Oslo-Hardangervidda-Bergen July 21st-24th

Oslo-Hardangervidda-Bergen July 21st-24th

Written By: Art&Heidi

Off to Bergen, our Gateway to the Arctic

Art chose a route he had read was the most picturesque in Norway: one of the "National Highways". Because of the rain we purposely shortened our ride as the weather was forecast to improve on day two. As predicted, we left the rain behind and rode through some of the most interesting and unique landscapes as we entered the Hardangervidda National Park (though they buried the danger deep in the name I caught it). 

This park is a mecca for hikers and skiers (both downhill and cross country) but we both agreed that it was like nothing we had ever seen. We were above the tree line and it looked more like a moonscape that a mountain region and was dotted with lakes, scrub brush and moss. We were riding literally 15-20 meters below snow patches and Inger had told us they had snow in this area just a couple of weeks before, so needless to say we wore numerous layers. That night we stayed in a cute little cabin at a campsite just outside the park nestled alongside a river.

Day three we entered the fjords from above, riding some of the more challenging roads of my motorcycle career. The Norwegians love tunnels, long ones, short ones, even corkscrew ones. We rode through one tunnel that was over 8 kms long and had two traffic circle roundabouts in it for heaven's sake! But the best (or worst depending on your perspective) was the corkscrew tunnel we rode as we made our way down to sea level at Eidfjord.

We lost 3500 feet of elevation in the last 26 kms with many hairpin turns, but I have never ridden a corkscrew tunnel until now. This tunnel was 1/2 Km long and turned around in a circle what seemed like four times. As we emerged from the darkness the road hair pinned back the other way and we were looking down a cliff that fell hundreds of feet. Needless to say, Heidi was not a happy camper and everything on me was clenched tight. We made it through safe and sound, but Heidi established one thing for sure, "we are NOT going back that way."

Bergen, Departure Port for our Hurtigruten Voyage

Bergen lies on the west coast and is the second largest city in Norway and sits at the 61st parallel (about the same as Yellowknife, Whitehorse and Anchorage). We were told Bergen was similar in climate to Vancouver with the coast mountains, marine weather and natural beauty, we concur.  We planned to explore Bergen for a day before boarding our voyage to the Arctic, but had no idea what a great one day stay it would turn out to be.

We stayed at a hostel high up on the hills overlooking Bergen, a stunning view awaited us. Inger was kind enough to have arranged for us to store our motorcycle at the house of a friend of hers for the 12 days we were to be on our cruise. Sten and Veronica not only agreed to store the bike, but gave us a guided tour of the Bergen harbour to see the tall ships which happened to be in town (did I mention how lucky we have been?). We had missed the tall ships in Copenhagen and Fredrikstad but were lucky to see them in Bergen on a picture perfect day. 

We went for a walk in the morning before the cruise and as we turned a corner we saw the people of Bergen lined up to the shoreline to watch the parade of tall ships leaving for Copenhagen. It is really spectacular watching the big ships under sail. To end the Bergen experience with a bang, the Mexicans were the last to sail and to steal the show, they had all the sailors climbing up and standing in formation in the sail riggings. The perfect way to end our day.

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Countries: Norway
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