An overview of my trip to Norway up to the Lofoten in June 2006 with a travel group in a daltus roof-tent-bus. A lot of the text is made out of notes and staccato sentences. It does not aim to give a thorough overview over Norway - just some observations I was able to make from my short trip.
edit: This article has always been a construction site, I kind of finished it up in 2008.
You might also want to check out the gallery.
Not having been to a real vacation in the last nine years, a journey was overdue for some time. Berlin or Vienna for some days, chilling at the Lago di Garda for some days, military shooting at the baltic sea for a week or surveying in the Burgundy backwoods for some weeks were all leaves I got. Not feeling a strong wanderlust, it took me a while to get going. But finally some obscure reason and inner intuition made me book a trip to the north of Norway.
"Papa, papa is that a prison-transport? — No son, that is the Daltus-bus."
"So you are the ones traveling in the swine transport? Ahm - I guess yes. Well of course not! We were traveling with our off-road capable truck, modified by finest german engineering. It has an adventurous aura around itself and is of course highly communicative. First, because it usually attracts highly relaxed, error tolerant, dynamic people. Second, because riding a vehicle like this, it is easy to start small talk with about anybody.
The equipment and outfit is well thought out, even though it must at some place reach its limits. Some points to bitch about: The sun-cover did at one evening not withstand the storm and had to be removed. The luggage compartments on the right side of the bus, with the doors and the cooking area, are not so accessible, during cooking and working times. With rain outside, the windows steam up. The interior of the bus can get kind of tight with wet towels, wet shoes, wet jackets and all kind of other stuff around. And 24 passengers. Luckily there were only 18 people in our travel group. But I guess it will work nonetheless with a little bit more discipline.
Forget the complaints: a darn cool ride.
Our driver, Markus has been great. Always relexed and in control, radiating an aura of easiness. Way to go man.
p.s.: the bus is so old, seat-belts in the front are not obligatory - strange feeling
What to take on a trip like this? My equipment decisions have been more or less okay - but check out the synopsis:
|warm winter cap||yes||especially on deck of the ferry to the Lofoten|
|music CD||yes||you can never have enough musical diversity for a two week trip in a bus|
|walking sticks||no||the wet moss floor in norway prevents the useful application of walking sticks|
|sitting mat||probably||better yet one of the lying mats of the german armed forces|
|flashlights (2x)||you will not need flashlights when traveling to northern Scandinavia during the midsommernight|
|Umbrella||a small umbrella would have been nice|
|compass||nice gimmick in the wilderness|
|small GPS receiver||probably the ultimate gimmick to play with on a trip like this|
|shoe polish||thanks to Joachim for taking it with him and borrowing it to me - essential to seal your leather boots|
|rain trousers||does not take a lot of space, but would have been extremely useful - kudos go to Silke for borrowing me hers|
The group met in Kiel before boarding the ferry. Passing the baltic sea over night we went north on the E6 right the next day. Because of Norway's long shape and our travel target in the far north, we had to do a lot of driving the first days. But there was always enough time for a stop at the sights along the way. We spent the nights alternating between wilderness without sanitary facilities and camping sites.
Far in the north on the islands of the Lofoten and the Vesteralen we did some hiking, inspected the flora, the wildlife and the land and watched the sights.
The travel back down went akin the travel up. We finished our trip with one and a half day in Oslo. The group parted in Kiel after leaving the ferry.
Following is a detailed tabular overview of our trip followed by some memorable events.
|WED 14||train Landshut - Kiel||48°32'N-
|some snack||last minute shopping and packing|
|THU 15||ferry Kiel - Oslo||54°24'N-
|group buffet||checking out Kiel, meeting the group and the bus, first time on ferry, chilling on deck|
|FRI 16||Dovrefjell||62°18'N||noodles with tomato/tuna sauce||traveling north on the E6, Lillehammer with Maiaugen museum and Olympic ski-jump, Stave church in Ringbu|
[north of Trondheim]
|63°44'N||chilli con carne||traveling north on the E6, bringing travel companion to doctor and put in plane, visiting trondheim: cathedral as biggest building from the middle ages in Scandinavia, city, fort, harbor, bicycle elevator|
[north of Mo i Rana]
|66°30'N||tortellini with cheese/creme sauce||traveling north on the E6, visiting Svartisen glacier by boat and hike|
[Svolvær - Ausvågøya]
|68°7'N||swabian potato-salad with sausage||traveling north on the E6, crossing the polar circle, ferry from Skutvik to the Lofoten|
[Kabelvåg - Ausvågøya]
|68°14'N||rice with china-pan||scenic drive, hiking, chilling|
|WED 21||north coast of Vestvågøya
|68°17'N||potatoes with zaiziki||scenic drive, beaches, viking museum, hike along the coast from Unstad - Eggum, campfire|
|68°59'N||rice with chicken, curry, pineapple and apricot||scenic drive, Henningsvær, paddling, ferry from Fiskebøl to Melbu, Vesterålen|
|68°59'N||fiskesoup and fladbrød on the MS Leonora||hiking to Stø, boarding the MS Leonora for whale watching up to 69°20'N and bird watching on lighthouse-island Anda Fyr|
|SAT 24||Myre||68°55'N||Kässspätzle and Lumba Bumba||scenic drive, bird-rock in Nykvåg, boat-trip to hike|
[South of Fauske]
|67°50'N||noodles with mushroom-creamsauce||leaving the Vesterålen over the Tjedlsund, old german bunkers, Narvik, traveling south on the E6|
|MON 26||Snåsavatnet||64°17'N||vegetable stew with sausages||traveling south on the E6, crossing the polar circle, Gromligrotta|
|TUE 27||Dovrefjell||62°18'N||potatoes with grilled salmon||traveling south on the E6, buying salmon in Trondheim, hiking in the fjell|
|59°55'N||spagetti bolognese||traveling south on the E6, strolling in Lillehammer and Oslo by night|
|59°55'N||leftovers||Oslo: central station, downtown, changing of the guard at the castle, national gallery, ship to museum island in harbour, Fram-Museum, meeting the gang in Vigelandsparken, chilling in the park, shopping norwegian food, meeting Ingrid at the castle, meeting Ulrike/Ralf at the central station|
|FRI 30||ferry Oslo - Kiel||59°55'N-
|snacks||chilling on deck, farewell session on deck|
|SAT 01||train Kiel - Hamburg - Landshut||54°24'N-
|german bakery||walking in Hamburg, Alster, planten un blomen, harbour, harbour cruise|
... in the first 72 hours of the trip.
Just four month before the trip I did a first aid course.
... and disappeared again as fast as they came in the fog.
We were sitting by the campfire near Eggum on the Lofoten. Geographically we had a perfect open view to the north to see the low point of the sun. Metrologically it was foggy and we did not see no sun at all. All the other campers in our surrounding hide in their trailers or tents while we were staying semi-comfortable at our campfire.
Then, sometime after one o'clock, when a lot of us already went to bed, a bus with a group of man from the main land, who did a father's day jaunt, stopped at our place. Of course they came to our campfire, the only place with people around. Right before that, Martin said to himself, "now, a beer would be nice." (alcoholic beverages are always scarce in Norway). Moments later the Norwegians passed out cans of beer and dried stockfisk and stayed for some chitchat. It felt quite bizarre.
... for pictures.
Our group has been great. Thanks everybody. The average age was probably about 32 years. Everybody was more or less relaxed and was quite error tolerant - quite a useful attribute for a trip like this. About half the people already participated in on or more trips with Daltus. Here is a map of Germany showing the location of everybody:
Traveling in the group and in the wild, we did not have much contact with the natives. Still I dare to make some observations:
We saw quite a lot of landscape - here some observations:
Great vacation. Scary how I lack the Wanderlust and inner drive and theirby deny myself fresh stimulus and inspiration from travel. Well, there has been some improvement lately.