It’s a long way from Australia and seeing this part of the world had waited until I was in Europe anyway. Eurobike was in Frankfurt and I flew to Oslo from there. I’m lucky to have friends here.
It’s a big country and I only have a few weeks. In addition to warm-up rides close to Oslo, I’ll concentrate on Bergen to Trondheim.
The roads are a bit narrow so it’s best to find less-busy routes. That’s not hard. There are SO many tunnels and they normally say “No Bikes or Pedestrians” (for good reasons).
Bergen happens to be the wettest city in all of Europe. Fortunately it was fine. The route north is well signposted.
There are waterfalls coming off the U-shaped valleys virtually everywhere. It’s snow melt as it has not been raining much.
There is a long-term government policy of having human settlement throughout the country. This has meant long-term farming subsidies. Often small farms that can only grow grass and other animal feed, can actually survive.
This tunnel didn’t have the No Bike sign. Nor did it say how long it was but there was so little traffic so I went for it. It was only 1.1km. The B&M headlight is great.
Boer goats doing well in an environment very different to where they originate from.
There are also quite a lot of sheep. Kept indoors for months and in the summer allowed to graze on roadsides in the mountains. They have bells and are not at all afraid.
Some days it’s too far between towns. I’m finding Airbnb’s on farms, booking one day ahead. This is out the window from one West of Stryn.
Norway is a rich country having discovered oil off-shore six decades ago. This is government owned, allowing Norway to have a big sovereign wealth funds. It’s actually the biggest in the world. But they can see the future and have policies that make an electric vehicle cost only half of its diesel/petrol equivalent. 80% of new vehicle sales are electric. The highest level in the world.
Norway must be the home of sod roofs. Or are they spread around the globe at this latitude? They even have sprinklers set up to water them. They even allow trees to grow on them! You may well wonder how this does not just hasten the failure of the roof? Apparently not so though. The barrier between the wooden substructure and the sod is a layer of birch bark. Newer ones use a sheet of plastic. The sod roofs weigh it all down and help reduce the spaces between the logs.
Timber has always been the primary building material and source of heating. Small farms often have additional forest land and PTO-driven splitters with elevators loading up 1.5CUM cut-wood baskets. It’s all softwood. Houses are super-well insulated. They test the seals by pumping air into houses and measuring the pressure decline rate!
You can’t expect separate bike paths everywhere but there are plenty along fjords, through old railway tunnels, and alongside major roads.
An impressive wooden church. Some are many hundreds of years old.
Called a Potato House, this is cool-room for vegetable storage through a cold winter. Rock is used extensively. Norway is basically rock.
I chose 650B wheels and 50mm tyres for this ride and I sought out off-road trails
Norway celebrates diversity. It was Gay Pride Week and there are rainbow flags everywhere.
Ferries cross the fiords on the coast. Some fiords run inland over 100km so these are considered part of the road network. They run frequently and are free.
Catching up with an old mate. Agriculture is pretty challenging here. Mainly it is growing food for animals.
Coming into Trondheim in peak hour. It is 63.5degrees north. (Hobart is 43 S. Ushuaia is 55 S. Anchorage is 61 N.) Norway is warmed by the Gulf Stream.
The other way people visit Norway is by cruise ship along the coast.
Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo is indescribably beautiful. There are 200 pieces. It is fantastic.
Heading out. Getting away from the country scenes and being reminded how modern living is a mix of realities. Or maybe just a very different way of experiencing them.