07/09/2017 Storslett Norway

Sunday 9th July – Storslett, Norway

Weather:  sunny – yeah!!!

Our Norwegian neighbours stayed up very late and were still chopping wood for their fire at 2am.  We love sitting by a campfire at night but seems to be wasted having a fire in broad daylight. 

After checking the weather forecast, because a bad weather & rain forecast was predicted for several days at Nordkapp starting Tuesday, we decided to finish our trekking around the islands and head to Nordkapp as quickly as possible.

Great day for travelling with clear blue skies so took advantage and did some happy snapping during the day.  Reluctantly headed back to the E6.   We were so spoiled yesterday with the best roads and no traffic and once again great scenery.

Nothing much to report today.  Decided to go as far as Storslett today and fill up with LPG there as it was the second last place in Norway that you could fill up before going to Finland when heading north.  Finland does not have any LPG stations at all so will have to get through Finland in 5 weeks maximum before going into Estonia.  We have worked out we use about a litre a day (when we don’t need to run the heater at night and believe our tanks hold around 42 litres.

On the road to Storslett

Arrived at LPG station – closed with a note advising relocation address.  Travelled back 6 kms to new address – back blocks of an airport only to find the autogas station pumps did not work.  This is so frustrating and would strongly suggest travellers phone ahead to check on supply.  Being a Sunday of course no one was around to help out.

Decided to camp for the night just the other side of Storslett and come back to service station tomorrow.

Overnight view from Ziggy

Monday 10th July, Russenes, Norway

Weather:  Patches of blue sky with no sign of rain.

Blew like crazy during the night – was strange to feel Ziggy at 3.7 tonne, rocking.  Glad no one was watching as they may have thought the wrong thing (don’t come a knocking if the van’s a rocking).   Solid as a rock is our Ziggy bus so there were no concerns.

First thing Monday morning we phoned the LPG Norge station in Alta to check if it was still operational as this was our last hope.  Yep all good was the reply, so ditched the idea of going back to Storslett and happily headed off to Alta.

Scenery is again changing now that we are heading back to the high snow country.  The stately beautiful green xmas trees have been replaced with spindly shrubs and the backdrop now looks like a lunar landscape.  The mountains are snow capped and waterfalls cascade down close to the road.  Streams filled with boulders become raging rapids from the melting snow.

We arrive at Alta and headed to the LPG station.  The sign on the bowser says “out of order”!!!  Would you believe it.  I look at Rob’s face and can see the frustration.  Calm, cool and collected, he heads to the office.  A few minutes later he comes back with a huge smile on his face – the sign was put there to stop people from filling up and driving off.   We filled up and after doing some last minute shopping headed out of town to Russenes which would leave us just over 100kms to Nordkapp.

Winter holiday homes are scattered all over the mountains and some perched directly over the mountain streams – close enough to drop a line in.  Skidoos are parked ready and waiting for winter.

The local Norwegian natives (Sami’s) sell their wares including reindeer skins and antlers from roadside stalls.  Some of their tepees look similar to those of the American Indians

The roads have been excellent but now are getting narrower as they skirt around the mountain sides.   The tunnels are also becoming narrower and are a challenge. 

About 10klms before Russenes we struck a real challenge of a tunnel – it was only 4.7 metres wide, unlit and had no centre line markings. Ziggy is 2.35 metres wide without the side wing mirrors (one on each side) so we assumed definitely one way. At the entrance to the tunnel we had a green light so thought that meant we could proceed without any traffic coming the other way, as is the case when we had struck road works in Norway – wrong – just after entering the tunnel we struck a car coming the other way – just as well it was a car and not one of the busses, trucks or another motorhome.

The magic as we rounded Posangerfjorden – spectacular – brilliant blue seas forever and fishing villages and sail boats in the harbour.  Just unbelievably fantastic.

We rounded the corner and there in the middle of the highway stands an elk.   Defiantly looking at us – unprepared to move for us – so we rewarded him with a photo and then moved around him.

The Elk seem to be much smarter than our kangaroos

We saw a few more elk on the hillside before we arrived at another spectacular spot called Vtre Svarttikka near Russenes.  Only takes 8 motorhomes and again we were lucky enough to take prime position before the area filled up within an hour or so.

Our overnight spot near Russenes

Have the iPod and speakers on playing some of our favourite music and enjoying the drinks we were lucky enough to get a few days previously.

Tuesday 11th July – Nordkapp (North Cape), Norway

Set the alarm for 6am – eager to get an early start and beat the traffic.  There would be time, plenty of time for a leisurely breakfast at the top.

It had rained for most of the night and was very dull and cloudy.  Checked the weather forecast which showed full sun for the day. 

The road was fantastic and hugged the mountainside all the way up.  We saw several herds of reindeer grazing on the mountain side and some right next to the road.  Cruise ships could be seen heading along the fjord towards Nordkapp and soon we discovered they dropped off passengers to waiting buses to take the final climb to the top.  We counted at least 15 empty buses at a small town along the way.  Sure as eggs these would be travelling to the top sometime during the day – about 1000 people all hitting the toilets at the same time – best to go before the busses arrive.

We were rewarded for our early start and only passed one bus and one truck coming the other way.  The day was still cloudy and as we looked up towards Nordkapp, clouds obscured the top – no doubt there would be no view from up there.

10kms from the top we hit fog and crawled along at a snails pace – couldn’t see 10ft in front of us.  The fee to park was 270 NOK per person for a 24 hour stay.  For us 540NOK or around $85 AUD and it was looking very much like we wouldn’t see anything but fog.

The carpark was very full with motorhomes and caravans still there from the night before- yesterday was a perfect day up here, so we were told.  We were lucky enough to get a front row position as a motorhome pulled out just as we arrived – only view was fog.

The iconic symbol from the car park

After breakfast we decided to explore the Nordkapp Centre (nothing else to do) and magically as we headed towards the Centre, the fog lifted a little and we had a short burst of sunshine and visibility.  So quickly took happy snaps and then ventured into the Centre.  Overnight entry includes a film in their cinema, a museum, souvenir shop and lots of places to eat.  Half an hour later we exited the Centre and again the mountain was shrouded in fog.

Sad, sad, sad – the fog remained all day and despondent people who missed the earlier opportunity we had, sat in their vehicles praying for something.  Loads of buses came and went all day.  We counted at least 17 buses at one stage – all these people now eating and drinking and buying very expensive souvenirs (nothing else to do).

Motorhomes around us slowly disappeared back down the mountain and not many replaced them. 

Resigned to the fact, that we had our 30 minutes and that was all we would get, we sat and read and listened to the howling wind outside and felt Ziggy being buffeted about.  We watched people trying to walk along the headland with full winter gear on, being beaten about by the strong winds.

Decided to go back to the Centre and revisit the souvenir shop for a bargain (no such thing).  Fog was so bad couldn’t see the building at all.

Quick, quick Rob said as he pulled me out of the souvenir shop – the sun is shining and we can get some more shots.  It was after 5pm and for the first time today, there was not a cloud in the sky, no fog anywhere, and the sun was shining.

People appeared from everywhere (mostly from the Centre) and clambered for priority shots next to, beside, on or on top of, the Arctic Globe.   The Centre itself is an iconic building and the views from all three sides of the headland were much more than spectacular.

Yes it was cold – we had on thermal undershirts, long sleeve thick shirts. jumper and parka
The most northerly part of Europe – we went to South Cape, Tasmania in our caravan in December 2016

We had dinner and our special drinks saved just for this occasion (a strong black Polish beer, a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand and a bottle of 65% proof Vodka courtesy of Piotr and Barbara and then sat in the front seat of Ziggy and watched the midnight sun slowly head towards the horizon.  Took some happy shots just before midnight with setting sun in the background and an iPad showing the time to prove it.  We had ticked off another special item on our bucket list and finding the cold outside too much now decided to hit the hay.

Midnight sun at NordKapp

It is like the United Nations up here – motorhomes with registration plates from all over Europe – everyone with the common goal of seeing the midnight sun, having a nice meal, something to drink and enjoying each other’s company – why can’t it be like this all the time – the world over.

The midnight sun setting and rising at NordKapp


07/04/2017 Svolvaer – Lofoten Islands Norway

Tuesday 4th July – Svolvaer, Lofoten Islands, Norway

Weather:  Small patches of blue sky so painted a smilie face on Ziggy, hit the accelerator and we were off!!

Decided to catch the ferry from Skutvik to Svolvaer – a two and a bit hour trip and half the price (Bodo to Lofoten was around $350 for our size motorhome).

A tight squeeze with only inches to spare between all vehicles front, back and sides – was sure we would lose our mirrors it was so close.  Squeezed out of the drivers side door and went up the three levels to the top deck.  A very calm but cold day on the water but no rain which made the trip very enjoyable – though had to cuddle a lot to keep warm when on the deck.  Not much interesting to see as we crossed Vestfjordan until we reached Skrova Island. 

View from ferry

Went through a channel that was not much wider than the ferry and passed by a lighthouse that you could almost reach out and touch as we sailed by.  The village on Skrova was as pretty as a picture with homes spread along the hillsides and down to the waters edge – not much more than a little fishing village but really just wonderful.

View from ferry

A little while later we arrived at Svolvaer, a bustling town so different to Skrova.

Headed straight out of town to find a camp spot for the night a few kms away.  Stayed at Austnestfjorden Rastplass, a popular tourist stop, which has a timber deck built leading to views of the fjord and mountains on one side and another set of 30 or so timber steps leading to another viewing platform on the other side.  Buses, cars and motorhomes came and went until around 6 pm and it was pretty quiet after that.

Overnight site

We were very lucky as the rain had held off for most of the day but as we settled in to sleep, it rained pretty much most of the night.

Overnight site – reverse view

Wednesday 5th July – Leknes, Lofoten Islands, Norway

Weather:  patches of blue sky with heavy cloud.

Decided to head to the most southern tip of Lofoten over the next few days so took the E10 and headed south to our first stop at Borg.  Everybody along the way has raved about the scenery in Lofoten and from what we saw yesterday and today – absolutely true.    So fantastically beautiful and with a little bit of sunshine occasionally, it was more than spectacular.  The colours were just amazing.

We visited the Lofotor Viking Museum along with coach loads of tourists, cars and motorhomes filling the enormous car park to capacity.  Peak season has only just started here and six out of every ten passenger cars are motorhomes and caravans.  We had hoped as we headed further north, the traffic would slow down – not so.  It appears most are Norwegian plates and more seem to be heading south – thank goodness.

Chieftans House

The Museum is a must to see as it covers acres and acres of land and has so much to offer in the all inclusive price.  Firstly the main building is the history museum with artefacts from the Viking era plus a great little film.  Then a short walk to a reconstructed Chieftains house which is massive (the largest in Europe we believe) and covers three large rooms with artefacts, decorations , crafts and Viking era costumed villagers ready to answer any questions you may have.   Next a twenty minute walk to the harbour where they have an authenticated reconstruction of a Viking ship which takes tourists for a sail in the harbour.  You can also try your skills at archery, axe throwing and horse riding for kids plus much more.  This is really well done and thoroughly enjoyed the day.

Had a sail on a restored Viking ship

Enough for one day so off to Leknes.  Our spot is set high on a hill overlooking the town, mountains and sea.   Takes around 20 motorhomes here and at 9pm we have only 8 so should be a very quiet night.

Thursday 6th July – Nusfjord, Lofoton Islands, Norway

Weather:  Cloudy mostly.

Travelled to the southern tip of Lofoten to a little fishing village called “A”.  Never dreamed there would be a place called A but here it is, a complete fishing village at roads end.  Can’t go any further south. 

Cod drying


Dried Cod head – phew!

The village is really unique with its rust red buildings or Rorbu which are houses the fishermen lived in while fishing for months in the summer months when cod came here to spawn.  The fishing industry is the richest in Norway (though we could say given the number of tourists here now – tourism would run a clear second).

Harbour at A

The village has its own fishing museum, a cod liver oil factory, bakery (the cinnamon rolls are to die for – the aroma from the freshly baked cinnamon rolls from the bake house was like the Pied Piper luring all near and far to taste its wares) and many other buildings.   Spent a couple of hours there and is really worth a visit.

The famous A bakery

We then started back north with the view to going off the highway and explore every little road that runs off the E10.  So many beautiful little fishing villages here and the scenery never ceases to amaze us.  Truly wild, beautiful and captivating.  Just as well this is the age of digital photography as we are taking so many shots and each really does not do this country justice.

Finally our last road to explore was to Nusfjord where the fishing village here is one of the oldest in Norway.  It was so busy with coaches and people everywhere.  We couldn’t find a park so headed out of town and are staying in a wild camp a couple of kms away right on the water with mountains all round.  Might head in to visit early tomorrow when the crowds are not so huge. 

Nusfjord harbour


Nusfjord harbour front fish restaurants


Nusfjord dock and restaurants

Really can’t believe how busy it is here – can’t wait for the tourist season to finish so we don’t have to compete for everything.

Friday 7 July – Svolvaer, Lofoton Islands, Norway

Weather:  blue skies – no rain

Headed back to Nusfjord fishing village in the morning and was lucky enough to take the last space in the motorhome parking area.  Quite a bit smaller than A but just as unique.  Some great walks in every direction – mostly up hill – where the views were spectacular again.  In the village they had drying racks for the cod and the smell was indescribable.   We actually went into the souvenir shop and had to leave as they were selling the dried cod in bags and the stench filled the room where there were clothes and other items for sale.  Suggest it would take a long time for the smell to get out of the clothes.

Lots of boats in the little harbour each trying to offer fishing trips for the keen angler.  We wanted a fishing trip as an option while in Norway but it is just too cold on land so think it may be way too cold out to sea.

Still in winter clothes, seems like there have been only a couple of days in the last four months where we have been able to wear shorts and short sleeves and then only for part of the day.

Next port of call was the Vestfjorden waterfront town of Henningsvaer.  The side road off the highway was steep and windy and not much more again than one lane.  So much traffic that we would have to stop at every 20 metres or so to move into a lay by to allow the traffic past.  The scenery was well worth the drive, but any other month than July would be better.  The road is shared by cyclists and walkers as well which adds to the frustration of getting to this town.

Henningsvaer is very touristy and has great waterfront cafes and shops.  We took a walk for about an hour from the main car park right around the point where beautifully restored Norwegian homes took up places on the hillside along the waterfront. 

Had planned to stay in this car park as it was advertised in Campings as a free motorhome camp but they have placed a restriction of a six hour limit now.  Way too busy for us as we prefer quite places so headed out of town to find somewhere to sleep for the night.

Passed by quite a number of seaside villages with drying racks some still full of drying cod.  Did not want to camp near any of these.

Stayed again at Svolvaer where we had stayed on Tuesday night – really busy here too and by 8pm there was no more spots available.  Had a lovely Swedish couple camped next to us – only very young and slept in a little station wagon.  Temperatures at night are in single figures now.  Think we can remember back a long time ago to doing something similar but not in temperatures less than 10.

Saturday 8 July – Arstein, Lofoten Islands, Norway

Weather:  very cloudy with the occasional small patch of blue.

We’ve had enough of the tourists already (we do not classify ourselves as tourists but long time travellers!) so decided to get off the main highway at the first opportunity and lay low until at least tomorrow afternoon.

Overnight view from Ziggy at Arstein

Headed along the E10 until we got to Evenskjer and then peeled off on the 825.   So pleased we did as the road was super quiet and except for a small patch of a couple of kms, was excellent.    Ziggy hugged the mountain side most of the way with several smaller Fjord’s almost lapping up beside the roadway.   Tranquil waters surrounded again by mountains, some snow topped.

Found a Vinmonopolet (bottle shop for wines and spirits) in Evenskjer and after checking with the bank manager, ventured in to check out the prices.  We are down to about two nips of rum and one bottle of wine left now.  The wine has been stored ready to consume and celebrate when we reach Nordkapp (North Cape).  Beer can be purchased in all supermarkets (except on Sunday’s) but wines and spirits can only be purchased at a Vinmonopolet which is Government run and taxed at 25%.

Took out a mortgage and purchased a bottle of rum and 4 bottles of wine  – thought it would be more expensive than what is was.  Might celebrate tonight!!!

We have camped at Arstein on the Gratangsfjord with a half dozen other motorhomes – all from Norway.  A tranquil setting with no buses pulling in here tonight – hurray!!!!


06/29/2017 Trofors Norway

Thursday 29th June – Wild camp spot 37 kms south of Trofors

Blue skies – nothing but blue skies.  Not a cloud in the sky.

Travelled a long way today as there is nothing specific that we want to see.

Acre after acre, mile after mile of majestic forests with towering xmas trees on both sides of the road.  Down the mountainside to the rivers, nothing but magnificent forests bordering waterways so calm they were reflecting these trees – so beautiful and then these waterways turned into raging rapids as we go downhill.

Absolutely no toll roads or ferries to catch today so a very good day.

Truly beautiful drive ending up with a campsite beside that illusive babbling brook that was just magic.  Only one other motorhome shared this spot with us.  A spot that we have dreamed off often but never being to find it in our travels in Australia.  It was so hot (first time we had felt the heat) that we had to put the awning down and sit in the shade for the afternoon.

Recharged the batteries (ours not Ziggys) and enjoyed a peaceful afternoon wrapped up in a novel that have been too busy or tired to finish.

Friday 30th June – Polarsirkelsenteret – Artic Circle, Norway

Totally recharged and ready to enjoy the third day in a row of sunshine, we again decided to take a long drive heading towards Nord Kapp.

Roadworks everywhere today and to subsidise these, automatic tolls were in place.  We can’t understand why these tolls have to be charged to travel along roads that are not yet completed and very difficult and hard to negotiate.   Why not wait until the roads are completed and then charge for use of new roads?  We struggled for nearly 100 kms and think we went through at least three tolls until we reached our final destination for today – the rim of the Arctic circle. 

We left the valleys with raging mountain streams and rapids and forests and began again to climb back to the high mountains.

Sitting in front of the Arctic Circle centre surrounded again by snow capped mountains – “piebald” my driver said.  Exactly what they looked like with mountains of white snow patches over a dark background of green and black.

Very touristy as bus loads of tourists arrived and departed.  The Centre featured Norwegian Troll dolls at the front door and offered souvenirs for purchase and for the hungry tourist – a range of culinary delights.

We enjoyed use of wifi offered by the centre and took the opportunity for my editor to finish another blog or two to post to the web.

Very quiet once visitors left and the Centre closed for the evening at 10pm.  Around 30 motorhomes camped there for the night.

Saturday 1st July – Saltstraumen, Norway

Overcast day though reasonably warm, we headed for Bodo and Saltstraumen. 

More toll roads as we went over the Saltstraumen bridge. 

Saltstraumen is a small town around 33 kms south of Bodo.  At every high tide, the world’s largest maelstrom occurs and we wanted to be there to see it.  We camped under the bridge, where although it states a fee of NOK 200 would be charged, we were told there was no charge when we went looking for a ticket machine.  Big surprise as everywhere you go here, it costs money!

We arrived at 3.30 pm and high tide was 6.05pm – only had 2.5 hours to wait.

Sat under the bridge and waited with around 50+ other people. 

The maelstrom occurs as two waterways meet each with two tides going in opposite directions. Best time suggested is high tide.

Having spent a great deal of time on the water with boats we have owned, we found this more than a little disappointing, though to those not in the same boat, so to speak, it may have been interesting.  From our point of view, certainly not worth going to Bodo via Salstraumen unless the plan is to go over to Lofoten Islands by ferry.

Almost as good as the Tweed River

Headed back to Ziggy and had a couple of stiff Vodkas to warm up before dinner.

Sunday 2nd July – Bodo, Norway

Weather:  Totally miserable outside with very little chance of changing, though the long range weather forecast suggested it would fine up by Thursday.

We had intended to take the ferry to Lofoten Islands so decided to give it another day to clear up so headed for Bodo about 33 kms away.  Dropped into the Tourist Centre in town and picked up some brochures about “must dos”  in North Western Norway and then to find somewhere to camp for the night (so to speak) and read all about it.

Today, we went through at least four new toll roads that the sat nav did not pick up – ouch!!!  Each time the minimum cost for us as we are over 3.5 ton is around $8 a time and I MEAN MINIMUM cost.

Headed up the hill to a place suggested by one of the blog sites we follow and after one more toll !! found the spot which had absolutely magnificent views across Vestfjordan on one side and the township of Bodo on the other.  This was the starting point for a hike to Keiserstein – the Emperors Pass.  There were two plateaus with the Lower being very busy as it was the starting point of some great hikes and the upper (where we camped) much quieter but better views.

We were joined by three other motorhomes during the afternoon and evening.

Around 11pm, there were patches of sun over the mountains way over in the distance, so took the opportunity to take a couple of photos and went to bed ever hopeful that tomorrow would be OK to travel on the ferry to Lofoten.

Coordinates for this site are 67.30118. 14.44281.

Monday 3rd July – Ulvsvag, Norway

Weather: worse than yesterday (if possible).

Put on the gum boots and parted the webbed feet and made an executive decision to bypass the ferry here and move further north until the weather cleared.  Forecast now says rain until Thursday so will take the long way round by road to Lofoten which should take a couple of days (no ferry a saving of over $300-$400).

Another four tolls at least today – becoming a little tired of all the toll roads in Norway- there is absolutely no way around them unless you travel hundreds of miles to get around them.  The government here really makes travellers pay a high price but the scenery is so unbelievably special – pay the price or don’t come, we think is the attitude.

Travelled again through high mountains with snow and rivers and forests – just so beautiful but the rain slowed us down a bit so stopped around 2pm for a well deserved rest.

Have seen the Xmas trees in the forests, the snow on the mountains – all that is left is to see Santa Claus at the North Pole with his turbo jetted reindeers.  Have not sighted Rudolph and his friends as yet but have been told we will closer to Nord Kapp.

No where special tonight – just outside this little town in a quiet wild camp spot with at last count at 9pm – 6 other motorhomes.

06/26/2017 Bud Norway

Monday 26th June – Bud, Norway

Heard the rain through the night so decided to have a lay in this morning.  Very bleak outside, but the weather forecast said it was going to be otherwise. So ever hopeful for a change, we trundled off after a late breakfast and shower.

Not a lot on the agenda today, so slowly headed towards Bud on the West coast which is the beginning of the famous Atlantic Road.

Today, the weather continually changed from rain to a bright sunny day and then back to rain – a never changing story.  The weather just did not know what it wanted to do.

Roads were excellent so a very peaceful and non stressful day was appreciated by my driver.  Still lots of tunnels, bridges and of course a short ferry ride.   Most of the road tolls in this part of Norway have been lifted but not ferries and at each ride another $30 to $40 is taken from the credit card.  They are the best option by far and we do not begrudge using this service as it saves so much time and fuel if you try to avoid them. 

Bud is a quaint little fishing village and our spot on the marina is just delightful.  We look across at weathered waterfront homes, fishing co ops, restaurants and of course all sorts of fishing boats.  Seagulls swooping happily and many have made nests in the old waterfront sheds. 

Our overnight view in Bud

Visited the Bud Museum (Romsdalmuseet) and Ergan Coastal Fort.  Many of the bunkers constructed by the Germans in this mountain during WWII are still there overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.  They were built between 1941 and 1945.  Didn’t get into the museum itself as it closed at 5pm after we arrived.    We strolled about the hill and saw the many bunkers and underground tunnels built into the mountain.  

One of the bunkers at the Fort/Museum

We are sitting here and it is nearly 11pm and the sun is still shining.  Really hard to get used to.  Will bring down the blackout shutters soon.  It is really hard to get to sleep when it is still daylight.

A quaint little fisherman’s café near our overnight spot

Love this little town, love this country, it really is so beautiful.

Tuesday 27th June – Vinjeora, Norway

Yep – guessed it, another mixed weather day.  Tractor started its engines at 7.30 am right next to us and woke up all the motorhomes parked at the marina.  Guess it was going to be an early start today.

Did a big trip today starting with the Atlantic Road.  Scenery is very different to the Fjord’s we have been seeing.   The Atlantic Road begins at Bud and finishes at Kristiansund.  It  goes over eight bridges and connects several islands. 

An unusual bridge linking the islands on the Atlantic Road

A parking bay at one of the largest bridges allows for photos to be taken towards the ocean on one side and on the other side, the beautiful mountains and Fjord’s we had been experiencing over the last couple of weeks – a rainbow popped up while we were there.  Needless to say, it was overcast.

Just before Kristiansund we hit a toll tunnel 195NOK later and not long after a ferry from Kanestraum to Halsa set us back another 295NOK.  total for the day around $80.  Quite an expensive day so far.

Had lunch on the Halsa side and watched the ferries (all three of them running simultaneously) take vehicles back and forth.  Believe this ferry service stops at midnight. 

Too early to stop for the night and as it was raining, decided to getter a little closer to Trondheim today. 

Found this magic spot at a little village called Vinjeora right next to a restaurant that was closed for refurbishment – beautiful gardens and once again a magic view down Vinjefjorden.

Our overnight view at Vinjeora

There have been so many fantastic wild camping spots along the way.

Wednesday 28th June – Steinkjer, Norway

Hat on, sunnies on, sunscreen on and away we go.  Beautiful blue sky with no sign of the “R” word so won’t mention it by name.

We have left the snow capped mountains behind and are now down at sea level and heading a little east.  The roads are great now but after going through Trondheim, we hit a toll road and counted at least three tolls on the same highway E6.  Could have been more that we didn’t see as they are all automatic.   Last count was NOK170 but probably more.

The countryside takes on a new look with lush green fields for grazing and farmland.  Massive hay bales are dressed in white plastic and scattered over every field.  They look like giant sized shiny white marshmellows.  From a long way away they look like sheep grazing in green paddocks.

Didn’t stop in Trondheim as big towns mostly do not interest us.  Roadworks happening everywhere which gave our sat nav a few headaches.  Decided as it was such a glorious day, we would travel further today as we are keen to get to our final destination at Nord Kapp. 

Travelled mostly around countryside that reminded us of Tasmania – mountains, green pastures and magnificent waterways.  Only difference being the rust red painted cottages with A line roofs and attics that dominated the landscape.  Think at least 80% of cottages in the country are either rust red or white.  Looks fabulous against the green backdrop.

We are camped at Paradisbukta, Steinkjer which is right on the beach.  A very popular spot for the locals who flocked to the beach all through the afternoon and until late.  Can’t believe the locals are in summer gear and swimmers and are actually swimming. 

Our overnight view at Steinkjer

It was 13 degrees this morning and we are in long sleeves and jumpers even though it is a beautiful sunny day.

06/23/2017 Oldedalen Norway

Friday 23rd June – Oldedalen, Norway

Same same and no different – drizzle drizzle and more drizzle.  Still amazing scenery though most of the time, heavy cloud, mist and rain hampered any opportunity to take photos.   Stunning in bad conditions, we can only imagine how beautiful if we were lucky enough to snag a sunny day.

Passing through Ulvik and around to Olden, there was a lookout roadside (very rare to find) where the scenery was more than spectacular.

We drove to Briksdal Glacier from Olden but had absolutely no view of the glacier on arrival.  Time to chill out and find somewhere with some internet and wait out the rain (if possible).

Our campsite Gryta sits on the Oldevatnet and boasts a rating of 9 out of 10 on Campings.  We are 5 metres from an icy green waterway with views of snow topped mountains, waterfalls and of course Briksdal Glacier (somewhere under the cloud cover).  Sat in our 10 star Ziggy bus and watched for the first opportunity to take a photo.

Our overnight view towards Briksdal Glacier at Oldedalen

Internet is excellent here so my producer was able to download photos and catch up on editing and finalising another blog ready to post.

There are so many amazing things to do and see north of here so took the time to research and help with info for my driver for the next leg of our journey.

We have only seen one other motorhome with British number plates since we landed in France over 3 months ago???.

Saturday 24th June – Stryn, Norway

Woke up to a patch (only a small one) of blue sky over Briksdal Glacier so rushed out to take some shots.  Just as well as less than 30 minutes later the dark clouds began to cover the mountain again. 

Weather forecast said overcast only so took a chance and drove the fifteen minute trip up the mountain to view the glacier.

Once parked (50 NOK fee) we headed up the mountain – 3kms uphill pretty much all the way – or you could take the easy way out and catch a troll car for a sum of money.  Excellent track up and so many people opted to take the walk which was great to see.  We certainly needed the exercise as the rain had slowed down our exercise routine for quite a few days.  Certainly not many bike riding opportunities here.

We passed by some stunning waterfalls only a few metres away and with a small breeze blowing, we could not escape getting a little wet from the spray.  Saw a small patch of blue sky occasionally so continued up hoping so much that the rain would stay away.

On our hike up to Briksdal Glacier

At every corner the view was getting better and we snapped happily just in case the weather changed.  45 minutes later we were standing in awe right at the bottom of the glacier.  The beautiful pale blue of the ice was astonishing.  The lake of melted ice at the tongue of the glacier being the same colour.   We stood there for a while hoping for some blue sky but didn’t happen so headed back down.

Briksdal Glacier

So happy we made the effort – it was so worth it.

Stopped at Kiwi supermarket for some meat and fruit and veg – $200 later and not a lot to show for it!! 

We found a great wild camp spot on the fjord just a few kms past Stryn.    Decided not to continue any further today as the weather forecast for tomorrow looked very promising.  The plan was to get up really early and beat the tourists to the wonderful places we had planned to see tomorrow.

Our overnight view near Stryn

Sunday 25th June – Isfjorden, Norway

Sunshine – yeah!!!!!!

Headed off at 7am without any breakfast (first time we have done that).  Wanted to get going and worry about food later.  We have so much to see today.

It is so amazing how good we felt to see some sunshine for a change – scenery takes on such a fresh look and feel about it.

Our first stop was at Geiranger Skywalk at Mt. Dalsnibba.  One of the most talked about scenic tourist destinations in Norway. And Europe’s highest fjord view from a road.  The toll road Nibbevegen (130 NOK) takes a sharp turn off highway 63 and soon we were climbing steeply.

On the road to Mt Dalsnibba

Lost count at the number of hairpin bends Ziggy negotiated and am sure she was happy to take a rest at the top.  The road up took us past snow a couple of feet deep on the roadside and past a frozen lake.  It is the highest viewing spot in Norway.  Snow capped mountains for as far as you could see and views down to Geirangerfjorden where we could see ships travelling on the waterways.  A truly beautiful place and we had sunshine!

Frozen lake on the road to Mt Dalsnibba
View from Mt Dalsnibba

Next we stopped at Flydalsjuvet (juvet translated is canyon).  There are two viewing levels joined by a gangway.  This is one of the most popular photography points in Norway.  The view is of the beautiful tourist town of Geiranger way down in the valley nestled between mountains and fronting Geirangerfjorden.  We can see a massive cruise ship in the harbour. 

Cruise ship right at end of Fjord

My driver took time out and sat in the captains chair overlooking this amazing view.

The Driver’s chair

Next we arrived in Geiranger and watched ferries taking passengers off the cruise ship to shore and transporting them to the dozen or so coaches waiting for them – no doubt their destination would be Geiranger Skywalk.

We were now on the famous Trollstigen Mountain Road which led us to us to viewpoints including Geiranger Panorama. 

Buses, mobile homes, cars, motor bikes took up every spot in the massive car park – tourists were everywhere.   A pathway led tourists through shops and then up to the viewing platforms one being at the top of a magnificent waterfall. 

Trollstigen Visitor Centre

The view down the valley showed the famous Trollstigen Pass Road claimed on the Internet as being one of the worlds most dangerous roads.  Mostly one lane, the numerous hairpin bends and steep roads are navigated by buses, motor homes and cars by the thousands daily.  From here we watched huge buses navigate corners with little room to spare for themselves let alone another vehicle.  Very scary to watch.

Some of the bends on the Trollstigen Pass Road

We then ventured down this road ourselves – heart in hand.  My skilful driver and Ziggy took us to the bottom where I had a big sigh of relief.


Gudbrandsjuvet – Valldal

What a truly wonderful two days we have been fortunate enough to experience.

Now settled in at our camp spot at Isfjorden (once again right on the Fjord) we look forward to hopefully a few more days of sunshine.











06/21/2017 Flam Norway

Wednesday 21st June – Flam, Norway

Weather was clearing though overcast.   Great highways today with wide roads for a change.  The tunnels we went through were amazing – one of them over 11kms – followed immediately by another over 5 kms long.   Scenery again was spectacular as we travelled through lush green valleys with rapids and waterfalls bordering the road most of the way.

We had set the alarm to get up early as we were heading for Flam and hoped to take the Flam train on a magic trip through the fiords.  We had short bursts of sunlight so everything looked promising.

Flam is a major tourist town and when we arrived, a cruise ship was in port and at least 15 buses were in the car park.  Another destination which not only offers the best and most scenic train ride but also boat trips around Norways longest Fjord Aurlandsfjorden.

Cruise ship in town & local pub with a half pint of beer for $16

Headed to the centre around 10.00 am and the tourist office to book the train trip but was told we couldn’t get on a return trip today – surprise, surprise.   Decided to stay here until tomorrow so have booked the return train trip for tomorrow morning at 9.45 am which will bring us back here at lunchtime.

Waiting to board the Flam train at $90/head

We are staying in town at the tourist park and have a spot on the top level overlooking the cruise terminal, Sognefjord and snow capped mountains all round.  Most expensive place we have stayed at so far costing around $40, electricity and showers extra.

Took advantage of this and spent the rest of the day doing some much needed laundry (only $20 for two loads) Internet and of course mingling with the cruise and train tourists in town.  There were literally hundreds of people everywhere spending up big.  With beers at $16 a pop in the local tourist pub, we opted to come back to the park and enjoy one of the very few remaining Polish beers at $0.70 a pop (while stocks last).

This park has around 100 spots and we were entertained watching people come in, set up tents, and settle in for the night.

Thursday 22nd June – Fjaerland, Norway

Rained slightly through the night and was overcast and drizzling when the alarm went off at 7.00am.

Had invested $90 each for the Flam train ride and we were feeling a little unhappy at weather conditions this morning.  We looked down to see so many tents being packed up in the rain and thought how lucky we were to be dry and warm.  This area attracts so many hikers and bikers who bring everything with them in backpacks and in saddlebags on their bikes.  Doesn’t seem that long ago when we were in the same boat but on reflection was a hundred years ago (when we were young).

Had purchased a couple of new jackets yesterday so after breakfast decided to test these out and ventured down to the train station. Another big cruise ship had replaced the one from yesterday so we knew we would be competing with the shipload for the best seats on the train.

Managed to get my camera shy navigator in front of the lens at a waterfall on the train ride

The mountains were again topped with cotton wool and the snow capped mountains around us blended in with the fog and mist and there was no definitive line between Earth and sky.   As the train departed, the rain stopped for a while and we were treated to some stunning scenery with waterfalls truly hard to describe.  The train was packed with Asians who were busily scurrying from one window to the next to get the best “selfie” photo at every opportunity.

Flam Valley from the train

Only one hour to the top at Laerdal and after a short interlude came back down the same way.  We agree that though very short, the trip was unbelievable.

Returned around noon and quickly packed down and set off for the day.

Roads were the best yet and as the drizzle had slowed down considerably we made good time.  We passed through Laerdalstunnelen, the longest tunnel in the world – a staggering 24.5 kms and at each 6km mark the tunnel is widened and the rock chambers are fitted with magnificent coloured lighting.  Just stunning to say the least.

Have fallen in love with this beautiful country (except for some of the roads and that it is so expensive).

We have “wild camped” tonight and sit at the bottom of the Boyabreen Glacier in Fjaerland, in the Jostedalsbreen National Park.

We have met some really lovely people here – mostly Dutch who seem to be travelling in Norway more than any other nationality.  We are in a place just before the national park information centre.  This would normally fit only 5 motorhomes in but at last count there are around 10 with more driving by continuously trying to find a place for the night. 


06/15/2017 Evadalen Norway

Thursday 15th June – Evadalen, Norway

Travelling again was really enjoyable as we travelled through a spectacular country side.  So beautiful at every corner.  We selected a great camp spot for the night and arrived there just before lunch.  .

Honnevje Rastplass was located beside a river with mountains all round.   Great facilities were provided all overlooking the sparkling water and the little walking bridge across to the other side.  Some brave folk swam in the water but didn’t stay in long.

The mountains here are sheer rock with little or no vegetation.  We are not far away from the ski fields now, so the countryside is beginning to reflect that.  The township of Valle was a short 2 km walk – all downhill.   After lunch, we took our backpacks and computers and walked down the hill and sat at a wifi hot spot for an hour or so and sent our parking ticket complaint to Son Kommune, did some research and then ventured back up the hill.

Typical buildings in this area – Valle – vegetation on the roof
Our lunch time spot in Ziggy

Rewarded ourselves with a drink (it was after all nearly 5pm).  Strangely all the motorhomes began leaving – we wondered why.   We checked our trusty campsite app and began translating some of the comments from past campers and found out that this site was changed not long ago to a rest place with no overnight parking permitted.  Didn’t want another fine, nor did we want to travel having consumed alcohol so set about trying to find somewhere close by to stay.

Only a few Klms away we found a grassy spot by a bridge and a babbling (or raging brook) just off the road and at the turnoff to Evadarlen – this will do nicely we thought – so toasted the find and relaxed for the evening.

It poured all night, but loved the sound on the roof.

Friday 16th June – Bryne, Norway

An amazing travel day today.  We climbed and climbed forever along some narrow windy roads that were barely wide enough for Ziggy – let alone other cars.  Had our heart in our hands worrying about cars coming from the other direction.  There were regular turnouts to allow for passing but there were times when we saw trucks reversing to a turnout to allow buses through – and then there were the blind corners.

We were lucky enough to travel directly behind a tourist bus so he led the way and we followed very closely behind.  Took a lot of pressure of us.

Safest way to travel – tuck in behind a bus or truck – that is a major road – just wide enough for 1 car

The scenery was more than spectacular as we passed by our first lot of snow roadside with still lots of snow on the mountains above us.   More mountains and valleys and lakes formed by the melting snow were at every corner.  Took heaps of photos but hard to find any that would do this scenery justice. Sadly another mixed day of rain, overcast and the occasional 10 minutes or so when the sun came out.

Dog tired after a gruelling 100 Klms plus of these sort of roads, we were more than happy to stop for the day and perched at Abobil in Bryne.  No view, but a safe, quiet night amongst a fleet of mobile homes.

Took the time to look at a range of mobile homes that are not available in Australia.  Very few of these cater for two people only and have so little dining and relaxing space.  Ziggy is so spacious and comfortable.

Saturday 17th June –     Lysefjord, Forsand, Norway

The town of Bryne is quite large but just another town much like anywhere else.  We left mid morning after filling up with water – compliments of Abobil, a motorhome dealership in Bryne.  They were absolutely wonderful and helpful and nothing was too much trouble – even provided electricity and grey and black water facilities. 

Plan today was to find Pulpit Rock – one of the major most visited spots in Norway.  Struck an unbelievable amount of roadworks along the way.  We started out looking for LPG gas before heading to these reasonably isolated places but drew a blank a few times which really ate into our day.  First stop, the gas pump did not work and was so antiquated that no one knew how to fix it.  Then in another town, there was a market next door and cars were parked in front of gas outlet. 

In frustration we abandoned the topping up of gas plan and headed toward Pulpit Rock.

Our 2 x 11 kg tanks of Autogas provides around 44 litres, which in the warmer weather should last us around 44 days, however when the weather is colder the time is considerably reduced as we run our gas heater on those days, plus it takes longer to heat up the water for showering.

Norway doesn’t use Autogas for cars anymore and therefore the number of stations stocking the product are getting harder and harder to find so we need to plan ahead to avoid outages.

From what we can find out there is no Autogas inFinland at all so we will need to fill right up before crossing from Norway into Finland, after visiting Nordkapp, of course (one of the areas at the top of our bucket list).

The trip again was slow with narrow winding roads, so took a long time to do a short distance.

We boarded a ferry for a short trip across Lysefjord to Forsand (around $36 AUD) for a five minute trip. A short ferry ride of around 5-10 minutes costs around 77NOK if your vehicle is under 6 metres long, however if it is 6.0 – 7 metres the price increases to around 197 NOK. This price includes the driver and there is a further fee of 33 NOK for each additional passenger – so our trip was 230NOK. If you are over 7 metres then the price increases again.

Overnight view from Ziggy at Forsand

About 500m from the ferry is where we are parked for the night.  The site allows for 5 motor homes only and we happily took spot 3.  Spots 4 & 5 were taken within 10 minutes of us arriving – lucky us – we needed something good to happen today.

Parking Oanes:  Our site for the night again is “to die for”.  Beautiful grassed area leading to the Fjord’s edge with views to homes on the other side which are scattered over the hills and behind them, mountains as far as you can see.

Relaxing with a book was the plan for this evening as we believe we have a challenging 4 hour return walk to Pulpit Rock.  Lots of rocks to climb over and a very steep climb.   We hope we do not have rain or high winds tomorrow otherwise will have to abandon this plan.

Sunday 18th June – Sand, Norway

Happy Birthday little brother – will be thinking of you today.

Woke up to thick fog and drizzle – ugh!    Decided to stay put until lunchtime at the latest to see if it would clear.  We don’t seem to be having much luck with the weather.

Our Dutch neighbours said that the weather would clear by 2pm.  Nope!!!   Still more drizzle so off we went in disgust – Pulpit Rock will never see the soles of our shoes or the terrified look on my best friend’s face.  He has a fear of heights and was been very apprehensive all last night about the climb today.

We set off in Ziggy and passed through a tunnel 4.8 kms long – and through many more after that.  The roads were a little better today and the scenery again was picture perfect (even though wet and overcast).  We will put in a serious request to the Man upstairs requesting some sunshine soon. 

Waterfalls were cascading down steep rock faces into the Fjord’s.  Mountains on both sides of the Fjord’s wore tufts of cotton wool perched high on the mountain tops.  Ferries busily darted back and forth across the Fjord’s to various islands.

Our journey today is to the little village of Sand, another one of the top places to see in Norway.  We needed to take another ferry across a Fjord and another $36+ dollars was added to the credit card.  Ferries are a necessity here in the land of Fjord’s.

Overnight view from Ziggy in Sand

Arrived around 5pm and Lady Luck was on our side as we took the last waterfront spot on the marina.  Front row tickets again!!!

Our next door German neighbour had wiped out the driver side of his $200k-$250k motorhome on an other vehicle on the narrow roads.

All the houses on the road level and waterfront were white planked timber with red roofs.  Almost as if a caveat was placed on building design.

Sand is a town on the junction of Nedstrandfjorden and Hylsfjorden.  This creates a natural maelstrom for salmon though we didn’t even sight the ones John West rejected.  Other travellers have been fortunate enough to watch this spectacle and even catch a salmon or two.  Believe they visited in September.

We took our umbrellas and did a quick walk around town – being Sunday, very little was open.

Monday & Tuesday 19th-20th June – Voss, Norway

Today was a brighter day with the occasional blue peeping through heavy dark clouds – though not for long.

We set off in Ziggy and saw sheep grazing in the green pastures and we even saw some sheep rock hopping through the mountain streams.

Again we were at levels where snow was still about higher up and the melting snow created some absolutely thunderous waterfalls right beside the highway (death defying road).   The spray from the waterfalls drenching some tourists who ventured too close.  We took advantage of one of the very few places provided in Norway where you could actually stop and take a photo.  The scenery is so beautiful here but the only way we could capture it was through Ziggys windscreen which most times was wet.  Some of our shots feature rain drops 🙂

Many of the roads are cut in to the sides of the mountains and therefore there is solid rock on one side and a drop to the water on the other. There aren’t many roads in Norway and therefore they always carry a lot of traffic – roads that are supposed to be “major roads” are in fact single lane roads – I don’t mean 1 lane in each direction, I mean 1 lane in total – so you need to be stopping all the time to move in to a turn out or reverse up in to the last turnout you passed so as the vehicle coming in the other direction can get passed you.

That is not so bad but when you come to blind corners it certainly gets the drivers attention as these roads carry some of the biggest trucks and semi-trailers I have ever seen because of all the road works under way.

The trip from Voss to Bergen is around 100klms and we must have spent nearly half that time in tunnels – some tunnels are good as they are wide and well lit, others are narrower but well lit some are not lit at all and you don’t realise that until you are in the tunnel – really scarey.

Coming out of an unlit tunnel

When in a tunnel of any length satellite navigation is usually lost and some tunnels have round-abouts in them with 3 or 4 exits whilst still in the tunnel so you only get caught once not knowing which way to go as after that you check out the planned exit prior to entering the tunnel.

Throw in driving in pouring rain and it all makes for a very exhausted driver at the end of the day – not much better for the navigator as she is either looking at a rock wall whizzing past 1 foot away on 1 side or a drop to the water on the other.

We said very little for the hundred or so kms we travelled today both of us feeling the pressure of what was around every corner.

I remember back when our kids were small and we set off on a Sunday afternoon to have a picnic by a babbling brook.  The elusive babbling brook was rarely found.  Here, around every corner there is the best spot you could ever find – only you can’t stop to enjoy it – the roads are so narrow and cut into such steep mountains that unfortunately there is nowhere to pull over to enjoy the scenery.

For the first time in our travels we came across an accident.  We came around one of those blind corners and found a Dutch motorhome off the bitumen with a front and back wheel in a ditch and leaning towards the mountain – no chance of getting back on the road without being towed out – fortunately no one was injured.  They had met a truck coming the other way and moved over too far to let it through and slipped off the edge – the truck kept going.  We offered assistance but they said that the towing service had already been phoned – we passed the tow truck a little further down the mountain.

We navigated through a section where major roadworks was taking place for around 10kms.  One lane only at a time could get through.

We took time out and stopped for lunch in the car park at the ski resort of Roldal.  Not sure if we had much appetite after seeing the accident but the scenery looking across the snow capped mountains was spectacular. The accident made us realise how easily these things can happen.

Lunch time at Roldal

We passed several motorhomes travelling in the opposite direction that had had their driver side mirrors wiped out – it is a common occurrence.

Didn’t have much luck with our camp spot selected at Granvin as it too was a construction zone so travelled another 25kms to Voss to a little off road cafe which provides spots for motorhomes.  We are right on the fjord again again with views to the snow capped mountains.  Our campsite is Torvhuset/Kavli a few kms out of town.

Overnight view from Ziggy

The end of one of the most stressful driving days we had so far and really happy to sit back and enjoy the rest of the day.

It rained through the night but we were surprised to see a total blue sky above in the morning.  Didn’t last long as within 15 minutes the black clouds came over. And down came the rain. 

We sat and read our emails and found out from some Aussie travellers who are in Norway and a couple of days behind us, that they have been waiting three days for the weather to change at Pulpit Rock.  So glad we didn’t wait for the weather to change.

We headed off to Bergen today to do some sightseeing.  We travelled all the way through constant rain but the motorway was excellent (left yesterday’s roads behind, thank goodness).  About 80% of the time we travelled through tunnels through the mountains (many in excess of 4kms long).   Most were well lit and wide enough but then we came across some really frightening ones with very little and in some cases, no light at all.   Very scary.

We arrived in Bergen around lunchtime and after scoring a park big enough for Ziggy, we filled up the parking meter with all the spare NOK we had and headed for Vetrelidsallmennyngen and Mt Floyen.  It had stopped raining just before we arrived so we were hopeful of getting a couple hours of sightseeing in before Mother Nature decided to open up the heavens again.

Iconic waterfront buildings in Bergen

Hard to describe, but this area is where the majority of boats leave and take tourists on every conceivable boat trip around the Fjord’s that you could desire.  The harbour was full of massive cruise ships and judging by the number of tourists there, they were all in port eating and drinking and gobbling up all the trinkets you could want as souvenirs- including the Troll.

Set around a massive harbour and surrounded by hills, houses and apartments (true Norwegian style buildings) dotted the landscape for as far as you could see.  The town centre was pretty much one big mall with statues, fountains and interesting buildings.  Sadly, construction everywhere trying to renovate a town that is getting a bit tired. 

Sadly many of the really old towns in Europe are just completely worn out

Only the main streets on the harbour were beautiful – go back one or two streets, it was a very different story.

We were so lucky that for the time we were in town, it did not rain, however as soon as we got back to Ziggy (and happy there was no infringement notice on the windscreen) it bucketted down again and continued until we got back to Voss.



06/12/2017 Son Norway

Monday 12th June- Son, Norway

Woke up early and checked for webbed feet  – not yet but if the wet conditions last too much longer, nothing would surprise us.

Filled up with fuel and then headed for the Norwegian border.  We were a bit apprehensive about whether our extra alcohol stock would be confiscated.  We were pleasantly surprised to see no barriers and no customs check in point at all – was just like driving down the highway so Ziggy smiled, my best friend smiled and I smiled as we headed for new adventures in a new country with a new language, customs, currency, road rules etc.

We are so taking for granted how lush and green and how beautiful the countryside is.  Everywhere we have been is just amazing.  All the spring wild flowers in purples, pink and white are all along the banks of the highway.

We passed over many high bridges and looked down to rivers dotted with stately country homes.  Can only imagine these homes are owned by the wealthy as they ramble on and on with stables and beautiful chestnut horses roaming in the paddocks.

We left the highway for Son which is a small town halfway between the border and Oslo and stopped in a car park high above the town overlooking once again some magnificent waterways.    This carpark provided 24 hour free parking.  We saw one of the cruise boats we had seen leaving the harbour in Stromstad – now heading back to Sweden.

Our overnight view from Ziggy

The sun came out for the first time in weeks- don’t think we saw the sun in Sweden at all.   Time to soak up the sunshine during lunch and then take a long walk to town for supplies and some Norwegian kroner (NOK) and then around the beautiful harbour front.

Only 10 minutes walk down the hill into Son.  A very narrow street ( no way Ziggy could fit).  Centred around a marina, only a few shops, a museum, a Kiwi supermarket a mini bank and restaurants and some houses high on the hill around a really pretty little town.

Son Marina

Discovered so much on the walk.  Thought this town was small but there are so many unbelievable houses tucked away up on the hills taking advantage of the magnificent view.  We also passed through some exquisite spa resorts on the waters edge.  Felt a bit like a “grotty Yachty” amongst these people who obviously are paying premium Norwegian prices for this luxury.  Security didn’t chase us away so we enjoyed our little time with the rich and famous before heading back to our own little nest on wheels.

One of the many trendy little houses

On returning to Ziggy we were amazed to see a Europark parking infringement ($100AUD) notice on the windscreen.  We checked the parking notice at the entrance to the carpark and translated it again using Google translate and took a photo of it as well.  There was nothing on the notice to indicate what we had done wrong.  We phoned the number for Europark on the infringement notice and was told we had to phone between 10am and 2pm the next day to lodge a complaint.  Not very helpful at all – she told us that we could stay there as there would be no further fines for the next 24 hours.    She gave us no reason for the ticket.

A little more than annoyed at the situation because earlier while we were having lunch , a Europark car had driven into the carpark and out again and didn’t bother to speak to us or indicate there might be a problem – not very tourist friendly at all.

We settled down and tried to enjoy a fabulous wine and delightful chicken curry. 

Went to bed at midnight but not before pulling the shades and to shut out the daylight.  Woke up at 2.30am and it was still daylight so expect that we have reached the end of dark nights and heading towards 24 hour daylight.

Tuesday  13th June – Kongsberg – Norway

Drafted an email objecting to the infringement notice to send to the local town Kommune  (community office) ready to send when we were next in a wifi area and hope they can help us with some answers.  The signage there was not adequate with information, particularly for foreign travellers and the Europark driver should at least have explained any issue to us earlier when he was in the carpark.

Headed for Oslo this morning with the intention of staying for a couple of days.   We passed through some major toll roads on the way to Oslo.  We were armed with a credit card but discovered these were automatic toll roads which means you can’t stop at a booth and pay,.  Not sure how we are going to pay but as soon as we get some internet we will find out – seems like they send invoices for the tolls to our email address???.

We headed to the marina which seemed to be the closest to the centre of Oslo.  We again passed through some toll roads but not really sure how many.   Can’t ever remember seeing so many boats at a marina and such a huge place.  Literally hundreds of boats, probably a couple of thousand, and when we got to the motorhome section, there would have been over 250-300 spaces for motorhomes.  At $50 a night, someone is making a lot of money.

We had tried to connect to the Internet at the marina (included in the $50 fee) only to find it didn’t work most of the time.  Went to see the harbour master about how to organise payment and to get some info on how to get to town and the Internet.   He didn’t have any info, said we needed at least two buses to get there and went into great detail on how unsafe it was in central Oslo and to be very careful particularly with pick pockets (those nasty people from the East)

Long story short, we decided to give Oslo Marina a miss and headed out of the marina.

Profile of the Holmenkommen  Jump

We headed up the hill in Oslo to the ski jump at Holmenkommen.  Spent quite some time there.  Spectacular views of Oslo was a bonus.   Tourist buses and a full carpark showed how popular this spot is.   Completed in 2010, this is the first ski jump made out of steel and has inbuilt wind protection – it is a very impressive structure.  You can also experience the ski jump through a simulator and for the more adventurous, you can take a ride down a zip line from the top.  (Didn’t take this option).

Jump from front on
Near the landing area
Looking down at landing area and spectator bowl

After lunch at the top, we headed out of Oslo and travelled west to where we really want to be – the Norwegian fiords and wilderness.

Arrived in Kongsberg late afternoon and parked beside the River Numedalslagen which has 3 waterfalls in the town itself. We stayed at the Skiing and Mining Museum, in the centre of town. The river splits this town in half and forms into rapids right at the bridge in town and beside this museum.  Quite a spectacle and a mighty roar.

Our overnight view from Ziggy

It was 4pm and the museum was still open until 5pm.  We asked permission to stay the night and then spent an hour looking through this amazing old building showcasing the history of mining in the area and also the history of ski equipment from its beginning. 

Wednesday 14th June –  Kviteseid, Norway

Left mid morning after a very quiet and restful night.  We were able to connect into the museum wifi as guests so took advantage of this to catch up on emails and research.

Headed towards the Telemarkenkanalen (the fairytale waterway) to see some of the lock systems in action.   First stop was at the beautiful little town of Ulefoss which offered a magic picnic spot on the waterway.  We have not found many spots that provide a park and picnic area so took advantage of this and sat in the sunshine admiring the view.  Today was one of the warmest we have had so far so through experience now, you have to stop and enjoy it while you can because there is a 90% chance you won’t see it tomorrow.

We passed over some of the prettiest countryside seen so far with waterways, bridges, mountains and forests everywhere.  Just as we imagined it would be and the words “the fairytale waterway” is a perfect description of it.

Next we went to Vrangfoss locks and parks, the largest and most impressive flight of locks on the canal.  The five lock chambers raise or lower boats over a height differential of 23 metres.   We were lucky enough to arrive as one of the waterway tourist boats was lowered down the five stepped locks. 

Very manual system – girls opening a lock

Very manual system where two young ladies (one on each side of the lock) used ratchets to open and close the large wooden gates allowing water in and out of the lock one level at a time.  Then ran down to the next level to begin again and then finally once the boat was out of the lock, rushed to their car and drove down to the next lock further down the line.  Very fit young ladies.

And so the boat proceeds from one lock to the next

Time to bed down for the day (no such thing to bed down for the night as there is no night).  

Our Campsite is Garverigeden.  Right on the waterway at the little township of Kviteseid.  Was just like looking into a mirror, the waterway reflected the hills and quaint Norwegian houses and the ducks and swans swam happily by us.  The mirror only disturbed by the little ripples of the small sea creatures moving about below.  We have two other mobile homes here.  This camp can take up to 10 mobile homes and we are surprised there are only two others camped here with us in such a beautiful place.

Our afternoon view
Our late night view

It has been difficult to find these places as so many towns have now excluded motorhomes from parking on the waterfronts.  There are many privately owned camp areas that charge exorbitant fees and are grotty and run down so expect these have put pressure on the local Kommunes to prevent free parking.

Sat outside in our chairs and enjoyed the tranquility (and a drink) until late in the evening.  This place is designated as a free camp ground so there is no problem with taking chairs and tables outside.