Last time I left you, we were heading from Hölviken looking forward to a night or two in Gothenburg. However, things weren’t as easy as hoped. Many campsites claiming to be open all year round, were either shut or simply didn’t exist. One was an apartment block in a suburb of the city! We did however meet a really nice chap called Hüseyin Sürer. He was driving past as we refuelled and swung in to check out the vans – the loves of his life as he put it! He even had spare T3 parts in the trunk of his car. After he kindly led us to a supermarket, we bid him farewell and headed towards Oslo.
After struggling to find anywhere open, we eventually stopped in a quiet lane, next to a fjord and wild camped for the night.
The next morning we woke to find a very frosty but glorious start to the day, with interested observers in the field watching with curiosity. We decided to head northwards to Oslo. It’s worth noting:
1. There is a border between Sweden and Norway and they do conduct random checks. If you are carrying alcohol ( you need to as Norway is awfully expensive), then you are limited to a bottle of spirits and 4 ltrs of wine per person.
2. All major roads in Norway have tolls. Also roads into the cities. You can stop and pay at gas stations, but it is simpler to set up an auto pass account online with EPC – Auto Pass . This will automatically bill you as you pass the many toll cameras. But it will also bill you for any parking or speeding fines you incur!
3. Norwegians have low speed limits and heavy fines. They therefore don’t speed and drive patiently. There are many cameras.
So, on to Oslo. We camped in central Oslo, with good bus connections to the main attractions. You can buy a pass that gives you all day travel on any public transport for around £9. Oslo had loads to see, but we started with the Fråm Museum, Norway’s best museum (apparently).
Fråm was a ship that took famous Norwegian explorers to the Arctic and Antarctic, returning safely despite being frozen in ice and drifting across the oceans looking for the Northwest passage and many other incredible voyages of discovery. The museum is fantastic, with lots to see and interactive exhibits for younger visitors. Fråm Museum
Next door is the Kon-Tiki museum, a tribute to an incredible man and one of my childhood heroes, Thor Heyerdahl. He famously built and sailed a raft to Polynesia from Peru, retracing previously unproven steps of ancient tribesmen, despite being told it was impossible and being a very weak swimmer!
His other vessel, the Ra is also represented, a papyrus reed boat which he sailed between the west coast of Africa and Barbados. The man was a legend! Finally we strolled around Oslo and took in some land marks before returning to the vans and preparing to move on to Lillehammer the next day.
So far we have crossed UK, France, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and are now in Norway. The route is unclear and will be led by the changeable weather, which so far has been warm and sunny, cold and sunny, grey and windy and we have seen the first flurries of snow. More later!