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

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

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Welcome to Norway! Country number 52...

Norway is a new country for us and it has been on our "to do" list for a long time. But it's a country that is best explored by motorhome, so we needed to get a European motorhome to do it. And the original plan was to do it last summer, but then Covid threw a wrench into things and we weren't able to pick up Max until mid June of last year. By then, we decided it was best to put it off another year.

But we are here now, and we're really excited. It's going to be a great two months!

It's a big country though, and we won't be able to see it all in two months. And we certainly don't have any great ambition to drive all the way to the northern tip. Especially with fuel prices the way they are. Did you know that it's 2,500 kms (1,550 miles) one way to drive from the southern tip of Norway to the northern tip! So, we are going to spend our time in the south western part of the country.

We are going to spend our time in the area circled in red.

There is so much to see and do just in this area!

Anyhow, let me tell you how our day went yesterday.

Our ferry departure was scheduled for 12:15pm. It's a three and a half hour trip one way from Hirtshals, Denmark to Kristiansand, Norway. We used the Color Line Superspeed 1 ferry.

We paid €191 ($258 CAD, $204 USD) for the one way trip for Max and two adults. We booked it well in advance and got a €35 euro discount for Max due to the early booking.

You are told to arrive at check-in for the ferry by 11:15am at the latest, but we drove over early and arrived at 10:00am. There were already six motorhomes there ahead of us...

Max, lined up for the ferry.

And more motorhomes and vans continued to steadily arrive. Of course along with travel trailers, cars, motorcycles, bicycles, and transport trucks.

By the time we were ready to load, there were six rows of rv's with around 9 rigs in each row. We never did find out if it was sold out, but there were an awful lot of vehicles.

Six rows of rv's.

That's about as big as you can get for a motorhome in Europe.

Our ferry, and another large motorhome that just unloaded.

At 11:50am it was our time to board.



Ruth took a video for you...

Boarding the ferry to Norway.

You're not allowed access to your rig, so you need to make sure to take what you need. Especially jackets and hats and gloves if you want to remain out on the deck. Ruth had packed us a lunch, as well as the cribbage board and a deck of cards.

We chose a picnic table outside on the upper deck.

As you can see, it was nice and sunny. But it was a bit chilly with a high of about 13C and with a cold wind coming from the north. We were at the back of the ship, shielded by the wind, but when we got out to sea it was a bit too cold and we moved inside.

View out the back of the ship.

Hirtshals port.
We departed exactly on time at 12:15pm.

Looking down at the birds.
They were going crazy with all the water churned up by the propellers.

The sister ship Superspeed 2, loaded with trucks.
It crosses to Norway as well, but arrives closer to Oslo.

Hirtshals beach.

A lot of people on deck watching the departure.

But once we got out to sea, almost everyone moved indoors.

I went for a walk around and took some shots of the inside of the ship.

The bar was not very busy.

But there is a big cafeteria, a delicatessen, and two other restaurants, one with an open buffet including beer and wine. I checked the price... 270 kroner ($36 CAD, $28.50 USD) per person all you can eat. It was actually cheaper than I thought it was going to be!

I call this the airplane seating area.

When I booked the tickets, they gave an option for seating at an extra €10. Of course I turned it down. It seems almost everybody turns this down. There were maybe only five or six people sat in this area. They also have a paid business class area with included WiFi, but I didn't bother checking the price for that!

It turns out there are lots of free places to sit indoors, so I'm not sure why you would want to pay extra to sit in the "airplane" section.

Out at sea.

Land ho!
Our first sighting of Norway.



A cruise ship in Kristiansand harbor.


Holland America ship.

No more pictures of the docking though, because they want you downstairs in your vehicle ten minutes prior to arrival. Everything happens fairly quickly, and before you know it, you're driving off the ship.

Norway is not part of the European Union, but it is part of the Schengen zone. So for us, passport check is not necessary, but because they aren't part of the EU, there are customs and border inspections including limits on alcohol and tobacco. We may have had more than our allowed limit on alcohol (although not by much) but were prepared to spend the extra duty if we had to. It turns out they glanced at our licence plate, glanced at us, and waved us on through as it appeared they were doing to just about everybody. Dammit... we could have brought cases of cheap beer from Romania...lol. Oh well. We were ready to give our systems an alcohol break over the next two months anyhow.

We didn't come to Norway to hang around in the city, so we drove directly north out of Kristiansand. 

What a difference in scenery compared to Denmark! First impressions of Norway kind of remind us of Newfoundland or Nova Scotia, whereas Denmark was much more flat and farmland.

Norwegian graffiti is kind of nice!

Hm. This is odd.

Very strange. We drove about 40 kms (28 miles) north, and all we saw on the road was skid marks from people burning rubber. I guess tires and fuel are cheap in Norway!

It was literally everywhere along the 40 kms (28 miles) of driving that we did.

We checked out a couple of roadside overnight spots but they were too close to the road. Free camping looks relatively easy in Norway, so we're not settling for any noisy roadside stopovers. We'll go the extra mile and find worthwhile free overnight spots when we can.

Hm. Wonder where that bridge leads...

Scenery along the way.

We stopped at the turn off, and I walked in. It was obviously an old railway line, but you could see where some vehicles had driven on it. I walked about one km in to check it out, and came across a fantastic campsite where the road stops and becomes a cycle path.

Yep, Max can do it!

Yep, this will do for a night or two!
GPS 58.409428, 7.780133

We got our chairs out and had a celebratory happy hour down by the lake.

Enjoying our first evening in Norway!

Happy hour view.

Scenery from our campsite.

And, we're located right on a biking hiking trail so we're going for a ride this morning. Yesterday evening we went for a walk after supper. It stays light now until about 11:00pm!

Out for a walk.
The road is gated where we are parked, so only hikers or bikers can access this section.

Beautiful.

Nice spot for a picnic.


Ruth, having a turn at the swing.

Enjoying the evening.

Our first night in Norway.

We've got some fantastic hikes planned, and can't wait to show you more of Norway's beautiful scenery. Our first big hike is planned for June 7th and it's only about 140 kms (87 miles) from here, so we're in no rush to get there. We enjoyed the drive up here from Romania, but we're glad we don't feel the need to put on any more miles right now!

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Nice price drop on the Greenworks Rechargeable Stick Vac.

And in Canada...

8 comments:

  1. Looking good guys - staying south sounds like a good option - we enjoyed the islands up north but it's a serious amount of driving to get there. Looking forward to reading your Norway posts, thanks again for taking the time to write. 👍 Jay

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thanks Jason! We think it is too, especially considering the price of fuel these days plus, we like to travel slowly and as Kevin mentioned there is just so much to see in this area. We can always come back again some day and see more of the country.

      We hope that you will enjoy our posts and thank you for appreciating the time and effort that we put in them.

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  2. The Ferry Ride itself was an adventure and what you've shown of Norway we are certain you will be enjoying your time there.
    Be Safe and Enjoy the relaxation.

    It's about time.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yes, it was and we enjoyed the ferry ride!

      We think we are going to enjoy Norway a lot, it is starting to remind us more and more of our time in the Yukon and we really had a great time there.

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  3. What a beautiful spot to camp, hike, bike, and have a happy hour! Congratulations on making it to your next country and thanks for sharing it with your readers.

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    1. It was a fantastic free camping spot, it was quite and hardly anyone around and the bonus was being beside the bike path.

      We are so happy to have finally made it to Norway. The more we see of it the more it reminds of the Yukon and what a great trip that was. :-)

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  4. Having so many daylight hours during the northern summer you can get lots of walking done. We stay in Finland during the summer and I remember hearing woodpeckers at 2 am znd going outside the cabin to actually see them

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, we certainly can!

      I remember when we were up in the Yukon in 2018 in June, I wanted to see when sunset was because we knew that it would be really late but when I checked on Google, it told me that the next sunset was about a month and a half away from the day I checked, we had a good laugh about that! We were so happy to have blackout curtains in the motorhome otherwise it would have been hard to sleep.

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