Norway 1990

In Summer 1990 I cycled with a friend up the Jutland Peninsula. We were surprised by the hilliness of the coast. In Frederikshavn we caught a ferry to Larvik. From there we headed North staying on campsites and youth hostels. Whilst the roads were nice a lot of the passes had been replaced by road tunnels which were not much fun to cycle. Some passes were also blocked by snow (in July!). In the end we caught the train in Voss, but went on a short trip to Bergen before heading home. Having bought a Scandinavian Rover ticket we went back without bikes a few days later for walking. (Approximately 510miles/820km)

31 July Kiel Flensburg Haderslev 143km

We first followed the B76 and then took the more direct route North between Eckernförde and Schleswig using the ferry in Missunde. Once we had navigated through Flensburg the hills of the Jutland coastline started to wear us down. The Baltic coast of Jutland in the South is surprisingly hilly as small rivers and fjords go East to West, whilst our road was going South to North.

1 August Haderslev – Aarhus 138km

The torture of hills continued. In Vejle we purchased train tickets only to find out that we couldn’t take our bicycles on the train. So, we had to continue on the road to Aarhus. We stay in a room with four other travellers in the youth hostel.

2 August Aarhus – Frederikshavn 160km

More hills all the way to Randers, but they were getting less steep. Though there was an interesting climb out of Randers. Still it was getting flatter and we arrive quickly in Frederikshavn. We tried to sleep on the ferry unsuccessfully as there were no reclining chairs anywhere.

3 August Larvik – Ulefoss 45km

After a large breakfast we arrive in Larvik. Navigation in Larvik was difficult as signs mainly told you where you couldn’t go by bike rather than which way you could go. The hills were now more mountainous and our average speed begins to suffer. However, it was very beautiful. We found the youth hostel in Ulefoss and get a room to ourselves.

4 August Ulefoss – Grungebru 132km

After a big and long breakfast we continued our journey towards Bø. It was very hilly now. We passed Morgedal, the cradle of skiing. After more steep hills we arrived in Grungebru youth hostel which was full, but we got an unheated room in the back.

5 August Grungebru – Røldal 75km

The next day started with a headwind and rain. We managed our first tunnel which had a pretty steep incline, making cycling in the bad air even worse. The next tunnel was out of bounds for cyclists and we used the old road across the 1100m pass instead. It was a very steep climb into rain and headwind. Next to the road was snow several meters tall. It was very cold. We stayed in a hut on a campsite overnight. We were very cold and damp.

6 August Røldal – Voss 41km

We cycled up to the next tunnel after a small breakfast only to find the tunnel very badly ventilated and the old road closed due to snow. After some deliberation we return to Røldal and take the bus most of the way to Voss. We cycle the last few kilometers to Voss as the bus we had to change to could not take bicycles. The next day we decided to send our bikes home by train and explore Norway by train.

Conclusion

Well, we were surprised how hilly Denmark can be along the Jutland coast. Neither of us had been there before. Norway turned out to be very expensive and in that summer very cold. We did not have warm enough clothes and the fact that some passes were impassable in July due to snow made cycling quite difficult. Also, our lack of a tent and sleeping bag made staying overnight more difficult as we were relying on youth hostels which were quite far apart. I would certainly recommend taking a tent and sleeping bag despite the extra weight.

Some pictures

Map

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