Going North 2018 – days 18-20

At night, I played around with my camera until I had an acceptable night picture of the Geiranger Fjord. Could be improved still, but the necessary lens would cost more than the whole trip.

Geiranger by night.

The view in the morning was breathtaking again. What a view. We started late and followed the Geiranger road south. After a while, there was the turn to the Dalsnibba road. 25 years ago, I had marked in my travel diary that the road toll was legal robbery and did not ride up. Well, I was a poor student then. Now, the indicated 14 Euros make you blink for a second (In fact it was 10 Euro for motorbikes), but after two weeks in Norway, there is a certain fatalism when it comes to Norwegian prices.

View from the Dalsnibbba.

The ride was nice and in the end you are on the top of a 1500 m high mountain. With a fantastic 360 degree view. The blue glaciers. The deep valley. The Geiranger Fjord. The Eagle Road. Top! Luckily it was dry, but I had to note the temperature:

Put the heating on!

From there on, it was a long ride down. I got warmer and warmer. I had thought of an alternative route for today, instead going down the road down to Oslo via Lillehammer, I thought of a nicer route, more to the west and in the mountains. There should be less traffic and a nicer scenery. So I went up the Lemonsjøen Fjell where we stopped at the Fjellstua house for some lunch. Nice views over a lake. The road south led through a very forested area, with mountains and occasional lakes. Very like. And at times, the sun made its way through the clouds. We went uphill and suddenly we were on a mountain pass  called Valdresflye (1389 m), a part of the mountain plateau of the Jotunheimen. Nice views. From here on, it was all downhill to the sea in Oslo. In Fagernes, the bike needed some fuel and MJ a break. After some rest and two coffees, the battery was charged again and we rode on beautiful roads towards Oslo. Lots of forets first, lots of slow riding cars close to Oslo. Finally we arrived at our hotel where we stay two nights. It is a plush Golf Resort Hotel but the irony is that due to some large discount the place is the cheapest on our whole trip. After dinner we did a little walk and watched all these funnily dressed people practicing their driving, putting etc…interesting.

Our temporary residence near Oslo.

The next morning we had a late breakfast on the sunny (yes!) terrace. Weather looked good today. We rode casually dressed to the museum island to visit some museums. The first was the viking ship museum, a building that hosts the best preserved viking ships in the word. The ships were buried as a burial object of local chiefs, that’s why they are so well preserved. Very impressive, also the artistic objects that were added to make the chief’s travel to Walhalla more pleasant. Vikings were often depicted as rude barbarians, but this artistic craftsmanship tells a different story. In front of the entrance, we met the Bavarian couple we talked in front of our hotel in Kirkenes. What a coincidence. One kilometre down the road was the Fram museum. It was even better tan 25 years ago.

The Fram Museum  honours Norwegian polar exploration in general and three great Norwegian polar explorers in particular—Fridtjof Nansen, Otto Sverdrup and Roald Amundsen. The museum also exhibits images of the fauna of the polar regions, such as polar bears and penguins. The Fram Museum is centered principally on the original exploration vessel Fram. The original interior of Fram is intact and visitors can go inside the ship to view it.

On board of the Fram.

The exposition makes you aware of the achievement at the turn of the 19th century – Nansen, Amundsen, Scott, Shackleton… A large part was dedicated to Fridtjof Nansen – the Norwegian explorer, scientist, diplomat, humanitarian, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate. What a life.

Would you jump? On the Holmenkollen ski jump tower.

The last touristic stop was a visit to the Holmenkollen – the famous ski jump tower and a temple of Norwegian skiing. It hosts also the ski museum. You can get to the panorama platform on the top. It takes somewhat longer when a busload of Koreans has just arrived before you. On the top, there’s a 360 degree view. If you’re in a hurry, you can zooming down on a rope, but we weren’t.

We made a stop at a nice Sushi restaurant and had some very nice plates, a nice farewell to really fresh fish. And to Norwegian cuisine.

In the hotel, it was time to pack the luggage. MJ will take a plane back home today and I will be heading for Jönköping in Sweden.

Today, the ride to Jönköping was not very spectacular. I left Oslo after MJ left with the taxi for the airport. Rolling down the E6, take a shortcut via Trollhättan, and after four hours, I arrived at the rally headquarter of the European Tour rally. It was a 34 degrees hot now, in the middle of Sweden. Luckily my bag with the fuel cell was still in the luggage room where I deposited it two weeks ago. I mounted the tank in the shadow of a tree and went for petrol. I checked in, both in the hotel and the rally, and here I am sweating in my hotel room on the south side with no airco. At 5 p.m., we will have dinner (!) and at 6 p.m., the rider meeting starts. After that, it’s planning time and tomorrow morning we set off for a 72 hour ride. In theory, any of the countries around the Baltic Sea could be visited. I should know more by midnight.


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