The picturesque port of Geiranger, Norway!
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Geiranger, Norway!

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Exploring southwestern Norway until July 26th.

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Very frustrating!

We posted our May expense report yesterday evening. You can read it here if you missed it.

It was only a 35 km (22 mile) drive to the port town of Hirtshals at the northern tip of Denmark. We had a few things to do there, so we arrived fairly early.

The first thing was to pick up an AutoPASS toll transponder for Norway. 

The Norway toll highways can be a fairly easy system. In fact, you don't need to have a transponder at all... you could simply drive through all of the tolls and a bill for each one will arrive at your registered address related to your licence plate from anywhere in Europe.

But it can also be a fairly complicated system. In order to receive a 10% to 20% discount you need to obtain a toll tag (transponder) and have it registered with any of four different service providers. Then, also register your tag with another site that monitors your ferry usage. This can give you a 50% discount on ferries, so it's definitely worthwhile to have a toll tag. There are a lot of ferries in Norway, and it's almost guaranteed that you will use them.

I had read that you have to order the tag in advance and have it delivered to any address around the world. But of course we were traveling and it was going to be difficult to do that. So I looked at other options. I found an option listed right on the autoPASS website... I could pick one up at the cargo terminal here in Hirtshals. 

And so we did that. It was actually no problem to pick up the tag, and it was totally free. 

Motorhomes ready to get on yesterday's ferry.

There are A LOT of motorhomes here in the small port town of Hirtshals. We think that Norway is going to be fairly busy with motorhomes! The ferry to Kristiansand leaves twice a day, and there are other ferries to other parts of Norway. It will be interesting to see just how busy it is over there after two years of people not being able to go.

A model of the ferry we will be taking.

We went and filled Max's fuel tank... at 14.99 korona per liter. That's about $2.75 CAD per liter. Or $8.16 USD per gallon. Certainly the most we have ever paid for fuel. And that's for diesel... gasoline is even more expensive.

But we filled up here because it's cheaper here than in Norway!

Then we went and stocked up on a few grocery items. It was difficult to know what to get without knowing for sure what prices are like in Norway, although we expect most things to be higher. 

Then we went to the library to use their free WiFi. We have a cellular data plan from Czechia that is reasonable, but we haven't found a way to top it up yet and our current credit on the plan will not likely last as long as our time in Norway... so we're trying to make it last. We will be trying to find free WiFi as much as possible while in Norway, so hopefully that won't affect the timing of our updates to you... but it might!

While there, I went online to register the transponder. This is where I learned of the problem. Long story short, the only way for a private citizen to register a transponder is to order it online and have it delivered by mail. The ones that are here for pickup are designed for commercial truckers even though they are the exact same unit that is mailed to you. And nowhere on the website does it say that.

Very frustrating. The system is very complicated to begin with, and then they throw this in. I did manage to get it registered with the ferry system (I think!) so we will get the 50% discount on the ferries. But I don't think I'm going to be able to get it registered for the road system. I've talked to two of the four different companies and they say it can't be done. But perhaps I just haven't spoken to the right person yet.

Anyhow, it is what it is. 

We are off to Norway! The ferry leaves at 12:15pm and we need to be checked in by 11:15am. We will get there a lot earlier than that though. We're pretty excited! Next blog post from Norway!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And in Canada...


12 comments:

  1. There is always something that they tend to forget mentioning to first time buyers. Hopefully you can get it straightened around and not be out too much.
    Be Safe and Enjoy traveling in Norway.

    It's about time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It does seem that way sometimes but we also didn't follow the normal path for getting the transponder, if we had done it the way most people do it, we wouldn't have had to deal with this issue but of course we never seem to do things the easy way! Well I guess maybe we did get it the easy way but just a big headache to get it set up.

      Delete
  2. Our only experience in Norway was a stopover when flying from Edinburgh to Helsinki. Coffee at the airport was about $11, a sandwich was double that. Will wait and see what the supermarket prices are like when you write about them . Enjoy every day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is too difficult to judge a country by the prices at the airport, they are always way over inflated. I would think that the prices in the supermarket won't be much different than the prices in Finland which we know you have visited. We are
      expecting the prices will be high compared to most of western Europe, I guess time will tell. We are pretty darn sure though that there won't be any eating or drinking out!

      Delete
  3. Not as frustrating to what we had today. Picked up our campervan (throught Outdoorsey). 20 mins later I see smoke coming from the bonnet and that was as far as we drove with that camper van today. I must say Outdoorsey has a very good customer service (okay we are used to European customer service that is the worst ever). They searched for another van but it was in sherbrooke and would have cost us another 90 CAN to get therer but also payed for that. Sooo normally we should be on our way this evening...finally. Because we have seen enough of Montreal now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh no, that is definitely very frustrating for you! We would rather deal with our issue compared to the one that you two had to deal with. I hope that it all gets sorted out and that you will enjoy your visit to Canada I hope that you remember to contact our daughter if you are headed to Ottawa, she would love to meet you both.

      Delete
    2. It turned out good because this van is allot better then the one that broke down.
      We have contacted your daughter but she was busy now with getting the house ready to put it ons sale. But maybe in 2 weeks when we are back we might go for a drink together.

      Delete
    3. Oh, we are so happy to hear that it all worked out for you and that you got a better van. We really hope that you are enjoying your visit to Canada.

      Lindsey's house went on the market Saturday and it sold on Sunday, so with any luck you will be able to meet up with her on your return, at least for a drink. Their closing date is Aug. 9th.

      Delete
    4. Wow that was sold quickly!! We are having a great time. Now on our way to Gaspé. And I hope that we stil have time to go to Ottawa after.

      Delete
    5. Yes, it sold very fast indeed!

      We are sure that you will love the Gaspé area, it is very picturesque with lots of hiking available. Enjoy your time there. :-)

      Delete
  4. Cool header pic! Imagine, all those rvs on a ship!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Chris! That is only some of the RVs that will be onboard the ship, there will be more than that which really is hard to believe.

      Delete

We love hearing from you! Please take the time to leave a comment...