Sunday, 18 October 2015

Norway 2015: An overview

At last, six weeks to the day after we sailed out of Bergen, I’ve got round to posting an overview of our trip to Norway. 

Where to begin? Well the highlight was obviously seeing our lovely daughter and her charming boyfriend. That said there are plenty of other memories that we will cherish. Standing out (in chronological order) are  - Kvitsøy, Kystriksveien - the coastal route, Saltstraumen, Trondheim, The Atlantic Highway, Trollstigen, Mundal and Flåm.
Worst memories? Top of the list has to be the nightmare where we also got stuck in the middle of nowhere and ended up skidding our way out and damaging the step mechanism into the bargain. Also well up the list has to be some of the narrow roads, with thumping great lorries bearing down on us at speed.

So it was a lot of miles in six and half weeks, but having said that 40% of those miles were done in the six days it took to drive to Norway and return.

The weather was better than we had expected, especially after someone told us during our first week in the country that it was the wettest summer in over 30 years! Shortly after that the sun came out and was almost a constant companion for the rest of our stay. Contrast that to the UK who were experiencing a really dull and wet summer.

The cost of living is often commented on, with Norway being one of the most expensive countries in Europe. However the strong pound delivered a really good exchange rate for us, meaning costs were not as high as previous visits. Food was always going to be a major expenditure, but we tried to buy the cheaper items, though these did tend to be carbohydrate based.

To finish with here are our top tips for anyone visiting Norway in a motorhome
  • Don’t bother booking campsites in advance, there always seems to be room
  • Wild camping seems better tolerated than in the UK, but there seems to be more restrictions on lay-by’s/picnic sites that are on the major routes
  • Top up with fuel in Denmark, where it is much cheaper
  • Do the same with food and drink - buy as much as you can fit in before you get to Norway, especially alcohol
  • If you’re using internet get a PAYG sim in Norway - we’ve found out since that PAYG sims bought in the UK, but intended for use abroad, are still heavily restricted
  • Watch out for speed cameras, they are common, especially in more built up areas, but usually are well signed
  • Watch the speed limits - they are lower than the UK, so it is easier to creep over the limit

Note: photos have now been added to most posts

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