Out for a walk beside the Ottawa River in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada!
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Heading to Nova Scotia around August 1st.

Sunday, July 31, 2022

July Expenses

We started the month in Geiranger, Norway which was about as far north as we went in Norway. And we finished the month close to Max's "home base" in Germany. So we did a fair bit of driving in the month of July!

This means that our fuel expenses were quite high, and of course everybody knows about the price of fuel lately. Especially the price of fuel in one of the most expensive countries in the world!

Putting on the miles

Or the kilometers, in this case. We're doing about 150 kms (93 miles) per day and that will get us to our destination as planned on Monday August 1st. I know that doesn't sound like a lot to most of you, but we are sticking to the back roads so it's still about two and a half hours of driving each day which is enough for us.

We spent last night beside the wide Elbe River that leads from Hamburg to the Atlantic Ocean.

Saturday, July 30, 2022

The Ladelund Concentration Camp

A somewhat depressing, but interesting, story today.

Many tourists to Europe make an effort to visit the famous Nazi concentration camps like Auschwitz in German occupied Southern Poland. But Germany was itself a land of concentration camps, even before the second World War had begun. In fact, Hitler became chancellor of Germany in January of 1933, and by October 1934 he had already established camps that held 2,400 prisoners. By 1938, there were 24,000 prisoners. By 1944 there were 524,000 prisoners.

Friday, July 29, 2022

Engelsholm Castle

We actually slept in yesterday morning. Didn't get up until almost 8am! That rarely happens, but I guess we just needed the extra sleep. It sure makes the morning go by fast though... kind of a waste.

Still, we managed to get an hour or so driving in before lunch. And then another hour after lunch. We ended up near the village of Nørup and Engelsholm Castle.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Got the new laptops set up!

First thing I did Tuesday morning was walk over to a computer supply store in Hirtshals. 

Now, Hirtshals isn't a very big place, with a population of about 5,500 people so I wasn't expecting very much from a computer store located there. But I was pleasantly surprised and the guy who was running the place knew exactly what I was talking about, and he even had what I needed.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Back in Denmark

Monday was our last full day in Norway. And it was wet. Yes, we managed to make it out for a walk around the town of Vigeland, but that was it. Otherwise, it was just wet.

Then on Tuesday, we actually got some sunshine for our ferry crossing to Denmark. We went into Kristiansand early and found some free parking about 3 kms from the center of town, then walked into town. Our ferry departure wasn't until 4:30pm, so we had lots of time to wander around.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Norway trip complete!

Almost. Our ferry departs Norway at 4:30pm this afternoon so tonight we will once again be sleeping in Denmark. 

We were reflecting on our time in Norway, country number 52 for us. It's been a great trip. The only thing that could have made it better was a little more sunshine! 

Monday, July 25, 2022

Parking, or camping?

While looking for possible overnight spots, we often come across warning signs at the entrance to whatever parking area we're considering overnighting at.

Here in Europe, they are quite distinct about the differences between parking and camping. This is especially true in the country of Spain, but also here in Norway.

Sunday, July 24, 2022

More travel plans finalized!

We drove into the town of Lyngdal. There's not much to see there, but they do have a really nice culture center with a library, so we sat and used their fast free internet for a while. They also have small private soundproof study rooms, so we used one of them to do a video call with Ruth's cousin Helen and her husband Tony. 

We wanted to firm up our plans with them for the end of September and early October.

Saturday, July 23, 2022

It feels great to be booking some travel again!

We decided to stay a second night at our free campsite in the forest. It was just a really quiet, peaceful spot. The German couple left in the morning, but the family from Belgium also decided to stay another night. 

So what did we do all day? Well, not much of anything! It's good to take a day like that every now and then.

Friday, July 22, 2022

Camping for a couple of nights!

Up before 6:30am Thursday morning, and we hit the road right away to the next town of Flekkefjord. 

We had noticed the day before that the hill heading up the road from where we had been parked at Ana Sira is very narrow and we saw vehicles having to reverse to get out of the way of oncoming traffic. So we figured we would avoid any traffic problems by leaving early, and that's exactly what happened.

4 hobbies you can take on holiday

As adults, we rarely find the time to indulge in hobbies

Between the demands of family life, the bustling world of work and any other constraints you might face on your time, it often feels as though there simply aren’t enough hours in the day. 

Our holidays are a fantastic opportunity to relax and indulge in those activities we so rarely get to make time for. With that in mind, these are just four hobbies you can take on holiday – or anywhere. 

Thursday, July 21, 2022

We were well prepared for the "expert" part of the trail.

I know I sound like a broken record, but Norway is such a gorgeous country. And so many fantastic hiking opportunities. Yesterday we were back on the trails again.

This time, we drove to the small town of Ana Sira and found nice day use parking at their small marina. I had read that the parking lot nearer to the hiking trail gets really busy and it was a beautiful day so we just decided to walk right from the marina.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

There is absolutely nothing worse...

Once again we got up and drove at 6:30am. And once again, we didn't go very far... only 9 kms (5.5 miles) to our next stop!

There's a lot to see and do in this area, and we've still got six days until we get to our ferry departure in Kristiansand which is only 150 kms (93 miles) from here. So there is no need to do much driving everyday.

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

We decided to get to the main road and try to hitchhike back to Max!

Monday was one of our warmest days yet in Norway with a forecast high of 23C (73F) and cloudy with sunny periods. It actually felt like summer! We had a good hike planned, so it was the perfect day for it.

The hike was 10.8 kms (6.7 miles) round trip. We were trying to figure out if we should bring a lunch, and Ruth asked how long I thought it would take. There wasn't a whole lot of elevation involved, so I figured maybe three hours. Boy, was I off!

Monday, July 18, 2022

The pretty little village of Sogndalstrand, Norway

We got up early and drove into Sogndalstrand right away. I had read that they have a really nice parking area, but it is closed to motorhomes between midnight and 6am. So they don't want you staying overnight. But I figured if we arrive at 7am on a Sunday morning, there wouldn't be anybody there and we could get our laundry done while enjoying the nice view.

And that's exactly what happened.

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Fruit and vegetable prices in Norway

We got up at 6:30am and left Stavanger right away. It's nice driving when there's absolutely no traffic. 

Saturday was a bit of a maintenance day. We headed directly to a motorhome dealership where they have a free dump station and fresh water fill, free overnight parking with electric, and free WiFi. It's not scenic by any means, located in an industrial park, but it suited us for a couple of hours of unlimited internet use.

Saturday, July 16, 2022

Made it into the old port city of Stavanger, Norway

We waited for the rain to clear up enough to get the bicycles ready for the 7km (4.5 mile) ride into Stavanger. And we packed both the umbrellas and the rain coats because they were still calling for showers on and off.

Stavanger has a fantastic network of cycling routes. Probably the best cycling city we've seen anywhere. 

Friday, July 15, 2022

We kind of feel like we're missing out on summer

It's the middle of July, and the high temperature yesterday was 17C (63F).

Now, we realize that some of you have been baking and would gladly trade places with us... for a few days. And we also realize and appreciate that our current temperatures are great when you're out hiking in the sunshine. The problem is that we could count on one hand the number of days we've had like that during the last month and a half here in Norway.

Thursday, July 14, 2022

More future travel planning!

We've got a busy four months or so ahead of us!

We head back to Canada between August 5th and Sept 10th. We'll be visiting Montreal, Calgary, Nova Scotia, and Ottawa. It's going to be a hectic five weeks, but we're looking forward to seeing all of our friends and family!

But when we arrive back in Amsterdam on September 11th, we won't be going back to Max. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Not much sun, but Max's batteries are doing fine.

Yesterday was a work day.... Prime Day is probably the busiest day of the year for us with our Amazon group on Facebook.  So we found a decent parking spot for Max with a strong cell signal and spent a lot of time on our laptops!

We are parked beside a nice walking trail that goes around a small pond, so we did take time off to go and get some exercise...

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

A worthwhile detour!

Monday was a beautiful day with a high of about 22C (72F), and I had read about the interesting Himakana hike that was about 30 kms (18 miles) off our route, but it seemed like a worthwhile detour... and it was!

Remember a month or so ago when we did the via ferrata to Trolltunga? Well Himakana is being billed by some as the "mini" Trolltunga because it also has a rock overhang that people stand on to get a photo of themselves with the view.

Monday, July 11, 2022

Well, that was a good day!

So glad we moved south. The weather has been much better. I don't think it rained at all yesterday!

We had been parked at a trailhead overnight, but didn't know anything about the hike itself. But we were overdue, so we had some breakfast and hit the trail not knowing where it was taking us.

Sunday, July 10, 2022

We got our invoices for the ferries we've been taking...

We woke up to a bit of blue sky Saturday morning. It didn't last... but it was nice to see for a change! Overall, the day was just okay. It still rained on and off, but at least we managed to get outside without getting soaked.

We're just meandering our way south now. No special plans until we get to Kristiansand for our ferry departure to Denmark on the 26th. 

Saturday, July 9, 2022

Two new laptops... but we can't use them yet!

First order of business yesterday was to go laptop shopping. I had already done quite a lot of research online, so I had a good idea of what we were looking for. It was more a matter of what kind of deal we could get, and if they had the ones we wanted in stock.

Power Electronics is a big chain store in Norway. We went to their largest location just south of Bergen.

Friday, July 8, 2022

Into the city of Bergen, Norway

You don't get anywhere fast in Norway, and we still had 140 kms (87 miles) to get to Bergen. That's about three hours. Most roads you're between 60 and 80 km/h (36 to 50 mph) and then of course you're on a ferry or two and they take extra time as well.

We left Vadheim at 9:15am. Yes, it was raining.

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Heading for Bergen

The weather forecast for the next two weeks was terrible, so we decided to flee to the south of Norway where it looks much better. We're heading for the city of Bergen first (to possibly purchase two new laptops) and then further south to Stavanger. There, we should find better weather.

When we left Flatraket, our first stop was Maloy. There, we had to wait for a ferry to take us to Oldeide. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Change of plans

The weather where we are currently is horrible. And the forecast for the next two weeks in this area is more of the same... horrible.

For example, the high yesterday was 10C (50F) with wind and pretty steady rain. We could handle the temperature... but along with the steady rain? Nope. It's not nice.

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Laundry and laptop problems

Yes, problems with both laundry, and laptops!

First of all, the laptops. My Asus 15.6" laptop has done me well. I bought it five years ago so in laptop years it's pretty much an antique! But it's become really slow to start up, and the network adapter is acting up and it takes several tries and resets to connect to WiFi. It's still working, but it's annoying and I've tried all the easy fixes. Not worth paying someone to look at it. Time for a new one.

Monday, July 4, 2022

We might have rain, but at least we don't have bugs

Because the location of Norway is close to that of northern Canada, and they have similar climates, we assumed there must be the same type of black fly and mosquito problem that Canada has. 

How happy we are that this is not the case! In fact, we haven't had a single issue with bugs of any kind. Even since we left Turkiye. No bugs at all!

Sunday, July 3, 2022

A little frustrated with our travel medical insurance

We thought we had found the perfect solution to our travel medical insurance last year when we started with Heymondo. It was relatively inexpensive, and valid for anyone up to age 70 so we figured this would be our "go to" insurance for the next ten years or so.

Unfortunately it was too good to be true! They have now changed the terms and conditions so that the long term policies are only good up to age 50. You can still buy a short term policy for a trip of up to 30 days that is up to age 70, but that doesn't do us any good.

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Tourist ferry from Geiranger to Hellesylt, Norway

Many of Norway's ferries are part of the highway system. Others are part of the tourist ferry system, yet they also allow a number of vehicles. We took one such ferry yesterday.

The route from Geiranger to Hellesylt leads through Geirangerfjord, one of the most scenic fjords in the world, and of course this is the fjord that is very popular with the cruise ships.

Friday, July 1, 2022

Behind the waterfall

Another gorgeous day in Norway. 

So to take advantage of it, we planned a hike up to a waterfall. But this waterfall is somewhat special because you can actually walk behind the falls. It's really quite something!

The hike was not that far in distance... but it's quite a bit of altitude gain. Only 4 kms (2.4 miles) from where Max was parked, but it gains 553 meters (1,800') so it's a bit of a climb. 

4 Reasons Why You Should Visit Australia at Least Once in Your Life

 A trip begins when we consider our options and try to decide where we are going to go. This is not as fun or easy as it might sound because the amount of destinations available can be overwhelming. 

As you might have already guessed from the title, we passionately believe that a trip to Australia is a safe and awesome choice. We have to be clear and say that most of the time it is pretty expensive and tiring to fly there, but it is totally worth it. Australia should be on every self-respecting tourist’s travel bucket list. Why?