To start with the development right of the bat: Monday morning we had a meeting in the Pilgrim center of Trondheim with Hans Morten Løvrød, the Manager of the St. Olav's Way. In the meantime there has been a major demand for a bicycle guide in English, so the meeting discussed the possibility of a translation. There’s not more I can tell about it, but it will be continued!
From Trondheim we went in the train with the bicycles to Ringebu. How relaxing it is to take your bicycle in the Norwegian trein! We bought the tickets the day before in Trondheim and were told that we could board the train 15 minutes before departure and that the conductor would direct us to the place where the bicycles would go.
And everything went according to plan. On the station of Trondheim we got help lifting the bicycles in a special bicycle compartment of the train, and we could look for our reserved places in the train.
The four hours that it took to get to Ringebu were one of the most wonderful trips ever! The largest part went along the Olav’s Way. Sometimes we looked at to the way we cycled deep in the valley and sometimes we would point at a mountain and say: “Remember that climb? So hard yet the view was so wonderful!”. With sad longing we reflected on our journey…
Because our bicycles were in a locked bicycle compartment, It did worried me a bit: what if we got off the train and the train left immediately after that? Just before arriving, I asked the conductor if they won’t forget our bicycles. She looked at me with a reassuring look and said: “Don’t worry, we won’t forget”. Promptly I stopped worrying.
In Ringebu everything went in the same relaxed maner as in Trondheim. The only people who felt rushed, were we our selves.
The car was in Ringebu. We drove south leisurely the next day. The car ride too went largely through the area we cycled. Remy was driving and it was his first time driving in Norway and had to get used to the many climbing and descending. The combination with our old VW Polo was not entirely a good one, but we found it very entertaining anyway. I was already glad not having to drive (we both have no love for driving cars and like to be driven). AEn I got to make pictures along the way.
After a bit of highway (Remy remarked: “Hu, you can drive only fourty kilometers an hour here!”), we went over the more quiet roads, een though it did not matter much in terms of time.
We still wanted to camp in the wild one more time and headed for the site we went before on the island Helgøya.
The last day in Norway we drove from meeting to meeting. First a cup of coffee at Renée Dekker. She works at Visit Innlandet in Brumendal and made a cycling route over the peninsula NES and Helgøya for the bicycle route guide of the Olav’s way. After that we went on to the pilgrim center in Hamar, where we had some nice coffee with Tone Stræte, the regional manager there. Tone was pretty much sold out on the bicycle route guides and after the visit we had some extra space in the car…
The last visit was a visit to the pilgrim center Granavollen. I really wanted to meet Jane Dahl, the regional manager there, to say hello. Last year my car stood at her house for two weeks and Jane helped me a lot with the west route between Oslo and Lillehammer. A large part of the western route is not suitable for cycling, so there were some alternatives that needed working out.
After this very fruitful Wednesday we had one last night camping out on a campsite in Largvik.
From there we took the “MS Superspeed” to Hirthals in Denmark. Well… Superspeed… With the term ‘speed’, I have very different ideas than the leisurely sailing of this boat.
This ferry was a first time for me (for Remy these weeks were all a first time) and I understood this ship would go to Denmark at superspeed. I had all the vomiting bags I would need and expecting to be sick and vomiting all the way with people not going anywhere near me. Just like on the ferry to the Hebrides in Scotland. (Tip for people who don’t want anyone near them: vomit a lot! Success is guaranteed!). But none of it all.Not only the modest speed, but also the mirror flat surface of the sea contributed to this. I even had time to write a part of the blog in peace. Much better for the fellow travelers as well…
And now we’re home again! The last days we stayed at the home of our Danish friends and visited friends from there. It was also a fine way to get used to the idea our vacation is over.
For me it will take some more time to let it sink in, but there are some great jobs waiting for my attention, among which is working out the route Oslo-Sundsvall and laying te groundwork for the translation of the route Oslo-Trondheim.
Veni Vidi Fietsie!
Remy & Gea
In Denmark we cycled up to the highest point of Funen, Frøbjerg Bavnehøj (131 m). Last picture: the nine year old daughter of our friends, designed a tandem for us. Beautiful!