After an authentic German dinner with 3 kinds of fish served with potatoes, we went for a walk which took us through the neighborhood and by a wildlife park with a small lake.

Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-dsc_0060.jpg
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Old 26 May 2012
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5-20-12
Today is the ferry to Oslo. We needed to be there at noon for a 2pm sailing. We arrived early and, like our experience has been on previous ferries, we struck up conversations with the other bike riders. By the time we loaded, we had met Uwa, Marta, Bob, and a few other cyclist heading to Scandinavia.

Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-dsc_0070.jpg
Mike and Beverly Uwa and Marta

Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-dsc_0071.jpg
Color Line Ferry -- Magic was our boat

We are sure making use of ferries in our travels. The ferries allow us to extend the reach of our trip in a shorter amount of time. The first long ferry ride was 22 hours. Here is the video link of our Brittany Ferry Loading during our 2010 trip. Videogetting on Ferry - YouTube


The Color Line Ferry to Oslo is also a 22 hour crossing.


We crossed under the Great Belt Bridge which connects Zealand with Funen is without any doubt the biggest of Denmark’s many bridges. It’s also one the world longest suspension bridges and the biggest outside Asia.


Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-csc_0114.jpg
Passing under the Great Belt Bridge


What a ship this is, several restaurants, a casino, a night club, a show bar, spa and health club, shopping. Some people make it a 2 day round trip to go on a cruise.

Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-dsc_0076.jpg
On the ferry overlooking the shopping area


Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-dsc_0074.jpg
We have a really nice room.


For the departure from Kiel, we sat in the observation lounge, like a small version of the Space Needle in Seattle (but it doesn’t rotate). The harbor is quite large. We passed the U-boat museum which has 2 of the actual U-boats from the war.


Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-dsc_0080.jpg
U-Boat in Kiel


We met up with Uwa, Marta and Bob at the Monkey bar at 7pm. I am not the only one who enjoys a good paper map. We all compared routes and destinations. Since Uwa, Marta and we are on almost the same schedule, we decided to travel together in the morning.

On our way back to our cabin, the show bar was in full swing. We watched the singing and dancing show before turning in for the evening.
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Old 27 May 2012
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The ferry arrived in Oslo at 10 AM. We decided to ride with Uwa and Marta since their travel plans were very similar to ours. Uwa led us off the ferry towards Geilo but not only did we lose Uwa, we lost each other -- in downtown Oslo. It just so happens that Mike had finally got our 2-way radio communications working and this is the very first time we were able to use them. Even though we couldn’t see each other, Mike and I were able to get back together. One might say that this was a great opportunity to see how they worked. One might also say that we shouldn’t have been separated in the first place. We met up with Uva and Marta aways down the road and continued on towards Geilo.

I had been thinking that I didn’t have clothing to wear under my motorcycle jacket to keep me warm in the temperatures we might be seeing. No problem. An outlet store on our route was having a close-out. I got a wool under garment and a wool sweater. The clerk (wish I had his name and his picture) said that wool is the best and that in Norway people use wool for warmth. The price was right so I got them. Plus he threw in a couple of pairs of wool socks. Those could come in very handy when we cross the mountains in the North of Trondheim at over 1400 meters. (5000 ft)

Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-dsc_0121.jpg
Outlet Store

We all stayed at a hotel at a ski resort. We had a nice dinner and enjoyed each other’s company.

Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-dsc_0126.jpg
Chairlift view from our room at the ski resort
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Old 27 May 2012
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5-22-12

Up early. Breakfast a 7am with Uwa and Marta. On the road at 9am. I put on my new wool shirt before heading out, noting that the map showed we would be climbing to 3800 feet.


Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-dsc_0129.jpg
Getting ready to go over the top


Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-dsc_0127.jpg
Who needs warm clothing? I can do this in my T-shirt.


We climbed up into the clouds. And kept climbing. It got cold. We all think it was just over freezing at the summit. After the summit the road dropped quickly in the warmth of the other side. By the time we hit Bergen it was in the high 70s. We had to shed our layers on the way.


Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-dsc_0140.jpg
Coming down the other side


Our route from Geilo to Bergen was Hwy 7. It included a stop at the lookout point to see Vøringfossen waterfalls which is 182 meters (597 feet) high. It free falls before continuing through the grand canyon Måbødalen.


Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-dsc_0154.jpg
Voringfossen waterfalls


There is pull off from the road just below the falls for another view. We took our motorcycles down the walking path which was just a short way from the parking lot. Since the path continued on parallel to the road we kept going until we came to an unpaved dark tunnel. As we started to turn our bikes around to go back, some hikers said to keep going – it would be fine for us. And it was. In fact, it was really cool. A steep decent in and out of tunnels took us to the Hardangerfjord.


We crossed the fjord on a ferry and then stopped for lunch. We headed into Bergen with Uwa leading the way continuing on the Hwy 7, then to E16 just outside of Bergen. Uwa and Marta were leaving on the boat to Alesund at 6PM and they had to check in. It was nice for us to be able to see the terminal because we would be going on the same ferry the next day. After a short walk into town for us to find a motel and Uwa and Marta to find some food for the ferry trip, we parted ways and promised to see each other again in the future.


Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-dsc_0157.jpg
Beverly and Mike


Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-dsc_0172.jpg
Crossing Hardangerfjorden on the ferry

The spring festival was happening in Bergen. Consequently, city-center hotel rooms were impossible to get. The tourist center found us a room near Tjeldste which is out on one of the islands. After about an hours drive, with the population (and the roads) getting thinner and thinner, we arrived at Nautines, our hotel. But it wasn’t a hotel like you would normally think of. It was a fishing camp.

Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-dsc_0219.jpg
The fish camp with bikes parked outside

Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-dsc_0218.jpg
Cleaning fish – a successful day out on the water

Our “room” has four bedrooms and 2 baths. We drove one bike back about 5 miles to a grocery store to get some dinner then we went to bed early.
It never really got dark the entire night.
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Old 28 May 2012
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5-23-12

Another beautiful day in the 70s at the Nautines fishing camp.

Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-dsc_0207.jpg
Having tea

We had tea and read our books out on the dock and watched the fishing boats motor out. Mike put on the hand-guards on his bike; it was quite cold going over the pass the other day. We have more potentially cold rides on our route further North so the hand-guards might be necessary.
Our initial plan was to go into Bergen today because our boat doesn’t sail until 8pm. However, we have been both somewhat suffering from a cold and it is just so beautiful at the fishing camp on the water that we decided to stay.
Barnard even offered to take us out on his boat for a while. Of course, we accepted. He said we should come back next year and go fishing.

Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-dsc_0227.jpg
Out on Barnard’s boat

Barnard says that the fish camp can house 120 people. 90% of their clientele comes from Germany.

Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-img_0713.jpg
Beverly and Barnard at Nautines Fishing Camp

We were close to a major oil depot which was out of character in the middle of this beautiful place. Since large oil reserves were found in the North Sea, Norway has considerable cash reserves. They are saving a good percentage for future country financing. They have so much money, their biggest problem is where to invest it.

We eventually left to head back to Bergen which was about an hour’s drive including a traffic jam. We arrived early enough to have another quick tour of Bergen.

Then we loaded our bikes on the ship Nordnorge, which departed at 8pm. The ship can only take 11 cars. It is an 11-day cruise that goes all the way around Scandinavia to Russia. It is advertised as “ The world’s most beautiful voyage”. It is light until about 11:30 PM.
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ATTACH]6749[/ATTACH]
Leaving Bergen

Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-dsc_0277.jpg
Mike and the Nordnorge

Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-dsc_0263.jpg
Sunset on the ship at 10:30 PM – We continue North to even longer days.
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Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-dsc_0261.jpg  

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Old 29 May 2012
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05/24/2012

Today was a day of leisure. After an overnight cruise, we spent the day on the Hurtigruten Line, Nordnorge ship, traveling up the Geirangerfjorden, one of the most picturesque fjords in Norway. We are on the Norway coastal steamer route which opened up the coast of Norway many years ago. The current service still takes some freight and passengers, but mostly is a high-end 11-day cruise along the coast and back to Bergen. We rode only one night and one day on the voyage before we got off in Alesund.

Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-dsc_0295.jpg
Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-dsc_0304.jpg
Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-dsc_0305.jpg
Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-dsc_0314.jpg
Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-dsc_0306.jpg
Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-dsc_0307.jpg
Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-dsc_0311.jpg

We considered staying on the boat longer. There is just so much to see and do in Norway.

We are missing more than we are seeing. For example, Norwegians have told us not to miss the Lofoten Islands in our travels. This cruise goes all the way to North Cap, one of the four corners of the earth for world traveling motorcyclers. I hardly think it would count though if you arrived on your motorcycle at Northcap on the Hurtigruten lines.

We decided to stay with our original plan and get off the boat. We arrived back in Alesund in the evening and went to the local hostel.


Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-dsc_0275.jpg
Beverly in Alesund

Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-p1000040.jpg
Our hostel

We had some discussion with Martin, who runs the hostel, on the justice system in Norway. The interaction of the people is based on trust and it feels that way. The case of the guy who killed all those kids last year is a test for the justice system in the country. The country is trying to adhere to the innocent until proven guilty policy but there are strong feelings for a quick verdict among the people of the country.

Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-photo1-2-.jpg
Beverly and Martin
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Old 29 May 2012
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5-25-12
The goal for today was to drive the Atlantic Highway in Norway. This road spans many of the islands along the coast with bridges and causeways. It is quite an engineering feat and apparently quite spectacular in the winter when the storm waves wash over the road. The day is rainy, but the roads are good. We take the ferry to Molde and after a ride through the countryside, we are at the Atlantic highway.

We were out for 10 hours but it was easy riding with constant spectacular scenery.
Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-dsc_0355.jpg

Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-p1000048.jpg
Always a ferry in Norway

We didn't get the true perspective of the Atlantic Highway and our pictures don’t do it justice because of the overcast conditions, however it is quite impressive.

Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-dsc_0359.jpg
365

Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-dsc_0364.jpg
Photo of a poster of the bridge


Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-dsc_0374.jpg

Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-img_0718.jpg

We made our way to Trondheim, Norway's third largest city. Our hotel was in the middle of town overlooking the river. One of the hotel employees said we are supposed to park down the block from the hotel on the street. The police are on strike though so a ticket was unlikely. We kept our bikes next to the hotel and had no problems.

A walking and biking bridge across the river led us to an area of several restaurants with outside seating. This is the first warm evening for the locals. Being a Friday night, there was much partying. We sat outside also and had dinner and met Hilde and Frank. They are local and we had a great evening over many drinks. Lots of discussion on social and political issues. Norwegians seem to be very satisfied to live here.

Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-p1000049.jpg
Hilde and Frank.

In the morning, we were treated to the local police marching band performing along the pathway.
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Old 30 May 2012
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From Trondheim we will travel East over the mountains before we head North to the Artic Circle.

We slept in a bit today and went to the hotel breakfast. The hotel people said it was the best breakfast in Norway. Gin cured salmon, mussel omelets, and beans. We ate too much, then headed for Ostersund, Sweden.

Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-p1000051.jpg
Leaving Trondheim

It was a pleasant drive of 200 miles over the mountains.

Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-dsc_0381.jpg
On the road

We got to an altitude of 5000ft but there was little snow and mild weather. Nothing like the pass in Southern Norway that we passed last week.

Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-dsc_0383.jpg
Stopping for treats

Arrived in Ostersund, got a room in a B&B and went out on the town.

Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-p1000054.jpg
Mike in hi-tech wardrobe by Kendra

We are staying up late because it stays bright until 11:30. We went to sleep at 1:00 and it was still like dusk.

Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-p1000057.jpg
Out on the town at 11:00 PM. The sun is still up.
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Old 30 May 2012
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We intended to get going about 10:00 this morning but were delayed by a bike malfunction on Mike’s bike. His side-stand switch was defective, causing the bike not to start. After the time it took to unload the bike, diagnose the problem, talk to the passerbys, do the actual fix, reload the bike, we left about 2 hours later. By the time we stopped for gas, we left town following the E45 about 12:30.

The road was good and practically deserted. With the cool air and the warm sun at our backs, it was quite pleasant. We traveled 300 miles at a good clip through Sweden.

Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-dsc_0390.jpg
A stop for lunch

Most of the Swedish cars have 2-3 headlights mounted in front of the grill of their car. This is because the roads at night are not lit and there are often animals in the road. It is not a heavily populated area.

Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-p1000052.jpg
Typical Swedish car lights

We had to keep alert for reindeer crossing the roadway. We even saw a baby moose.

The speed limit on the highways in Sweden that we have been traveling is generally 90 kmh as opposed to the 70 kmh in Norway. Many people travel faster than the speed limit on the highway in Sweden. But not in Norway. Norway has many curves and tunnels and it has more traffic. Even when the road is straight and wide with no traffic, people rarely travel over 70kmh (45 mph) and they don’t pass. There are apparently stiff fines for speeding. This is why some people say to drive through Sweden if your destination is North Norway. But if you want to enjoy the scenery and take your time, go through Norway.

We stopped at Sandsjogarden.net for something sweet to eat after about 5 hours of travel. We had pie. It was wonderful. This place has camping, camping huts and full cabins. We would have stayed the evening if they had internet. They expect to have it soon but not yet. So we proceeded on. But not before we spent an hour talking to Caroline, one of the four new owners of the place. They are fixing it up and it is really nice.

She is of Philipino/German heritage, grew up in Sweden and previously lived in Prince George, Canada. She had a management position in the Swedish banking business but life was a grind for both her and her husband; they would say hi to each other in the morning, go to work, come back for dinner and go to bed. They wanted more from their lives. They love dogs. They, with another couple, bought an existing camping, restaurant, in Sweden. After some bureaucratic red tape they made it up in time to go through their first winter. Now they are preparing for their first summer tourist season. We wish them success in their life dream.

We ended up in Arvidsjaur for the evening after traveling 300 miles.

Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-dsc_0392.jpg
Laponia Hotel
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Old 31 May 2012
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One could say that it was shockingly cold to walk outside. Not like you would be shocked with sub-zero temperatures, but certainly, it was below freezing.

We had a nice breakfast and dressed for the cold. Over the next 200 miles to Haparanda, we ran into a bit of snow and lots of wind. We adjusted our clothing a couple of times to stay warm.

Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-dsc_0394.jpg
Hundreds of miles of Swedish roads look like this

We stayed in Haparanda at the Haparanda Stadshotell, about 100 years old.

Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-dsc_0397.jpg
Haparanda Stadshotell

Two V-Stroms in Scandinavia:  Mike and Beverly's European Wanderings-dsc_0395.jpg
We had a Jacuzzi and steam in our bathroom.

There were very few hotels in the area, so we didn’t have much choice. The hotel rate was high because it is the business rate time. Even though the demand is higher in the summer, the rate goes down because people are paying from their personal budgets. So much for supply and demand. They don’t lower their rates if their hotel is empty.

The owner of the hotel proudly had the hockey jersey of the local team. He was proud to point out that a local kid was the goaltender for the New York Rangers
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