Cycling the Atlantic coast of Europe from north to south during the summer of 2017. View the archive, the route so far, or donate to MSF.

So long and thanks for all the fishcakes

By Stuart Lowe on

Well, that's it for my trip in Norway. I now cross the top of the North Sea to Orkney and pick up the Atlantic again from there.

Last night at the Youth Hostel I met Luke. He had cycled from the UK taking a ferry from Hull to Rotterdam then up through Denmark and Sweden into Norway. He tells me his brother is currently cycling around the west of Scotland so I may bump into him.

landscape
Luke

Getting to Bergen airport turned out to be really easy. About 12 km from it I picked up the 50 bike route that showed signs for the airport. So I ignored Google maps and followed the signs. South Bergen seems to have a great network of segregated bike lanes. It was really pleasant and, for Norway, incredibly flat. The signs gave regular updates on how far to go. They took me more or less to the terminal door. This was perhaps my favourite experience at an airport by bike.

landscape
Segregated bike lane to the airport

There are things I won't miss about Norway:

  • The steep hills
  • The cost of food (£4 for a green pepper)
  • The cold rain
  • The bad curbs from road to cycle/foot path
  • The difficulty of knowing the cost of the ferries in advance
  • The cold rain (there was a lot of it so it gets another mention)
  • Norwegians saying "it won't be expensive" then the thing turning out to be expensive by non-Norwegian standards

But there are things I will miss about Norway:

  • The mountains
  • The scenery
  • The waving flags outside the Rema1000, Kiwi Pris, Bunnpris, X Extra, and range of Coop supermarkets showing where they are from down the road
  • The Coop Xtra fiskekakke (fishcakes) which were 960g for 27 krones (perhaps the best value per calorie)
  • The cyclists who had cycled from all over Europe to get to the Norwegian coastline and who shared advice and stories
  • The friendly tourists in camper vans who helped the occasional long-distance cyclist
  • The wild camping (despite the midges as I got further south)
  • The polite drivers who left plenty of room when overtaking (they got slowly worse as I got further south)
  • The letters ø, å, and æ.
  • The midnight sun

Normally I don't have a clear favourite part of something but this time I do. For me, it was Senja. It was so dramatic with the mountains rising steeply out of the fjords and the colour of the water. Wild camping at the sandy beach at Ersfjord was just perfect.

panorama
Goodbye Bergen