Norway travel

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Norway travel

Postby sabconsulting » 28 Jun 2016 17:36

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Here are some things I found about travel in Norway:

Cost : Alcohol is expensive, as is shopping in general. Norwegians pop over the Swedish border to stock up on alcohol and chocolate - we didn't see any border checks despite their being limits on what you are allowed to bring in.

Ferries (internal) : There are many ferries that are part of the road network. You just turn up and they collect about £10 from you and you drive on the next ferry.

Ferries (external) : We took a ferry from Puttgarden in Germany to Rodbyhavn in Denmark (about €100) and another from Helsingor in Denmark to Helsingborg in Sweden (about £40). These were expensive for such short crossings but we didn't book in advance. The overnight ferry from Harwich to Hook of Holland was a bargain at £276 return including an outside cabin (< 6m motorhome + 2 adults) - it was also very convenient meaning I could do a day's work, drive to Harwich in the evening for a 23:00 sailing. This was booked via DirectFerries.com. On the way home we took the 4.5 hour Langesund Norway to Hirtshals in Denmark which was booked via the same website for about £76.

Tolls : Norway have several motorways and some tunnels with tolls, These are electronic tolls with no toll booths. You can register your vehicle and a credit card in advance at http://www.autopass.no/en/visitors-payment. This worked out easiest for us. There are 2 ways to pay but we opted for the one where they deduct £30 off our credit card when we go through the first toll (it emails you when that happens) then it subtracts toll payments from that as you drive under the gantries. You tell them when your trip is likely to end and a given time after that they will refund any remaining amount, or in my case take another payment as I had run up more than £30 in tolls :roll:

Roads : Roads are very well maintained. In the mountains there are many whose widths vary as you drive - i.e. they may suddenly drop to single-track. All but one road we drove were tarmac. The roads going over the mountains (which you want to explore for their beauty) involve a lot of tight switchbacks, though were all tarmac in my experience and didn't exceed much more than 10% incline. Though you need to be able to stop, back up, do a steep hill start and pull right over to one side (either rock face or the edge) because there is often traffic coming the other way from trucks and coaches. So watch you aren't burning out your clutch (we can do these in low ration 4x2 for that reason). Also, there are a lot of long descents of around 10%. You need to use engine braking (often 1st gear) to avoid brake fade / failure. In the busier parts of Norway there are speed cameras.

Tunnels : There are lots of these. Some are wide with a lane in each direction and lighting. Others are bare rock, some with no lighting, some single-track. The unlit or poorly lit ones are a shock when you enter them from the bright outside and can see almost nothing as your lights bounce off the wet rock and tarmac. Some tunnels contain steep descents or ascents, others have hairpin bends mid-tunnel and some have junctions and even roundabouts. People drive most tunnels at around 45 mph to 50 mph (the latter is the speed limit on most roads in Norway).

Museums : Many are closed Mondays. But the major ones collected together in southern Oslo are open Monday. The viking long ship museum gets very busy - worth visiting shortly after it opens before the coach parties turn up. The other museums in the area are less busy, so we did them later.

Camping : Campsites are £20 in more remote areas and £30+ in more populated areas, and that often excludes the charge for showers (£2 each) and electricity (£4+). Away from built up areas remote camping is easy. On quieter roads there are nice picnic spots - we would find one late afternoon that wasn't near anyone's house and parked up. Although I believe such camping is completely acceptable we still took the precaution of not making the place look like a camp site - i.e. it looked like we had just pulled in and stopped for a while rather than setting out chairs, awnings, etc. Plus the picnic spots all have a bin and picnic table to use :D . Near tourist spots pull-ins, private parking areas and car parks tend to be clearly marked if no camping is allowed.

Wifi / data access : We didn't go many places with wifi - but then we weren't visiting cafes or restaurants (especially considering the cost). Some campsites had wifi, but we didn't get very good reliability / coverage in those. I have a 4G mobile wifi hotspot from 3 which has a roaming agreement with Norway and a providers in seemingly random other countries so data came out of my 12Gb built in allowance - so I didn't have to pay roaming charges. Mobile coverage was extremely good and we were able to get reasonable data rates in mountain areas where you would expect no coverage.

Language : Most people spoke excellent English. Many signs had English translations or were pretty easy to guess / translate.

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Fuel : Diesel is substantially cheaper than petrol and was a bit more expensive than the UK. Strangely I would sometimes find I had been charged a lower rate than that shown on the forecourt sign. In remote places be careful because some petrol stations have one pump amongst the regular forecourt pumps that sells "red" diesel for agricultural use. In Norway's case it seems to contain a very slightly green dye. So look out for these - I don't know how likely you are to have your tank dipped, but best avoided anyway.

Steve.
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Re: Norway travel

Postby Alexd » 29 Jun 2016 14:05

There was always this not sure who he is but its demountable and in that area


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http://expeditionportal.com/the-nordic-chihuahua/
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Re: Norway travel

Postby Lost in the wilds » 03 Jul 2016 09:29

Thanks for the very useful information Steve. We're hoping to go to Norway in the not-too-distant so all first hand experience is very welcome.

Anyone else been? Please share with us.

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Re: Norway travel

Postby sabconsulting » 04 Jul 2016 23:37

Here is a trip report I put together on the US forum:

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We like Woodalls

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Re: Norway travel

Postby Jude » 04 Oct 2016 14:26

Thanks for sharing! Really useful tips! I'm planning t go to Norway next year on my Lance camper. I hope I'll do it.
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Re: Norway travel

Postby zildjian » 04 Oct 2016 17:07

Jude if you have an agenda of your own with this publication just ask if its OK to push it first please

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(its a politeness thing)
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Re: Norway travel

Postby Lost in the wilds » 15 Apr 2017 08:26

Woke up this morning.............................


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Lost in the wilds somewhere in Norway.
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Re: Norway travel

Postby zildjian » 15 Apr 2017 09:03

So thats where you are,
picture posted up-all good :D
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Re: Norway travel

Postby Lost in the wilds » 25 May 2017 18:07

Our trip to Norway – April/May 2017

For those considering going to Norway we thought we'd share a few things about our recent trip.
We don't do crowds so we decided to go to Norway before the tourist season gets going. We also needed to coordinate our trip with a visit to The Netherlands to deliver some gear to a friend for his boat and then spend some time on the boat on our way back.

Ferries direct to Scandinavia. The only one we could find is the freight service between Immingham and Gothenburg/Brevik. They would take our rig and us (not the dog) but the quoted price was prohibitive – over £1400 return!
We wanted to spend three weeks in Norway – didn't seem much point in going that far for a long weekend. So, allowing time in The Netherlands and time for the drive through Germany and Denmark and back through Sweden, Denmark and Germany we decided six weeks was about right.
We left Wales on 8 April having abandoned our house, cat and dog to a house sitter we found on http://trustedhousesitters.com/ We crossed from Dover to Calais and spent that night at a wild camping site we've used before near Calais. We then spent three nights in The Netherlands.
Northern France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Northern Germany and Denmark are FLAT – a huge contrast to what we were about to discover.
We took the Fjord Line ferry https://www.fjordline.com/en/) from Hirtshals in Northern Denmark to Kristiansand in Norway on 14 April (Good Friday). Prior to our trip we joined their Fjord Club (free) and got a discount.
From there we travelled north to fjord country and wandered where we fancied. We got as far as Andalsnes (about 62.5 degrees N) before we started south to Rjukan and Oslo.
We then drove south through Sweden, took the ferry from Helsingborg to Helsingor (Denmark), visited Copenhagen, took another ferry from Rodby to Puttgarden (Germany) and then drove to Belgium where we relaxed on our friend's boat for 10 days.

Weather – going to Norway in April we expected (and got) just about everything, sometimes in one day. Plenty of snow although the locals told us it was unusual to have so much at that time of year, especially in the south. The lowest temperature we had by day was -3.5°C and the warmest +18°C.

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Our Amarok performed faultlessly for the 4519 miles we drove. The auto gearbox got a very good workout. Our Continental winter tyres are excellent – we needed them up in the mountains.

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Fuel – the exchange rate changed while we were away (to our advantage for once!). Diesel prices in Norway varied enormously – we saw it as low as £1/litre and as high as £1.42/litre.
We shopped around and rarely let the tank get below half full as we never knew where we were going to end up.
Our overall fuel consumption was 28.1 mpg – calculated on actual fuel used and miles driven, not vehicle readout.

Our Tischer 230 Trail worked extremely well. With all our gear, food, boose, etc. we still had some spare room, and quite a lot more after we offloaded the boating gear in The Netherlands. The insulation is excellent, the loo and shower work well, our new Tayna battery performed well and our Gasit refillable LPG system is a winner. The Truma heating system is brilliant as is the fridge.
We took our 1kva generator which we used twice.

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Tolls - we knew that we would encounter tolls and saw no point in letting a few quid here and there spoil the trip. We encountered tolls on roads, bridges and tunnels. We reckon we went through over a hundred tunnels – only a few were tolled. Every toll we found was automatic. We registered with https://www.epcplc.com/ before we left and have yet to receive all the invoices.

There are dozens of ferries in Norway - they are used as an extension of the road network. They run regularly all year round. Our Amarok was the only vehicle on some ferries. We also didn't let the cost of ferries slow us down – we found them very useful and not particularly expensive (£9 - 14 a go).

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Dump stations – these should be on the NHS. The sign at top left:

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indicates a caravan/motorhome dump station – black and grey disposal, fresh (drinking quality) water. We used several of these - when we could find them. It's not that they're not there but sometimes we saw a dump station sign that indicated 1km ahead and then no further signs.
All bar one of these we found were free – one in a petrol station charged £3. Most of them are on, or close to, major roads.

Camp sites – wild camping is accepted in Norway (and Sweden). In Norway we wild camped on all but two nights. We used a German app for some of our sites - https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/store/p ... zdncrdphqx

One of our best ever camp sites:

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LPG – we refilled our system twice and had no problems finding LPG. We used this site - http://www.gaslowdirect.com/epages/cyuj ... _in_Europe –.
to find LPG stations.
In total (almost 5 weeks in the Tischer) we used about 40 litres of LPG.

Water – our tank holds 90 litres. We always carry extra (about 50 litres in the back of the truck). We had no significant problems getting free drinking quality water. We found garages and even a hotel were obliging. There seems to be no shortage of water in Norway.

Roads – some roads were still closed by snow and we encountered some road works. We found this site useful- http://www.vegvesen.no/trafikkbeta?lat= ... View=false
Most of the major roads we used were excellent – some of the minor roads were potholed and bumpy.
We had no intention of travelling fast – many roads were maximum 80 kph (50mph). This one was very optimistic:

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Food, boose – we took enough to feed most of Norway for weeks. We stored everything under the bed and in the back of the truck. We bought fresh bread, milk, salads, etc. and tried to ignore the prices.

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The cost of living in Norway is HIGH. We only ate out a couple of times – one memorable meal was Norwegian fish and chips in Bergen. £15 each.
We always ask for discounts on ferries, at museums, etc. – and we frequently get them – there are some advantages to being an old duffer.
As it was off season we managed to get in to two museums for free.

Trains – having spent many frustrating hours in cities looking for car parks that don't have a 2m barrier we decided on another scheme. We parked (for free) at a railway station about 25 minutes outside Bergen. The fares were reasonable and we were then able to walk everywhere we wanted to go. We did the same in Copenhagen on our way back.

We wild camped just outside Oslo and visited a couple of museums (Fram and Kon Tiki). We parked about half a mile away for about £5. We can highly recommend the museums.

Phone, internet – even in the deepest fjord and some pretty remote places we got a signal every time - except once. We used a '3' dongle for internet with 12Gb data allowance and Vodafone for phone.

People – very friendly and helpful. Very happy to chat and share information. We went to places that we had not planned on the basis of some conversations.

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The only downside was we found that some Norwegians change character when they get behind the wheel of a car.

Remarks – don't go to Norway..…….….....unless you like stunning scenery - mountains, snow, lakes, waterfalls, forests, fjords and, at this time of year, very quiet roads. Wildlife is varied – we saw a lot of birds that are common in UK, a red squirrel, porpoise in a fjord and very nearly saw a live moose.

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Would we go back – yes, and probably to the same part of Norway – there's a great deal we didn't see.

Chris and Carol
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Re: Norway travel

Postby Peaky » 25 May 2017 18:56

Excellent trip report guys!!!
Looking forward to catching up with you both at the meet in June.

Andy & Gilly
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