5 Jul 2010

Rainy ride - About tunnels and ferry trips

(El texto en Spanish no me ha dado tiempo aun... Pero mas abajo hay fotos chulas!!!)

5th July 2010
Geilo - Stryn
340 Km.

Yesterday when I arrived to Geilo sky was getting cloudy and wind had started to blow.

Today I've been waken up around 6 by the howling of the wind... Oh-oh... I'm afraid that today weather is not going to be so nice...

When I finally woke up at 8h the sky was totally grey and wind was still blowing.

What a difference from yesterday!!!

(luckily yesterday, I my first day in Norway, weather was kind enough to give me a wonderful day!)

I packed everything, finished the orange juice I got yesterday from the hamburguer kiosk and left the apartment even cleaner that I had found it (didn't want to be charged for an extra cleaning service!).

Today sunglasses were not going to be needed.

It's going to start raining any moment...

Took road 7 up to Hol and there I changed to road 50.

I stopped in a Statoil petrol station to get breakfast for Heidi.

Then I realize that the SIM card I got on Saturday (from a company called 'Chess') is not working yet... (a lady on the line is telling something in Norwegian that I somehow understand that means that the SIM is not registered).

In this petrol station they also sell this type of cards so I ask the lady behind the counter for help. She is extremly helpful and does all the registration process for me (apparently the petrol station from Kristiansand hadn't done that). In theory in a couple of hours it's going to work. Good!
Just before I leave the petrol station it starts to rain. Not a lot, just a bit. Mmmmm...

Road 50 starts to climb. Landscape is really beautiful. I take some pics but no many. There are endless electric towers everywhere and it's difficult to make a nice pic without taking some of them...

I see the first 'beware of sheep' road sign. I'm very cautious with sheep. Last summer during a trip to Iceland a group of 3 sheep gave me the biggest fright of my life. They crossed in front of me and my F650GS in a pretty fast strip of the road. One of them even bumped into my right leg! (but with no consequences for any of us). So now, when I'm told that sheep are around, I usually slow down and try be extracareful...

I take a pic of the sign and see that there are some sheep around. They are in small groups (2-3), exactly the same as in Iceland. But they look a bit different... More 'tidy'. Anyway, they are sheep and you never know what they are going to do, so be careful!

As the road winds up the hill, temperature goes down... It gets down to 10 degrees Celsius. And it rains a bit more... Still bearable.

One the way down to Aurland there are some tunnels to take. The first of them is pretty long... and cold!!! Temp goes to 7 degrees in there, I was freezing! The others are not so long and hence not so cold. Rain is getting annoying...

I stop in Aurland for an early lunch. No way I can picnic today. I get a couple of sandwitches. One with smoked salmon and eggs and the other with shrimps and eggs. Good dose of protein! And expensive! Everything is really expensive in Norway!

I had come to Aurland because I wanted to take the mountain road to Laerdal (the one called 'the Snow Road'). However, now it was raining so much that I thought it was not going to be fun... To finish convinving myself, I tell myself that this spring I've seen enough snow in the Alps mountain roads...

The alternative to the mountain road is the Laerdal tunnel. It's almost 25 Km long and is the world longest road tunnel (second one is the Gotthard, in Switzerland). So it will be also 'an experience'...

Tunnel is gratis, no toll. Well paved, lighted and ventilated (not as some of the tunnels I did this morning). One 'interesting' thing about the tunnel are the 3 blue caverns. They are 3 sections of the tunnel that get wider and higher (a dome-like structure) and they are lit with blue lights. The first one I saw came as a surprise. But the effect is really nice. I stopped at the second one and took some pics (there was plenty of people doing the same). I learnt later in the day that even a couple got married in one of the caverns!

Once in Laerdal the idea was following road 5 until Sogndal. It was not raining now, yeiiii!!! I did something wrong in one of the roundabouts in Laerdal (thinking about other things, have to admit – everything was perfectly signalized) so I get into a wrong road (without realizing) that brought me to Vindidalen, where it ended. No regrets. The view of the fjord was great and the road was great fun.

Went back to Laerdal, took the correct road to Manhetter and there I took the ferry to Fodnes. Was a bit nervous before taking it, but then I realized that everything was easy and very well organized. I was happy to feel the ferry deck had a good grip, even wet. What a difference from the ferry to Tunisia from January!!! It was so slippery that you even had difficulties to walk, imagine manouvering a bike!

Once in Fodnes took road to Sogndal. Was raining again. And more and more... The landscape from Sogndal to Lunde was beautiful! Very beautiful But it was raining so much that I didn't feel for stopping and taking pics. Was a bit pissed off. When getting closer to Lunde I could see one of the tongues of the Jostedalbreen (the biggest glacier in continental Europe). That was a great sight so I stopped and managed to take a couple of pics under the rain. Camera got wet and I was not very happy about it but I had to take a pic of that!!! But I love glaciers! On my way back I'll try to come to this area again and hopefully weather will be better. If I have time, I'll join one of the guided tours in the glacier (did it last year in the Vatnajokull in Iceland -the biggest glacier of Europe- and was one of the best experiences ever!). Forgot to mention that this is a tool road. Had to pay around 75 NOKs.

It was raining more and more. I stopped in Skie for a late lunch for Heidi and a warm latte macchiato for me. SIM card still not working. Called the customer service from Chess and they couldn't tell me why. The lady on the phone told me she was going to call me back. I'm starting to get impatient with this people. I've travelled around the world getting SIM cards everywhere and never had these issues. Unacceptable!

Went on the road again. Looked like if rain was going to stop. Wrong impression! It got even heavier in a few Km. Was starting to get cold and I had that feeling of being wet. I know I wasn't (the Streeetward jacket and pants from BMW are great!) but I had the feeling...

Have to admit that was riding a bit tense. Too much water now. Pouring down from the sky, and being sprayed from the road by the vehicles on the opposite direction. I wanted the sun back!!!

When arriving to Byrkjelo I even forgot that I had to change road (wanted to go to Geiranger!) and continued up to Sandanes. I started to think I was doing something wrong but it was raining so much I didn't feel for stopping and checking.

After Sandane, ther was a break in the clouds.Sun was shyly shining and rain had almost stopped (but interestinglz just under that break). I realized I was in the wrong direction. F***! I was not goin to undo what I had done (hate coming back using the same road!) and weather that was not inviting at all (so cloudy you couldn't see the mountains!). Decided to ride to Anda and take the ferry to Lote. Once there, I was going to head to Geiranger. Not the 'straightest' route but I really wanted to get there.

Timing with the ferry was perfect. I arrived to the harbour, paid and got in! It was almost not raining now and the riding gear was getting dry (this is a very good thing of this jacket/pants – as soon as it stops raining, they get dry very quickly. Btw, don't be suspicious, I'm not sponsored by BMW (I wish I was!) but when something works well, I think is fair to acknowledge it.

I knew I had not done many Km today (and some of them had not been in the right direction) but I wanted to stop. With that idea on my mind, I rode through Nordfjordeid and took the road to Stryn. Decided that I was going to stop in the first nice place I found.

The road to Stryn was funny (no rain now!!!) and, as usual, landscape was nice so I had a great time. Once in Stryn I saw an hotel but it looked a bit too expensive so I tried to find an alternative. I ended up in the Stryn Vertshus. Looked welcoming and when checking the price decided I could afford it. Rooms were in the penthouse and were very cozy! There was a common space with cooking facilities so I rushed to the supermarket to get some food. Intrestingly there is a chain in Norway called Coop, same as in Switzerland! Colors of the logo are different but font type is even the same...

Got a tin of asparagus (felt I needed some fiber) and a fish soup. I also got some vitamin/mineral capsules (thought I had not been eating extremely healthy these last days, and didn't know how it was going to be the next ones).

Went to the ATM again (NOKs disapear from my wallet astonishingly fast!), bought a sticker for Heidi and went back 'home', where I had dinner and a very warm shower!

(By the way, I'm still waiting the Chess customer service to call and the SIM is not yet working, hahaha!!!)

Route Geilo-Stryn (not the more straight one, but fine!):

Road 50. Sky getting darker and darker...

Sheep! Be careful!


One of the blue caverns of the Laerdal Tunnel:

Vindedalen. Wrong road but nice view!

Ferry from Manhetter to Fodnes

Somewhere between Sogndal and Lunde (Jostedalsbreen Nat. Park)

One of the tongues of the Jostedalbreen:

Going back was not an option...

Second ferry of the day

The house were we sleep today

'Healthy' dinner:

All pics here:

Pics Norway 2010


  1. Tu si que ets "un luju", segueix així! (m'arriben les dents al terra)

  2. Hi there norwegian girl!!!!
    everything is ok???

    be carefully and...enjoy your trip.

    norwegian hugg

  3. Looks like you are having a great trip! Here in Switzerland we are sweating under a burning sun ;-) Big hug! J

  4. ....yo me pregunto, cómo consigues que la moto salga siempre tan limpita en las fotos?????? eva