The King of Sweden led us north out of Trollhattan.
Orvar is on his way back to the refugee camp where he volunteers, to deliver some food. Our Canadian quartet follows him through some of his favorite scenic gravel backroads to get us there.
Because we are so slow, Orvar, Daniel and Sara leave us behind in the dust. Literally!
Orvar, Daniel and Sara had traveled before together and we could tell that they were familiar with each other's pacing and riding style already.
The Swedish scenery is still so incredibly reminiscent of Ontario!
More Sweden/Ontario farmland
Your eyes don't deceive you. A section of the Dalsland Canal
is actually built over the natural gorge running underneath it
The Dalsland Canal in Håverud is one of Sweden's architectural achievements. It's both a system of locks to join the different levels of lakes in the area and also includes a cool 32m long aqueduct which allows boats to traverse over a narrow ravine. It was difficult to build anything on because the steep walls of the gorge were too soft and loose.
It's here that we bid a fond farewell to our Swedish host, Orvar. He reassures us that the weather ahead looks clear and sunny, and the four Canadians continue our invasion of Norway.
Norway! We've been planing this trip all year long, trying to time our journey to fit within the small window of warm weather that the far northern summer allows. However, we cross the border with very little fanfare, the scenery around us not changing one bit. Only a large sign that read "Norge" greets us into the country.
We stopped for the night at a campsite near Vinterbro, which is just outside Oslo. We all conferred earlier and none of us were really interested in seeing the big city. The main attraction for Norway is the nature and the geography, so we're going to stay off the highways and out of the cities while we're here.
We spend a lot of time comparing our experiences with Sara and Daniel. Always good to get some fresh ideas from fellow moto-travelers. We have such similar views on everything, I was starting to feel like we were all carbon-Canuck-copies of each other. That is, until Pillow-Gate...
We meet a lot of people on the road, who are also making the most of the short summer months in Norway
The plan is to stay in Southern Norway for a while since a lot of the sights are concentrated here. Actually our plan is just to follow Daniel and Sara. It feels really good to take a break from planning and just follow the back wheel of someone for a change.
One of many waterfalls in Norway
Sun is shining, Neda is smiling
Canadian forest scenery continues in Norway
These roads really remind me of Vancouver Island
The relatively flat lands of Sweden have now been replaced by the mountains. These are the raised fingers of land that conspire to make up the famous fiordlands of the west coast of Norway.
Bikes on break, we're roughly following the Otra River on our way west
Single file through a switchback. The roads are really nice here!
Some dead mosquitoes are gumming up Sara's forks. Dan is using a thin plastic card to dig them out
Dan takes really good care of their bikes. We are so lazy in comparison... I think back to all the problems we've had because of poor maintenance - dead batteries, broken chains and bald tires. Puts us to shame!
Waterfalls all around us, remind us of New Zealand
So in the space of a few hundred kilometers, we've seen Northern Ontario, Vancouver Island and now Milford Sound in New Zealand. The more traveling we do, the more familiar things start to look around us everywhere we go!
These "turf-houses" with their grass roofs give us our first taste of Iceland-deja-vu
It only makes sense that a lot things we see here remind us of our ride through Iceland. After all, the Vikings were originally from Norway!
And then the road climbs higher and snow starts appearing on the ground beside us. Oh yeah, and sheep...
It's the middle of the summer! Crazy!
Stopping to admire the scenery. And more sheep.
Neda hanging out with the dandelions
Catching a breather in the middle of the Norwegian wilderness
We are running a very fast pace with Daniel and Sara! Much faster than we are used to. Before we met them it was like we were walking beside a railroad and now it's like we've grabbed onto the back of a fast moving train as it whizzes past us! And now our legs are flapping behind us in the wind like a flag, just like in the cartoons! :D
More Icelandic-style scenery
I have a million pictures from this ride, so difficult to pick just a few for the blog
There are hundreds of these tiny lakes, the rain and the meltwater trapped in the wells of rocky terrain in Southern Norway
Nature-Girl Neda is totally enjoying herself!
Would have been nice to link up all our comunicators, but since we're all using different brands, every now and then we stop to have a face-to-face "conference call" to figure out where to go next. Well, at least those guys do, I'm just the staff photographer... :D
There's a tourist restaurant at the top of Lysebotn Harbour. We went in to warm up and to see how expensive the food was. Holy crap. €6 for a coffee. That's $10 CDN. Holy crap. We left feeling very poor. On the way out we met some Swedish tourists and we all commiserated about how expensive Norway was. Okay, if the Swedish feel poor as well, then I don't feel so bad. $10 for a coffee. Holy crap!
Lysevegen Road leading down to Lysebotn Harbour. This is going to be fun!
Lysevegen Road: In just 8.9 short kms, you've got 32 hairpins and a vertical drop of 840m! Yeah, baby!!!
Yeah, the Count is a bit wrong because we had already done a few switchbacks before I thought to myself, "Hey... this would make a really cool video..." Love our Sena Prism camera, it makes shooting on the fly so simple!
I found an aerial view shot of the Lysevegen road on the Internet! This is what it looks like from the sky! :)
Remember the "Carpal" Tunnel? It's that huge drop where you don't see any hairpins because they're hidden underground. It doesn't look like it in the video, but it was friggin' steep! We were basically engine braking the whole way down.
Man, if the rest of Norway is going to be this awesome, I'm gonna explode!!!