Author Archives: HansP@RideNorway

About HansP@RideNorway

I was riding my Guzzi over the Atlantic Road in the North West of Norway a while ago. Even though the weather wasn't bright and shiny, the scenery was absolutely stunning, as were the roads. I concluded that I live in something which must be close to motorcycle heaven, and that more riders should know about this. Hence this blog. My goal is to inspire you to ride Norway, and to help you do so without breaking your bank account. See you on the road somewhere!

19 December: Top 3 Historical Sites of Norway

RideNorway is counting down to Winter Solstice with trip planning tips and trivia!

19 December: Top 3 historical sites of Norway

If you, like us, likes to visit any country’s historical sites to better understand how it came to be, then these three sites should be visited when you are in Norway. You can of course find ancient and viking artefacts in museums, but visiting places where the history is alive is far more interesting. Besides, it gives you ideas on where to ride next. Here are our top 3 historical sites which should be visited while in Norway:

1. The Rock Art of Alta

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The Rock Art of Alta. (Image: Altamuseum.no)

No, it’s not a tribute to the Rolling Stones. This is the largest concentration of rock art made by hunter-gatherers in Northern Europe. These rock carvings and paitings are 7000 to 2000 years old, and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. How’s that for art for eternity?

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Urnes Stave Church is the oldest of the 29 remaining in Norway, dating back to ca 1140. (Image: Nina Aldin Thune/Creative Commons)

2. Urnes Stave Church

Never mind your religious beliefs, if any: The stave churches of Norway are worth visiting as they are also a testament to craftmanship. Several hundreds of years ago, Norway had probably hundreds of these churches sitting all over the country. Today, only 29 remain, and Urnes Stave Church is the oldest of them all, dating back to year 1140. Quite impressive, as these churches are made from wood.

 

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In to big guns? These will still your cravings. (Image: RideNorway.com)

3. Austrått Fort

From newer history, but nevertheless a very cool place to visit if you’re into World War 2 stuff. The Austrått Fort’s claim to fame is its enormous triple gun tower coming from the Nazi-German warship Gneisenau, the sister ship to Scharnhorst. Both had a role in the Nazi-German invasion of Norway 9 April 1940. The Gneisenau sustained heavy damages in a British air raid in 1942 and was subesquently decommissioned. However, one of its gigantic triple gun turrets were shipped off to occupied Norway and to Austrått Fort. It is still sitting there, and you can go have a look in its 5 story halls in the mountain. Scarily big!

Other tips for historical sites in Norway? Let us know in the comments below!

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18 December: 10 must-see places in Norway

RideNorway is counting down to Winter Solstice with trip planning tips and trivia!

18 December: 10 must-see places in Norway

There are so many sights to see in Norway, so it’s hard to make a list. Therefore, we are borrowing the recommendations from timelapse photographer Morten Rustad. If you are a photography person yourself, these are extraordinary places to visit. But they are, of course, as enjoyable if you are a regular rider who just likes to have a look around. Some of them are best visited during winter, but maybe you are one of those really adventurous riders who are not stopped by mere snow and ice?

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17 December: Top 5 hikes in Norway

RideNorway is counting down to Winter Solstice with trip planning tips and trivia!

16 December: Top 5 hikes in Norway

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The Pulpit Rock. Or “Preikestolen” as it is known in Norwegian. Wear proper gear if going on a hike while in Norway! (Image: ridenorway.com)

Of course you are first and foremost a rider. But some of you still like to take a day or two off the bike and go for a hike. Rarely have you been in a country where the hiking routes are so available and enjoyable. So pack your hiking gear (proper footwear and clothes is a must!) and follow these tips from fjordnorway.com, which ridenorway.com too can recommend.

 

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16 December: Top 3 Souvenirs to bring from Norway

RideNorway is counting down to Winter Solstice with trip planning tips and trivia!

16 December: Top 3 souvenirs to bring from Norway

As the smart rider you are, you do not fall for the touristy souvenir stuff that is for sale everywhere. You do not want cheesy troll figures (which are made anywhere but in Norway), nor do you want a lusekofte sweater. You want something more savoury or practical to remember Norway by. Here are our top 3 tips.

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The Løiten Linie aquavit has crossed the Equator in barrels to become this golden gem. (Image: RideNorway.com)

1) Aquavit

Scotland has its whisky, France its cognac – and Norway has its aquavit. It is our national spirit in a bottle. Some of the brands have been shipped round the Equator in barrels. Some are clear, others are golden in colour. Our favourites are Gilde Non Plus Ultra, Løitens Linie (Equator-crossed) and Løiten Tur Aquavit (with a touch of liquorice), but all are good. Gives you loads of bragging rights when back home, and is said to help grow some hair on your chest.

 

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Brown cheese. Sweet and very Norwegian. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

2) Brown cheese

You’ll either hate it or love it, but this sweet brown cheese is a national gem. It is perfect accompanied by bread or crackers to go with your coffee. It has a long standing tradition, and is made from either goat or cow milk. It can be kept for a long time in your fridge, and whenever you feel like going on a trip down memory lane, you can have a slice and savour it while looking at your pics from your Norway trip.

 

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Get a proper cheese slicer while in Norway. It is a Norwegian invention, and will help you slice your cheese in an egalitarian manner. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

3) Cheese slicer

This typical design cheese slicer is a Norwegian invention. It epitomizes the Norwegian egalitarian thinking, as the cheese will be sliced evenly thick – or thin – whether you are rich or not-so-rich. It was patented by a Norwegian carpenter back in 1925, and you should have one. Whenever you slice your cheese with this, you’ll have fond memories of your ride in Norway.

Other souvenir tips? Let us know in the comments below!

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15 December: Top 3 shoestring tips for Norway

RideNorway is counting down to Winter Solstice with trip planning tips and trivia!

15 December: Top 3 shoestring tips for Norway

Some may be put off visiting Norway due to its notoriety for being expensive. While it is true that some things are particularly expensive, it is no problem to tour this country on a shoestring. Here are the Top 3 tips on how to save a buck while riding in Norway:

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To find a nice spot and pitch your tent somewhere in the uncultivated land adds to the experience of Norway. (Image: RideNorway.com)

1. Camp for free

Accomodation may be expensive in Norway if you opt for hotels or other hard-roofed alternatives. But Norway has a big money-saving legislation up its sleeve, namely the Freedom to Roam Act. This act entitles you to put up your tent and stay a couple of nights practically anywhere in the nature. So bring your camping gear, and spend the nights in the nature you came to visit anyway.

 

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Bring your stove and prepare your own food. (Image: RideNorway.com)

2. Prepare you own food

Shop necessary foodstuff in the supermarkets, and prepare the food yourself. Bringing a camp kitchen is a huge money saver, as food from cafes or restaurants can be pretty expensive. Remember to bring your fishing rod, as sea fishing is for free (and you have more than 100.000 kms of coastline to fish from) and the catch and quality is top stuff.

 

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All service station brands have a coffee/tea deal. Get one, if you are a coffee/tea drinker. (Image: BestStasjon.no)

3. Get into a loyalty program at service stations

Petrol will most lightly be your highest cost driver while in Norway. It is a long country, but fortunately service stations are plentiful, even in the more rural parts of Norway. All the major service station brands – Shell, Circle K, Esso, YX etc – offers loyalty programs which saves you a buck or two for each tank you fill. They also provide “hot drink deals”, where you buy a cup for 20-30 euro, but you can then fill it for free at any of their service stations for a year. Even if you do not plan to stay a year, you’ll save some money on this deal if you love your coffee or tea. A nice treat for riders.

Here are more shoestring tips for traveling Norway. If you have others, let us know in the comments below!

Categories: Misc, norway, Routes, Trips | Tags: , | Leave a comment

14 December: Top 15 cities to visit in Norway

RideNorway is counting down to Winter Solstice with trip planning tips and trivia!

14 December: Top 15 cities to visit in Norway

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Ålesund. One of the – or perhaps THE – prettiest town in Norway. (Image: RideNorway.com)

It may be a bit over-ambitious to call our cities for “cities”. They are rather small compared to those in the continental Europe. Maybe Oslo falls within the city framework – other than that, we mostly have towns. Anyway: Here is a list of the 15 best cities – or towns – to visit in Norway. It’s compiled by the travel web site Touropia, but it’s actually quite good, and hence recommended by RideNorway. Would probably put Ålesund on top – its architecture is simply astonishing! – and we’re not too sure about a few of the contenders at the lower end of the scale, but anyway: Here it is, the Top 15 Cities to visit in Norway.

Disagree? Let us know in the comments below!

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13 December: 10 best places to visit in Norway

RideNorway is counting down to Winter Solstice with trip planning tips and trivia!

13 December: 10 best places to visit in Norway – according to others

 

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Usually not on the “must see” list of Norway, but a pretty funny sight nevertheless. The houses stand under a cliff in Jøssingfjord. (Image: RideNorway.com)

As a rider planning to go to Norway you have of course read RideNorway.com from page to page, getting tips on where to go and where to stay. But there are also others that may have a different view on what to see and where to go. Travel site Touropia has listed these 10 places as the best to visit in Norway.

Do you agree? Are these also on top of your list? Let us know in the comments below!

Categories: Good to know, norway | Tags: | Leave a comment

12 December: Top 3 reasons to choose a motorcycle when visiting Norway

RideNorway is counting down to Winter Solstice with trip planning tips and trivia!

12 December: The top 3 reasons why you should choose a motorcycle for visiting Norway.

Of course you, as the die-hard rider that you are, know that there are only one way to visit Norway – or indeed any country on the planet – which is by motorcycle. Nothing beats the feeling of fresh air, control of you bike, a nice curve or chewing flies that somehow managed to get between your mouth and the visor. But did you know that Norway is particularly catering for motorcyclists? Here are the top 3 reasons why a bike is the way to go when visiting this country:

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Bikes park for free, and are excempt from road, bridge and tunnel tolls. (Image: RideNorway.com)

1. No road tolls

Yep, it’s true. You do not pay road tolls, bridge crossing fees or any other fees for using the roads. You are free to roam. Most places you don’t even pay for parking. There is only one tunnel where you need to pay – the undersea tunnel from Averøy to Kristiansund – but that is also so cheap for bikes that you really won’t mind.

 

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They do not recognize us – but refrain from speeding nevertheless. Safety first – then wallet. (Image: wikipedia.org)

2. Speed cameras don’t recognize bikes

Do not take this as an invitation to speed. It isn’t, and you may get caught by a highway patrol – and getting caught for speeding is expensive. But in the event that you in a moment of inspiration or plain joy pass a speed camera in a somewhat higher speed than what is indicated on the signs – do not despair. Norway is governed by rule of law, and nobody can be charged or penalized if you are not properly identified. Behind a helmet, your face is obscured and proper identification is impossible. Therefore, the lawmakers have stated that speed cameras will not and cannot detect motorcycles and its rider.

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Norway takes care of you as a rider. You can even use the bus lanes. (Image: NMCU.org)

3. You can use bus lanes

Our lawmakers have recognized that riders are more vulnerable than other road users (bar pedestrians and bicyclists), which is why the allow for riders to use the bus lanes. It is in other words a safety measure just for us. This is particularly handy when nearing the bigger towns and cities of Norway. When nearing a traffic jam, just swoop over to the bus lane, and off you go. You can also filter between the cars in a jam situation, if there are no bus lanes. Handy, right?

We told you that Norway is made for riding. Agree?

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11 December: Top 3 oddest Norway destinations

RideNorway is counting down to Winter Solstice with trip planning tips and trivia!

11 December: Top 3 oddest destinations in Norway

There are plenty of pretty sceneries to be seen in Norway. But if you want to experience something else – something on the odder side – then plot in these Top 3 odd destinations in Norway:

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Steep. And funny. (Image: Municipality of Årdal)

1. The Offerdal Tunnel

This is the world’s steepest road tunnel. Due to poor map data, half of the tunnel was blasted with a wrong climb. Hence, the other half had to be corrected to end at the right spot in the village Indre Ofredal. This meant to allow for 15.5% climb in the the tunnel. Enjoy!

 

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Fancy some legwork while in Norway? Try these stairs! (Image: visitrjukan.com)

2. The World’s Longest indoor wooden staircase

Visit Mår hydro power plant. Along the tubed water fall powering the plant, there is also built a separate wooden staircase encased in its own tube. The 3875 steps will have you going for a while, and the staircase is recognized as the world’s longest indoor wooden staircase.

 

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Out in the fjord he lies, Keiko from “Free Willy”. (Image: AtlasObscura)

3. Keiko’s Memorial Cairn

The star of the movie “Free Willy”, Keiko the Orca, became an overnight sensation. Scores of fans followed in his wake wherever he went. He ended up living in Taknes Bay – which is also where he one day caught pneumonia which led to his demise. He is buried (in lack of a better word) just a few meters from where he died, and you can even pay your respect to Keiko by adding your stone to the cairn nearby.

Do you know of other odd places in Norway? Let us know below! Or find even more odd destinations right here!

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10 December: 3 essential bring-alongs for your Norway trip

RideNorway is counting down to Winter Solstice with trip planning tips and trivia!

10 December: 3 essentials to bring for your Norway trip

Not counting your camping and riding equipment, there are some things you should specifically bring for your Norway trip. Of course you can buy these things in Norway, but make sure that you bring them one way or another for an even better experience.

 

 

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Fishing in the sea is for free, in lakes you pay a very small fee. River fishing for salmon is another matter. Do not try, unless you are really certain what you are doing and have paid the fees. (Image: RideNorway.com)

1. Fishing rod

Do not leave home without it! Fishing in the sea is for free, and fishing in lakes is available for a meager fee – you can buy a license at the nearest petrol station or kiosk. The catch is good, especially in the sea, and the quality of the fish is top notch.

 

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Bring your mosquito repellant. Just in case. (Image: RideNorway.com)

2. Mosquito repellant

Especially if you are venturing north, you should bring a good mosquito repellant. Preferably a repellant that also scares off midges and ticks. We do not have any really dangerous insects or spiders roaming around in this country – it’s not like Australia – but the aforementioned critters may be a significant annoyance unless you have your quality repellant at hand.

 

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You will be in one of the most scenic countries in the world. Don’t regret you didn’t bring your binoculars. (Image: RideNorway.com)

3. Binoculars

You are probably bringing your camera with you, but a pair of quality binoculars is very good to have. When at the coast, you might spot some mammals swimming around in the sea, perhaps even an Orca. Or for bird watching, even if you are not the typical bird watching type. Remember that long sunny evenings, in the north 24 hrs sunlight, gives you ample time to sit outside your tent, savouring a wee dram while looking at the surroundings.

Any other essentials you would bring for your Norway trip? Let us know in the comments below!

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