Bicycle Touring In Fjord Norway With

by jpc_touring-bicycle

I’ve recognized Eric Kiraly since highschool. We have been in the identical video manufacturing class throughout my later excessive faculties years, and afterward attended the identical College. Since faculty, nevertheless, Eric and I’ve been largely out of contact. However when Eric heard that I used to be planning to spend a number of months biking across the Scandinavian nation of Norway, he obtained in contact and requested if he would possibly be capable to be a part of me for a portion of my travels all through the nation.

At first, Eric and I deliberate to easily backpack round Norway collectively (as this might be the best and least expensive type of journey for Eric). However the extra I considered it, the extra I noticed that touring by bike would possibly simply be one of the best ways for Eric and I each to expertise the Norwegian lifestyle.

I knew that Eric would wrestle with tenting each night time and the dearth of each day showers (which is the best way I typically journey once I’m by myself). So I regarded into the opportunity of collaborating in a guided or self-guided bicycle tour within the nation. And that’s when I discovered and the varied bike excursions that they’ve on supply. Not solely have been their self-guided bicycle excursions inexpensive, however they have been situated in among the areas that Eric and I wished to see most.

norway cycling route map

For extra data on the bike excursions featured on this article, make sure to go to the next two hyperlinks:

After a brief interval of investigation, Eric and I signed up for not only one, however two, back-to-back bicycle excursions with Energetic-Norway (also referred to as “Norske Bygdeopplevelser”). After I accomplished my solo bike tour from Copenhagen, Denmark to Oslo, Norway, I met Eric (who had flown in from Los Angeles, California earlier that day) on the prepare station in downtown Oslo. We jumped on an in a single day prepare and within the early morning hours discovered ourselves within the lovely metropolis of Bergen, Norway.


As a result of we arrived so early within the morning (someday round 7 AM), Eric and I weren’t in a position to test into our resort right away – although that’s what we each would have preferred to do. Neither certainly one of us slept very nicely on the prepare and we have been each past exhausted! To be able to kill a while, we frolicked on the prepare station for just a few hours, surfed the Web, after which wandered into city to search out our resort round 10 AM.


Energetic-Norway had organized for us to remain on the Thon Lodge Bristol in downtown Bergen. This massive, fashionable resort is situated on the principle pedestrian sq. within the Bergen metropolis heart – immediately over (and subsequent to) one of many a number of McDonald’s within the downtown space.


Fortunate for us, the resort had no downside letting us drop off my bicycle (which I had introduced with me on the prepare from Oslo) and the remainder of our baggage of their locked storage room. With our gear now secured, however just a few extra hours to kill earlier than we may formally test into our room, Eric and I wandered across the Bergen metropolis heart, searching for one thing to do.


The climate that first day in Bergen was fairly chilly and overcast. Regardless of the small sprinkling of rain we have been experiencing, Eric and I made a decision to climb the steep hillside on the japanese fringe of the town. From the highest, we had a wonderful view of the town under, with it’s previous wood buildings, towering fashionable cruise ships parked within the harbor, and the 1000’s of vacationers working about on the streets under.


Lastly, round 2 PM, Eric and I have been allowed to test into our resort room, which was situated on the nook of the constructing and from the home windows gave us an outstanding view of the pedestrian sq. under us. After showering, Eric and I each crashed within the inns beds and took a brief nap. We have been so extremely drained!


However we weren’t in a position to sleep for lengthy. Round 4 PM, we had organized for an area information to indicate us across the metropolis. This too was one thing that had been organized for us by Energetic-Norway. The information met us at our resort and took us across the metropolis, exhibiting us all of the vital landmarks and answering any questions  we occurred to have.


Throughout our non-public tour of Bergen, Norway, Eric and I discovered that all the buildings in Bergen was once constructed of wooden. However as a result of these wood properties have been constructed so shut to 1 one other and have been so prone to catching fireplace, the inhabitants weren’t allowed to warmth their properties with wooden and even small candles. So the individuals of Bergen construct their bedrooms within the heart of their properties, utilizing the house round them as a type of insulation through the chilly winter months.


Our first full day in Norway was a pleasing one… and we slept nicely that night time. Within the morning, nevertheless, we jumped off the bed and commenced getting ready for the primary full day of our bicycle touring journey. We ate a scrumptious buffet breakfast within the restaurant of our resort… after which we packed up our luggage (and my bicycle) for the quick prepare trip to the close by metropolis of Voss (which is the place our bike tour would formally start).


I used to be just a little involved that being a vegetarian in a rustic the place fish and meat is such a typical meals, I might need some bother discovering sufficient to eat throughout my time in Norway. So I used to be relieved to find that there have been loads of vegetarian meals on supply on the Thon Lodge Bristol and on the different inns we’d encounter all through our Norwegian bicycle tour.


After trying out of our resort, Eric and I walked to a close-by bicycle store, the place we picked up the rental bike that Eric can be utilizing in the course of the bike tour. The person on the store geared up Eric with a small, hybrid commuter bike with seven easy gears and a pink (virtually salmon coloured) helmet. I had fun laughing at Eric and his pink helmet, nevertheless it was the one helmet the bike store had that match Eric’s head.


After a brief 2-hour prepare trip with our bicycles in tow, Eric and I arrived within the tiny lakeside village of Voss, Norway. Located immediately subsequent to the prepare station was our lodging for the night time – Fleischers Lodge. We checked into our room (which was nautically-themed and had a view overlooking the lake and close by mountains) after which ready for dinner.


Eric and I have been a bit misplaced, being two of the youngest individuals within the dinning corridor that night time. After gathering a big plate of buffet-style meals, I sat down at my assigned dinner desk and was then requested by one of many passing waitresses if I used to be a driver for one of many Asian tour teams that occurred to even be staying within the resort that night time. “No,” I advised the younger, blonde haired lady. “I’m not a bus driver.”


After dinner, Eric and I took a brief stroll across the city of Voss. We meandered over to the close by church, snapped some pictures down by the lake, and strolled by way of the village, wanting contained in the empty store home windows and questioning how few individuals truly lived on this tiny city.


Now nicely outdoors of Bergen, being surrounded my lakes and rivers and excessive, snow-covered mountains, Eric and I felt as if we have been lastly within the Norway we had imagined. We wandered again to our resort that night time, anxious and excited for the bike tour we’d formally start early the next morning.


After we woke the following morning, we ate a scrumptious buffet-style breakfast on the resort, become our bicycle garments, carried our bicycles up from the resort storage room the place that they had been locked in a single day, and walked (not cycled) all the way down to the close by bicycle path. You see, this might be Eric’s first time using a bicycle in a really very long time. He knew trip a bicycle, however he had by no means ridden a bicycle loaded with two rear panniers, and he had definitely by no means cycled out of the country. Regardless that he was excited concerning the bike tour in entrance of us, I may inform he was just a little terrified of how tough it could be.


So we took it sluggish at first. We stopped a number of occasions to regulate Eric’s saddle, handlebars, helmet, and so on… after which we slowly made our manner up a protracted, ascending bike path that got here to an finish on the prime of a giant hill. On the opposite aspect of that hill was a steep and windy downhill descent to the huge roadside Skjervefossen waterall. On the prime of the hill, Eric was afraid to cycle down the mountainside, fearing that it could be too steep for him – and he wished to stroll his bicycle down as a substitute. However following shut behind me, Eric may quickly see that the highway wasn’t as steep as he had imagined, and we whizzed previous the waterfall with smiles on our faces.


At this level within the bike tour, Eric was doing nice. We have been making good time, he regarded robust and wholesome on the bike, and there was a fork within the highway. We may go left and cycle straight to the resort… or we may flip proper, cycle across the west aspect of Granvinsvatnet (a big lake) after which go to the tip of the huge Granvinfjord. Not desirous to miss any a part of the tour (or a possibility to see out first true Norwegian fjord), Eric and I selected to cycle across the lake and all the way down to the tip of the fjord.


It was a for much longer bike trip across the lake than I assumed it will be and the view from the fjord tip was not as spectacular as we each had hoped. So, by the point we obtained again to the highway we wanted to take in the direction of our resort, we have been each just a little drained. Sadly for Eric, nevertheless, that is the place essentially the most tough a part of the day (and perhaps even all the bike tour) was scheduled to start. From the city of Ovre Granvin, we cycled for six lengthy kilometers up a steep and windy mountain move – a highway that compelled Eric to get off his bike and stroll on a number of events.


When Eric would ask me how far it was to the highest, I’d lie and inform him that it was simply across the nook, although I knew there have been nonetheless a number of kilometers to go. I may see the ache and struggling in Eric’s face and I used to be fearful that he would possibly need to give up and switch round on the very first day of our bike tour! So I did what I may to maintain Eric shifting… and to my shock, he stored a reasonably optimistic perspective. After we lastly reached the highest of the quick, however steep climb, Eric was elated – and exhausted! Climbing this 6 km hill might have simply been essentially the most bodily demanding factor Eric has ever completed.


One of the best half about reaching the highest of that hill, nevertheless, was that it was virtually completely all downhill from that time ahead. The highest part of the highway took us by way of a darkish, dense forest surrounded by small lakes and looming, tree-covered mountains. After which, immediately, we reached some extent within the highway the place we may see the village of Ulvik, the Hardangerfjord, and the resort the place we’d be staying that night time only a quick distance away.


The bike trip all the way down to tiny city of Ulvik was exhilarating. After such a tough and demanding uphill climb only a few moments earlier than, the downhill rush of adrenaline got here at precisely the proper time, and it was the proper technique to conclude our first day of bicycle touring in fjord Norway. As soon as in Ulvik, we went straight to our resort (the Strand Lodge) and checked into our room.


Located on the sting of the Hardangerfjord, the Strand Lodge has a big outside deck, an enormous dinning corridor, and a plethora of small rooms searching over the water. With only some toes of land between the within of the room and the cool water of the Hardangerfjord, it often felt as if we have been on a gently floating boat.


Among the finest issues about collaborating in a guided or self-guided bicycle tour just like the Energetic-Norway Biking Hardangerfjord bike tour is that after a full day of biking, you understand you may sit up for having a scorching bathe, a heat meal, and a cushty place to sleep. And albeit, I’m fairly certain that’s what Eric was banking on once we arrived on the Strand Lodge after that first day of biking. He was completely beat, and he was prepared for a bathe, a very good meal, and a well-deserved relaxation.


Within the morning, Eric and I ate a scrumptious buffet breakfast within the resort eating room, packed our lunches utilizing the buffet meals available, after which retreated to our room for just a few extra treasured moments sitting within the patio chairs on the arm of the Hardnagerfjord.


Figuring out we had about 53 kilometers to cycle that day, we couldn’t lollygag for too lengthy. We finally packed up our bicycles, checked out of the resort, after which made our manner out of Ulvik, biking alongside the sting of Hardangerfjord towards the city of Kinsarvik – roughly 30 kilometers away.


The primary a part of our bike trip that day was comparatively simple. The highway was flat (for essentially the most half) and the views have been fairly spectacular. Eric’s favourite a part of the day, nevertheless, was once we cycled throughout the big Hardangerfjord bridge, which was solely only recently opened (in August of 2013).


My favourite a part of biking throughout the Hardangerfjord was the varied artwork installations that had been put in place on each ends of the bridge. There have been a number of areas within the tunnel resulting in the mouth of the bridge the place rainbow lights had been put in, and different massive artwork installations have been additionally scattered all through the world.


Now on the japanese aspect of the Hardangerfjord, Eric and I made our manner alongside a considerably busy highway to the city of Kinsarvik. Alongside the best way we’d often must cease and anticipate the passing autos to again up and navigate round each other. You see, the highway is so slender on this half that two automobiles heading in the other way from each other can typically not safely move. So massive vehicles or RVs typically have bother getting by the autos heading within the different route.


Kinsarvik was a phenomenal and energetic little city. When Eric and I arrived there, there was already a big line of individuals and autos ready to take the ferry throughout the fjord.


Eric and I jumped within the queue and waited. Following the directions that had been given to us by Energetic-Norway, we have been to take the ferry boat (with our bicycles in tow) throughout the Hardangerfjord to the city of Utne, and from there we have been purported to cycle 23 extra kilometers to Herand, the place we would want to catch the final ferry of the night time to the town of Nordheimsund.


The ferry from Kinsarvik to Utne was a quick and pleasant expertise… and on the water for the primary time, Eric and I have been in a position to see the Norwegian fjords in a manner we had been unable to do beforehand on our bicycles. When the ferry boat allow us to off within the tiny city of Utne, it started to rain. Dripping moist, we pushed our bicycles up a steep, close by hill to the Hardanger Folks Museum, which is an open air museum showcasing numerous previous wood homes from the area.


Inside these previous wood properties are reveals showcasing what it might need been prefer to dwell and/or work inside such a house within the centuries previous. Conventional costumes, musical devices, and an entire lot extra could possibly be discovered inside the varied buildings that have been on show right here and open to the general public.


After being drenched by a fast and regular downpour, Eric and I did our greatest to rapidly make it out of Utne. However getting out of city wasn’t as simple was we had hoped. There was a large hill in entrance of us, and it took a while to deal with this steep terrain. This was, after-all, solely Eric’s second full day of bicycle touring… and he was nonetheless battling even the smallest of inclines.


As soon as we obtained to the highest of the hill, it was a largely flat, traffic-free highway that we have been biking on. With the fjord on our proper and the hillside on our left, Eric and I discovered ourselves biking by way of small, idyllic farms on which apples and cherries have been being grown. As a lot as we loved this flat, rolling part of the route, we wanted to rush as a result of we knew there was nonetheless one massive hill to climb that day, and we have been in a rush as a result of we wanted to get on the final ferry of the day (at 5:07 PM), which might take us from the tiny city of Herand to the a lot bigger metropolis of Norheimsund, Norway.


We arrived in Herand simply in time and took the ferry over the Norheimsund, which was removed from massive, nevertheless it felt quite a bit greater than the tiny cities we had been passing by way of for the final a number of days. It had been a protracted day and we have been each fairly drained, so we have been happy to find that our resort for the night time was situated immediately subsequent to the ferry touchdown.


The Thon Lodge Sandven is a big, old-timey institution on the surface, with a contemporary room room design on the within. Smack dab within the heart of Norheimsund, the Thon Lodge Sandven is only a quick stroll from the ferry touchdown, the grocery store, the financial institution, the native Maritime Museum and numerous different small native points of interest.


From our bed room window, Eric and I had a phenomenal view of the close by fjord and the tiny properties that dot the hillside on the alternative aspect of the water. The WiFi was free and purposeful, and the pleasant resort employees we encountered on the institution have been each useful and appreciated.


When it got here dinner time, Eric and I took the elevator all the way down to the dinning corridor, solely to search out that all the room (pictured above) was stuffed with Chinese language vacationers. There wasn’t a single spare seat in all the institution! Fortunate for us, there was loads of room in one of many close by sitting rooms, so a desk was arrange for us, and we ate our scrumptious buffet dinner (pictured under) whereas seated at a desk meant for six.


Of all of the meals I ate on the Energetic-Norway Biking Hardangerfjord bike tour, this one was in all probability my favourite. With a lot meals to select from, a big plate and a hungry abdomen to fill, I loaded up on bread, potatoes, salad and extra!


Even after I had completed consuming and my abdomen was greater than full, I wished to return and get some extra – to take to my room and eat at a later date. I didn’t truly try this (though I used to be tempted), however the meals was that good!


For dessert that night time we had a big scoop of fruit salad (pictured above) and a number of other small slices of fluffy, gentle, cream-covered cake.


After dinner, Eric and I took a stroll round downtown Norheimsund (in an try to stroll off the big meal we each had simply consumed). Whereas there was little to see within the metropolis, we marveled on the magnificence that surrounded us. Because the solar set over the fjord, I snapped the photograph above, which is a reasonably good illustration of what it’s prefer to journey in fjord Norway. Deep water, tall mountains, tiny properties, a number of boats, lovely birds, and an enormous array of colours.


The third day of our Hardangerfjord bike tour with Energetic-Norway was a scheduled rest-day from the bikes. However as a substitute of simply sitting across the resort all day and laying in mattress (one thing I’m certain Eric would have loved doing after his first two days of biking in a really very long time), we have been scheduled to take part in a guided glacier hike on the close by Folgefonna glacier. To get to the glacier, Eric and I needed to take a ferry from Norheimsund, again throughout the Hardangerfjord to Herand (the place we had been the night time earlier than) after which take an hour+ lengthy bus trip to the glacier parking zone, situated excessive within the close by mountains.


As soon as we arrived on the glacier, we have been rapidly ushered into windproof pants, winter gloves, beanies, and ill-fitting sun shades. Then, with a bunch of roughly thirty different individuals, we have been instructed to stroll out onto the snow overlaying the close by mountain. Strolling previous a small native ski resort, we hiked as much as the highest of a snow-covered hill and have been then cut up up into small teams of about eight individuals per group. We have been then all tied collectively (such as you’d see severe mountaineers doing in films in order that within the occasion that one of many adventurers have been to fall right into a glacial crevasse, the opposite mountaineers may pull the person out). For us, nevertheless, I believe the ice axes we have been carrying and the truth that we have been all tied along with rope was largely for present.


Whereas I discovered the glacier hike to be far too touristy for my liking, others in our group discovered the expertise to be each distinctive and pleasant. I assume that for me, dwelling in a ski resort that’s coated in snow for the winter months, mountain climbing round for a pair hours on the snow-covered Folgefonna glacier was simply one other stroll within the park. However for Eric (who has virtually no expertise within the snow) and so many others on the glacier hike that day, the expertise was a optimistic one.


After our glacier hike, Eric and I jumped again on the identical bus that had pushed us to the highest of the mountain earlier within the day. After greater than an hour on the bus, we jumped on the ferry but once more and traveled again to Norheimsund. However moderately than keep in the identical resort that night time, we have been booked in a distinct resort situated roughly seven kilometers down the highway. So, although we have been each fairly drained from our day on the glacier, we loaded up our bicycles and cycled the quick seven kilometers to the close by city of Oystese, Norway… the place we checked into the Hardangerfjord Lodge.


I actually preferred this resort as a result of, although it wasn’t as fancy because the Thon Lodge Sandven we had stayed within the earlier night time in Norheimsund, it had a extra relaxed environment. After showering, Eric and I walked to the resort eating room and have been handled with one other scrumptious buffet dinner.


The next morning, after a tasty breakfast within the Hardangerfjord Lodge, Eric and I packed up our bicycles and mentally ready ourselves for the longest day of our bike tour in Fjord Norway (Usually 66 km, however for us (as a result of we have been staying in Oystese and never Norheimsund), it was 73+ kilometers).


Fortunate for us, our longest day on the bike was additionally one of many best. There have been no massive hills to climb… and Eric was actually starting to get into his stride at this level within the bike tour. Like so many people who find themselves new to bicycle touring, it takes just a few days to actually get right into a rhythm. And like I say inside The Bicycle Touring Blueprint, it’s normally on day three or 4 that most individuals start to get comfy touring lengthy distances by bike.


Along with this being Eric’s first bike tour, he was using a rental bike that had a significant issue with its backside bracket. Each time Eric would spin his toes across the pedals of his bike, the underside bracket would crack and click on, making essentially the most horrific of sounds. Sadly, we solely found this downside after we had left Bergen and have been removed from the rental store the place we had picked up the bike. Eric, nevertheless, was content material with the bike he had been given… and he did a very good job ignoring the horrible sounds that have been emanating from the body of his crappy rental bike.


On the primary day of the Hardangerfjord bike tour, Eric would cease using his bicycle virtually the second he noticed even the slightest uphill within the highway forward, and he’d be tempted to stroll his bike as a substitute. However on this, the third day of biking, I started to see some actual enhancements in the best way Eric approached his time on the bike. Whereas there have been no main hills to deal with today, there have been numerous small, rolling hills to climb, and I may see nice enhancements in how Eric approached these small hills. Reasonably than getting off to stroll the second he noticed an incline, Eric would often copy what I did and rise on his pedals in order to propel his bike up and over the small hill that was in entrance of him.


Whereas I had imagined a motorbike tour throughout Norway can be fairly heat through the summer time months, that wasn’t how issues have been in actuality. For many of the tour, Eric and I have been carrying our rain jackets. Regardless that it didn’t really rain all that usually, the air was chilly – bordering on heat for only a second, after which dipping again to just about freezing-cold temperatures. We discovered that, on most days no less than, carrying simply our gentle rain jackets was the very best strategy for biking within the cool Norwegian local weather.


While you cycle with one other particular person, it’s important to learn the way they prefer to trip and what motivates them to maintain going. I’m a reasonably skilled bicycle owner (having ridden my bike throughout 50+ international locations all all over the world, with greater than fifteen years of long-distance bicycle touring expertise), however my journey associate for this journey was a complete beginner. You would possibly suppose that touring with a noob could be irritating for me, however I discovered it to be an total pleasant expertise. I might normally trip in entrance of Eric, which motivated him to maintain going and catch as much as me. Once I obtained too far forward, I’d merely pull over to the aspect of the highway and wait. This additional time allowed me to relaxation, take pictures, and/or hearken to music/podcasts on my smartphone.


More often than not we spent biking alongside the sting of the Hardangerfjord felt like biking alongside the sting of a extremely massive lake. However there have been moments once we’d come throughout a very steep rock face that plunged deep into the water, and it was in these moments that we knew we have been in Fjord Norway.


On the finish of our longest day of biking, Eric and I pulled into the tiny city of Rosendal… and even from a distance we may inform that this place was one thing particular. The air was chilly and the sky was darkish once we discovered our resort and went inside to test into our room. However outdoors, the mountains referred to as and I wished nothing greater than to climb to the highest of the close by peaks and look down on the fjord… and village… and islands under. Little did I understand on the time, however I might later have that chance!


Strolling into the historic Rosendal Turist Hotell, I couldn’t at first discover anybody to test us in. I walked across the hallways of the resort in my biking garments and searched for somebody… anybody… to assist us. Lastly, a tall, lovely, blond-haired younger lady named Astri got here strolling up the steps. “Do you’re employed right here?” I requested. It turned out she did! Astri checked us into room #5 (a big room located close to the entrance deck of the resort) after which confirmed us a spot within the basement the place we may lock up our bicycles.


The Rosendal Turist Hotell is exclusive in that the rooms of the resort wouldn’t have their very own non-public baths. As an alternative, all friends of the resort should share one of many bogs situated within the hallway. I used to be just a little terrified of this setup once I first examine it within the Energetic-Norway paperwork, nevertheless it turned out to be a wonderfully appropriate technique to spend the night. After showering, Eric and I went all the way down to the resort restaurant and ate dinner, the place we have been served by each Astri (the attractive younger lady who had checked us into the resort earlier that day) and a co-worker of hers named Luis who was from Spain, had lived in Cuba, and was now managing the Rosendal restaurant through the summer time months. When Luis heard about my travels by bike, he was fast to tell me that he had performed his personal self-supported bicycle tour in Cuba, and that he had even been featured in an artwork gallery the place they displayed pictures and memorabilia from his bike trip throughout the nation.


The following morning, I wakened late and was not sure as to how I would spend the day. It was the second and final official rest-day of our Energetic-Norway bike tour… and understanding how a lot Eric wished to only lay in mattress and sleep, I made a decision that I used to be going to go off by myself and climb the close by mountain. Fortunate for me, the climate that day was the very best I had seen since arriving in Norway greater than every week earlier than, so once I go to the highest of the mountain, I used to be completely blown away by the views down under.


The hike as much as the highest of Malmangernuten was not a simple one. The terrain was moist and muddy and steep. However the air was cool, the solar was out, and there wasn’t one other soul in sight. Even earlier than I used to be half technique to the highest of the mountain I may inform that I used to be going to be handled with some really spectacular views.


Upon reaching the summit of the Malmangernuten mountain climbing path, I couldn’t consider what lay earlier than. The Hardangerfjord, in all its glory, was laid out beneath me, surrounded by inexperienced mountains, quaint villages, and rays of golden daylight. I stored considering to myself, “Eric goes to be so upset that he didn’t come on this hike with me. It might need killed him to rise up right here… however he would have beloved this! ”


As a result of I used to be mountain climbing alone and didn’t have anybody to take my photograph, I laid my backpack down on a pile of  rocks after which positioned my digital camera on prime of it. After positioning the digital camera as greatest I may, I set the timer and bumped into the place. I did this a number of occasions, and the results of all that forwards and backwards working is what you see within the pictures right here. If I had had one other particular person with me who may have held the digital camera in a greater (greater) place, I believe the pictures might need been much more breathtaking.


Among the finest issues about this hike as much as Malmangernuten was that I obtained to see Norway in the best way you typically see it marketed on TV, the Web, and so on. Solely from up excessive was I in a position to see Norway in the best way I had imagined it. From down under, on the sting of the fjord, Norway didn’t appear almost as extraordinary. Sure, the views from the highway the place Eric and I had been biking have been fairly good. However solely from up excessive may I actually admire what makes touring in Norway so extremely distinctive.


After taking a bunch of pictures of myself on the summit of the mountain, I walked a brief distance east alongside the mountain ridge and got here throughout a big household. Two dad and mom with 4 or extra younger, blonde-haired youngsters have been additionally mountain climbing this distant mountain path. We crossed paths, stated hey, and continued on our manner. Behind the group, a small boy (the youngest maybe) had fallen and reduce his knee on a rock. His mom ran again to examine the wound (which was extremely small) and luxury the small little one.


On the prime of Malmangernuten was a big pile of rocks, and inside this pile was a giant, steel briefcase. Contained in the briefcase was a pocket book and a pen the place hikers (like myself) may write down their title, the date of their go to, their nation of origin, and so on. I added my title (and web site, after all) to the pocket book after which continued on my manner.


After reaching the summit of the mountain, I nonetheless had a protracted technique to stroll earlier than getting again to the Rosendal Turist Hotell, the place Eric was absolutely ready for me. However as a substitute of going again to Rosendal on the identical path I had hiked up on, I walked east alongside the mountain ridge.


After about 40 minutes, I reached the sting of the mountain ledge and commenced making my manner down a muddy mountainside, which lead down into the valley you see within the photograph under. At a number of factors alongside the path there have been ropes tied to bushes… and these ropes have been there so hikers may grasp onto them as they navigated the steep, moist, and slippery terrain. A fall from right here could possibly be lethal, so the ropes have been vastly appreciated! I swung like a monkey from the trail-side ropes and rapidly bounced down the path to the gravel highway on the valley ground. From there, I walked for one more half hour or extra, again to Rosendal and the Turist Hotell, the place I discovered Eric nonetheless in mattress. He had solely left the resort for a quick second all the day (to examine the close by vacationer heart on the opposite aspect of the highway). In any other case, he had spent all the day sleeping and/or taking part in on his smartphone. In the meantime, I had been on an epic journey!


It was solely about 5 PM at this level within the day, and I had been advised (by the lady on the Rosendal Customer Heart) that there was a park close by stuffed with some sort of large stones. Rosendal is a small city, with not an entire lot to do, so a go to to the “Steinparken” appeared like a good suggestion. I compelled Eric off the bed and we walked from the resort to the close by park. As soon as there, we made a fast loop of the world, taking extra curiosity within the park swings and see-saw than the precise stones round which the park is centered.


The following morning, after one other scrumptious breakfast and dinner on the Rosendal Turist Lodge, Eric and I packed up our belongings, loaded up our bicycles, and commenced biking south. The primary a part of our bike tour with (the Biking Hardangerfjord Self-Guided Bike Tour) was now formally over… and the second a part of our journey (Round Sunnhordland by Bike and Boat) was about to start. We weren’t certain how the 2 bike excursions would possibly differ from each other (or if they’d in any respect), however we continued on, wanting ahead to the times we had in entrance of us.


The primary day of the Round Sunnhordland by Bike and Boat tour was a simple one. We made good time, and round half-way to our vacation spot for the night time, Eric and I bumped into a bunch of 4 different individuals touring on bicycles. Once I noticed the bikes these 4 people have been using, I immediately knew that they have been additionally touring with Energetic-Norway, as a result of they have been using the identical mannequin bikes because the one Eric was utilizing! Eric and I launched ourselves and rode with the group for a number of kilometers. We later met them at our resort – the Skanevik Fjordhotell in Skanevik, Norway.


The Skanevik Fjordhotell is a big, ageing constructing that appears prefer it might need been constructed out of the stays of an old style, a hospital, or a nursing house. The rooms have been good, however removed from spectacular. The tiny city of Skanevik was good to stroll round, however there was actually not a lot there aside from a grocery store, just a few small retailers, and the harbor the place a number of small boats have been docked.


After showering, Eric and I took a stroll across the city after which returned to the resort restaurant simply in time for an early dinner with our fellow bicycle touring companions. The six of us have been the one individuals in all the resort!


Within the group with us was Keith and Kate (from the USA) and Kevin and Jane (from the UK). Whereas we ate, we spoke about the place we have been all from, what we did for a dwelling, what we considered the bike tour to date, and an entire lot extra. I shared how I had been touring all over the world on my bicycle for greater than fifteen years, how I had written 4 in style books about biking, how the web site I constructed ( is largest internationally-read bicycle touring web site on this planet, and the way I had satisfied Eric to return to Norway and be a part of me on this wild and loopy (but oh-so rewarding) journey.


Whereas most of the inns on the Round Sunnhordland by Bike and Boat tour expressed concern about serving me one thing good for dinner as a result of I’m a strict vegetarian and have been my total life, there was no single meal on the tour that left me feeling hungry or disenchanted. On the Skanevik Fjordhotell, for instance, I used to be served a scrumptious plate of combined greens, in addition to bread and dessert. I used to be more than pleased with that!


The following day was a singular one for not solely this bike tour, however for any bike tour I’ve ever completed. Reasonably than begin in a single location and finish in one other, the second day of the Round Sunnhordland by Bike and Boat tour was an out-and-back day, which means that we’d begin biking in Skanevik, pedal roughly 27 kilometers to the close by city of Etne, after which cycle again to Skanevik on the identical highway we had simply traversed.


I used to be certain that with this being an out-and-back day of bicycle touring, Eric could be tempted to easily keep on the resort and skip the day of biking all-together. So I used to be shocked when, within the morning, Eric stated that he was going to affix me on the trip that day.


I used to be much more shocked when Eric accomplished the total 54 kilometers of using that day. Regardless that we left the resort a pair hours after the others in our occasion, we did finally make it to Etne, the place we rotated and pedaled again to Skanevik, simply in time for our ferry boat over to the close by city of Leirvik. I believe Eric was fairly happy with himself for having accomplished the total day of biking… and I used to be fairly happy with him as nicely.


As soon as in Leirvik, we walked our bicycles with Kevin, Keith, Kate and Jane to the close by Grand Hotell – a big, rectangular constructing situated only a few quick steps away from the ferry touchdown and the principle pedestrian metropolis heart.


Whereas Eric and I took our time and hung again from the group, permitting the others to test in earlier than us, we each stood again and marveled at how rapidly the others rushed into their rooms. “The place can we put our bicycles? What time is dinner? What’s the WiFi code? Do you will have espresso and tea? How will we get to this restaurant? And so forth.” Eric and I simply stood there and puzzled, “What precisely is the frenzy?”


When it was our flip, I calmly requested for the important thing to our resort room, carried our loaded bicycle panniers up a single flight of stairs, after which sprawled out inside the huge room we’ve got been given. There was not solely a big mattress to sleep on within the room, however a small desk and a large eating/lounge space as nicely. We have been in paradise!


That night time, the remainder of our group went out to eat at a elaborate, native restaurant, the place they have been served meals by probably the greatest cooks in all of Norway. Eric and I, on the other-hand, went to a Turkish quick meals store and ordered two massive pizzas, which we carried again to our resort room and consumed whereas browsing the Web on our smartphones.


After a buffet breakfast on the Grand Hotell the next morning, Eric and I jumped again on our bicycles and commenced biking out of Leirvik. The others in our group had long-ago left the resort and have been far forward of us, or so we believed.


It was to our nice shock, then, when Eric and I immediately stumbled throughout Kevin, Keith, Kate and Jane. We had caught as much as them… they usually allowed us to tag together with them for some time. In Sandvikvag, Norway, the six of us took a ferry boat over to close by Husavik after which cycled up a brief, however steep hill… throughout a protracted, windy bridge… and down into the tiny city of Bekkjarvik.


Our lodging that night time was the charming and stylish Bekkjarvik Gjestgiveri. From the surface, the white partitions of this previous, seaside constructing screamed of historical occasions gone previous. However on the within, fashionable interiors adorned in a nautical theme made us really feel immediately at house. There have been a whole lot of huge and small sailboats docked within the harbor reverse the resort and our group (just like the night time earlier than) was fast to test into their rooms.


Eric and I should have obtained the biggest and most spectacular of the rooms available, as we got room #1 – a large quarters situated proper on the sting of the pier, with spectacular window views searching to the sailboats floating within the harbor.


Our lodging on the Bekkjarvik Gjestgiveri had two bedrooms and 5 whole beds, with a eating space, a seating/reclining space, a small kitchen, and (after all) a large lavatory.


After one more scrumptious dinner with our fellow bicycle touring companions, Eric and I took a brief stroll round city, strolled down by the water, investigated the quite a few sailboats within the space, after which went again to our room for a very good, lengthy sleep).


After so many fantastic days of bicycle touring in fjord Norway, we woke the next morning, each excited concerning the day forward of us, but in addition considerably disenchanted that this was going to be our final full day of motorbike touring in Norway. After a buffet breakfast on the resort, Eric and I cycled away from the Bekkjarvik Gjesgiveri on our personal. Like the times earlier than, the others in our occasion had gotten an early begin and have been manner forward of us. Biking again throughout the bridge we had crossed the earlier night time, we cycled north throughout Huftaroy island on freeway 154 – a small, lonely highway with lovely forest views searching throughout the ocean to a number of of the close by islands.


After we reached the city of Storebo, I noticed that there have been nonetheless a number of hours to kill earlier than our scheduled ferry boat again to Bergen, Norway. Not desirous to go straight to the ferry and simply wait there for a number of hours, I made a decision that I might flip left (alone, with out Eric) and cycle a further 20 kilometers out onto a sequence of small islands (through highway 546). Eric, then continued on his personal the few kilometers to the ferry touchdown and waited for me, whereas I cycled like a person man throughout eight or 9 small islands, solely to achieve the tip of the highway, flip round, and cycle the identical 20 kilometers again the best way I had simply come. Whereas there was nothing spectacular to see or do on these small islands, I can now say that I cycled throughout eleven completely different islands in a single day. Fairly spectacular, proper?


At 3:05 PM, the categorical boat arrived on the Storebo ferry touchdown. All six of us loaded our bicycles on-board and took a seat. Over the course of the following fifty minutes, we have been rapidly ushered again to Bergen, which is the place our massive Norweigan bicycle touring journey started greater than ten days prior.

Bicycle touring in fjord Norway was a beautiful expertise and I might advocate it to anybody with even the smallest curiosity on this lovely a part of the world. Touring by bike is a good way to see the nation, and the excursions that Energetic-Norway has designed are the proper mixture of scenic biking, scrumptious meals, and fantastic lodging.

Whereas I loved the bicycle touring expertise greater than I can say, what I’m much more impressed with is how a lot my pal Eric improved over the course of these ten quick days. Firstly of the bike tour, Eric didn’t even know get on his bike correctly (he was making an attempt to sit down on the bike after which pedal it, moderately than pedal the bike after which sit down). On the primary day of the tour, I do know he wished to give up a few dozen completely different occasions, however he simply stored going. And there have been occasions at first of the tour when he’d see a giant hill and immediately bounce off his bike and start to stroll. However because the tour went on, Eric’s talents on the bicycle vastly improved. He discovered to shift gears correctly, stand on the pedals and push with additional pressure when essential, and by the tip, he was using over massive hills like a professional!

Thanks for a beautiful bicycle touring journey. Your Biking Hardangerfjord and your Round Sunnhordland by Boat and Bike excursions are each well-designed and pleasant. I’ll be telling my pals, household, and readers about your excursions for months and years to return.

Greater than something, congratulations to my pal Eric, who simply accomplished his first bike tour.

Congratulations Eric! You probably did it!!! I hope, that sooner or later within the close to future, you’ll think about doing one other bicycle tour (both near house or in another overseas land). You made so many unbelievable enhancements on this journey. In the event you may simply hold enhancing, who is aware of the place you could be in a single 12 months, 5 years or ten years from now. Sustain the great work my pal… and I hope to see you once more someday quickly!

To be taught extra concerning the bike excursions featured on this article (or to take part in both of those bike excursions for your self), make sure to go to the web site at and click on on the “Biking” part. Remember to inform them you heard about their bike excursions from the “Bicycle Touring Professional.”

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