The start of our trip to Norway was a quick blast from Tunbridge Wells to Harwich to catch the evening ferry to the Hook of Holland, arriving at about 8:00am.
We jumped on the bike and of we go, the Netherlands can be a bit bland but it’s a means to an end, about 300 miles to Hamburg, a couple of beers and a meal and some good old German hospitality. Next morning we are off to Hirtshals, at the top of the Jutland peninsula in northern Denmark, in order to catch the night ferry to Stavanger, the start of our Norwegian tour.
It was a misty morning, around 6:30am I was on the top deck with a coffee as the ferry approached the port when the 'wow factor' kicked in. The mountains and waterways are fantastic and the adrenalin was starting to flow, this is what I was waiting for, I couldn’t wait to go back to the cabin to wake Carole up and get to the bike.
Norway is one of those places that Grips the imagination and believe me it doesn’t disappoint. After a 20-minute ride to the hotel to dump the bags off, we were off, heading south towards Egersund.
In a loop back up to Stavanger, the riding is out of this world and the road surface is second to none. Heading northeast up to Lysebotn, we find using the ferries becomes routine, the scenery and the fjords are outstanding.
Our route takes us north to Ulvik, where the riding is spectacular, then out for a day's ride to Burgen, well worth a visit; the fish restaurants are a must, all is it a little expensive.
From Burgen, we head up the coast to Geiranger Fjord for a two-day stay; riding the passes and the mountain roads here far exceeded all of my expectations.
The next ride is up to Alesund, a fabulous coastal town with spectacular views from the fort. Taking time out for lunch then up to the long awaited Atlantic Road, the road jumps from island to island with next to no traffic, a true bikers paradise.
From Alesund we head south to Oslo, riding down the E6 through Lillehammer, to pick up the ferry back to Denmark, then back through Germany and home to the UK.
Fact or fiction, when on a trip to Norway you will undoubtedly come across numerous trolls, whether on the side of the road or lurking under a bridge somewhere on route.
When questioned, the Norwegians will tell you enthusiastically about their habits and behaviour with a twinkle in their eye, as if it's part of everyday life, as if they were telling you Santa Clause really exists, I'll leave it up to you.
All in all Norway is superb, one of the best for riding and hospitality. Total mileage was around 3,200 miles, go on give it a go!
Happy Riding, Mark.