8th July 2022
Well, its been a strange couple of days and this trip certainly hasn’t started out as we planned…..
Chris Golding, Roger Gates and myself have a trip up to and around part of Norway making up what looks like a very nice tour. Things didn’t go well right from the start.
We had arranged to meet outside of the Harwich ferry terminal ready for out 1100 pm sailing to the Hook of Holland. I had been kicking my heals for much of the day and was itching to go but also I didn’t want to be too early. I left home at about 3:15 and headed down the M6. After about 45 minutes the car lost power momentarily and then ran properly again. It happened again a few minutes later. I pulled into the services to have a look for something obvious but couldn’t see any problems. The car started easily and after a couple of laps of the car park I headed back on the motorway. The problem returned but worse this time. The instruments went haywire also and i was forced to stop.
I had no electrical power whatsoever. No hazard lights, no dashboard lights, nothing. After poking about for a minute or two the car came back to like. Not liking where I was situated I started the car and rejoined the motorway with the intention to get off at the next junction. I didn’t make it. At the junction of the M6, M1 and A14 the car died again. I pulled over.
The problem was clearly electrical. Regulator? Battery? Fuses? Cut-off switch? The voltage readout had displayed 14.4V the whole time which pretty much ruled out a regulator failure. After a conversation with Chris I disconnected the battery and connected my battery booster. The instruments came to life so it must be the battery at fault. Damn!
I put my call in to the AA for recovery and it very much looked like my holiday was going to be over before it had started. Chris in the mean time had located a battery at a Halfords store if I could get there – good man! Unfortunately I then received an AA message informing me that their recovery service would not arrive for another 3 hours.What!
There must be another way I thought. I called as couple of people with an idea and Scott was willing to give it a go. Scott drove from his house on a Friday evening to my house where he took they battery out of my other 3-wheeler and raced down the motorway to find me. He did find me and I fitted the battery and the car started and ran. “Thanks Scott” and I had 135 miles to do to reach the ferry – it was going to be close.
I reached the ferry check-in 7 minutes before it closed and made it on board. Phew! I was on. I found my cabin and headed for the bar where I found Chris and Roger (where else). Not quite believing I had made it I relaxed and looked forward to out trip. Unfortunately our troubles were not over.
9th July 2022
I slept well for the few hours available and we had a light breakfast before disembarking. My car was nowhere near the others so after queuing for a very long time for passport control I made my way towards our first planned just past Amsterdam where we would get together at last.
The Garmin did its thing and we met up for coffee at a very nice services. We had some 275 miles to cover that day to get to our destination in Bremerhaven so we pressed on. It was good to be in our little convoy. The miles flowed by and we soon traversed the impressive Afsluitdijk. Constructed between 1927 and 1932 it runs from Den Oeverin in North Holland Province to the village of Zurich in Friesland Province over a length of 32 km.
After our photo stop we continued onwards and made it to Bremerhaven by 4:00 pm. Our hotel was right on the waterfront and was very comfortable. We stretched our legs and found a place to eat that evening after a good day’s travelling.
10th July 2022
We ate breakfast at the hotel before heading out into a very quiet town. We filled the cars up and continued our journey north. After travelling quiet roads we arrived at the Wischafen to Glucksatdt ferry over the river Elbe. We were lucky as we drove straight on without queuing and were under way very quickly.
After the ferry we pressed on and after some enthusiastic driving up the derestricted autobahn eventually found a coffee stop. The motorway dissolved into a normal road and we looked for a lunch stop. That is not as easy as you may think Places are very few and far between and the best we could find was a small place attached to a petrol station just before the border with Denmark. It may not have looked the best but it was tasty and very filling.
The cars now slightly heavier, we started up and headed out again. Hmmmm, Chris’s car didn’t sound great when it started up but he was off out in front as usual. We continued on over the border into Denmark and to our hotel in Espjerg.
Unfortunately Chris’s car was now in a bad way. The noise was all too familiar to me as I had exactly the same failure on my car a few weeks earlier. The Centa outer rotor is loose on the crank-shaft splines. It can be moved by hand from underneath the car. There is no easy fix – the engine must come out to enable any repair. It is such a shame but the car will have to be recovered back to the UK.
The recovery people make positive noises regarding the recovery and the provision of an alternative car for Chris so we find somewhere to eat in good spirits. Let us hope they live up to expectations.
As a precaution both Roger and I decide to change the Centa drive rollers to the standard Morgan rollers.
11th July 2022
We eat breakfast at the hotel and wait for the promised recovery truck for Chris’s car. Roger and I have little choice but to leave Chris waiting for this and news of the hire car promised.
Our 173 mile route to Aalborg takes us along some very straight and mostly quiet roads in bright sunshine. The roads may be very straight but the landscape is more interesting now and we make good progress. Roger spots a rare coffee shop where we catch up with all of the WhatsApp chat. His car hasn’t been picked up yet but hopefully he has a hire car sorted and they are saying positive things.
The run after Struer is very nice and its getting quite warm now. Lots of blue sky and sunshine – I may have burned my nose a little! We reach Aalborg without incident and we check-in to the Radisson Blu. After a rather lengthy check-in process we park the cars in the car park and Roger calls Chris for the latest. Bad news. The car hasn’t been picked up as promised and even though they had previously agreed to the hire car it is now not going to happen. Despite promises and assurances from the recovery people and the hope of continuing in a hire car it all falls apart for Chris and he has to abandon the rest of the trip. It is such a shame for him after all of his efforts in helping with all of the details of the trip. It just will not be the same without him but there is just nothing any one of us can do to allow him to continue.
12th July 2022
Aalborg greets us with a beautiful sunny morning. It’s a bit of an early one and Roger and I meet for breakfast at 6:30 am. We are soon packed, checked out and in the cars ready to go. After a short sat-nav delay, we are on the road again.
The first aim of the day is to get ourselves the 42 miles from Aalborg to Hirtshals where we take our ferry to Kristiansand in Norway. We arrive in plenty of time and the boarding is efficient. The crossing is very smooth and comfortable and takes about 2 1/2 hours but we arrive about half an hour later than planned.
Well, we have made it to Norway at last. The first few miles are quite slow and uninspiring but soon the road opens out ahead of us. Mile after miles of lovely twisty roads through forests and past lakes reward us for our efforts. There are very few places to stop so we press on north.
After 135 miles of lovely driving the switchbacks drop us down into Dalen where we are booked in a B & B for the evening. After checking in we head out for a little explore before dinner. The weather is mostly cloudy but dry as it has been for most of the day. It is quite warm and we are lucky enough to eat outside at the harbour with a great view over the fiord.
If this is a taste of what is to come then bring it on though it looks like tomorrow will bring out the waterproofs.
13th July 2022
What a beautiful morning in Dalen. Breakfast was a very basic offering but set us up for the drive ahead. The sun was dazzling and we headed out and up the switchbacks by 7:15 to look back on Dalen. It was definitely worth looking back on. From there it was just a short drive to the stave church at Eidsborg.
We continued onwards on lovely roads in bright, sometimes dazzling bright sunshine. Slowly but surely the clouds built up. As the first drops hit my sunglasses I pulled over to put the wet weather gear on. It was good timing as the rain started very soon afterwards. I caught Roger up quickly. He had stopped as well and he too put on his wet weather gear which in his case is a full dry suit! We had rain on and off for the rest of the day. I have done many miles in the rain and with the heated jacket, helmet bubble visor and an excellent Rukka gore-tex motorcycle jacket I stayed warm and comfortable all day.
It was while travelling at about 50 mph I had a bit of a scary moment in heavy rain when the back-end stepped out. I caught it and decided to take it a little steadier in the wet from then on.
We had planned to avoid the tunnels on todays route and go over on the old road but the tunnels were closed. We had to wait for an escort car to take us over. We were into the snow over amazing roads, even in the rain. Unfortunately though we couldn’t stop to take pictures as we had to stay in the convoy.
We continue onwards and stop at the Latefossen waterfalls. These falls are crossed by the road with easy access from a small car park opposite. A great spot.
We pressed on with some breaks in the rain and eventually reached our planned ferry crossing. Well, sort of. The ferry from Utne goes either to Kinsarvik (not good) or Kvanndal. There was a ferry in when we arrived so we boarded only to discover that we were on the wrong ferry. Ooops! We had to have a couple of cars reverse out of the way before we could reverse off. You can’t do that discretely in a Morgan 3-wheeler. After a short wait we made it on to the correct ferry.
More waterfalls and windy roads alongside the fjords follow for miles. It really is beautiful in any weather. We pass a glacier on the other side of the fjord and leave the road to view the Fykesund Bridge before stopping at the Steinsdalsfossen waterfalls.
From there its on to Bergen. The roads get busier and the rain comes again. Roger does a great job guiding us to the underground car park adjacent to our hotel tonight. An excellent day is finished off with a walk round the town followed by an evening meal of whale – a first for me.
14th July 2022
After an early breakfast we were soon packed up and ready to go. Things were still rather damp outside and it is so nice being able to pack the cars and get geared up in the dry underground car park. It is however very hot when you are all geared up and can’t get the parking machine to work! Oh well ill just have to leave without paying.
After a quick fill-up at the local Shell station we retrace our route out of the city before branching off in to new territory. It rails a little but not too much and we have a brief stop at a rather spectacular waterfall right next to the E16.
We continue north-east and stop at Flam for coffee. This place is definitely set up for the cruise ship visitors and there was a huge ship in dock today. We soon turn off the main road for one of todays highlights – the Snow Road.
The ascent to the first viewpoint is spoiled somewhat my the many camper vans crawling their way up. The climb however is worth the effort though with spectacular views of Aurlandsfjorden.
Many vehicles turn round here but not us. The road ascends much further and we are soon into cloud and then find ourselves surrounded by snow and ice. We pass yet more waterfalls and rise into a very bleak and cold landscape. A spectacular road. Europe is gripped by a heatwave at the moment with record temperatures at home and here I am up in the snow.
It warms up quickly as we descend. More waterfalls follow as well as some sheep in the road. We take two ferries and end todays journey in Balestrand. The hotel has an amazing view which we enjoy with coffee after our evening meal as we watch a rainbow over the fjord and the dolphins passing by.
15th July 2022
It was a damp run out from Balestrand and that set the scene for the next couple of hours. The road was a nice drive along the fjord before ascending the hairpin bends into the cloud. The scenery was still lovely even though the rain and cloud restricted the outlook ahead. We managed a coffee stop and soon freeware’s the rain eased and the views opened up in front of us.
Our route continues past Olden where we pause briefly chatting to people off the cruise ships anchored nearby. Dryer now we climb away from the fjords to the highlight of todays run. The Dalsnibba viewpoint is at the top of a toll road with views down to Geiranger some 1300 below. Of course if there is no view due to the cloud then there is little lint in making the ascent. We check the live web ca and it looks promising. We go for it and make our way up a fabulous road to the highest fjord view by road in Norway.
We take the opportunity to photo the cars in the snow….
We continue onward and take advantage of the viewpoint just short of our hotel. What a great view.
Our hotel is just 200 yards from the viewpoint and offers equally spectacular views from my room as well as the restaurant and bar. We venture into the town and enjoy a great hot chocolate before we refuel for tomorrow and return to the hotel.
We made a good decision to eat in the hotel tonight. The showers work their way in and we enjoy an good meal while we watch the fjord. Another good day completed and we look forward to Trollstigen and the Atlantic road tomorrow,
16th July 2022
We prepared for the forecast cold and damp weather and left the hotel onto quiet roads. After descending down to Geiranger we headed up the hairpin bends to the spectacular viewpoint looking down on Geiranger Fjord. What a view.
We headed away from the fjord heading up and then down along the 63 to our first ferry crossing of the day at Eidsdal. After a short wait we were first on and soon crossed the fjord.
We climb steadily until we reach one of the most famous roads in the world at Trollstigen. Luckily, even though it is a little damp, visibility is good and we make several stops for photographs.
After descending Trollstigen we pass through Andalsnes, around the fjord to Herjestranda for another ferry crossing. We are then soon approaching another iconic road at the Atlantic Road The road connects Averoy to the mainland by 8 bridges spanning 0ver 8000 metres over small islands.Opened in 1989 it was voted Norways Engineering feat of the century.
We take the time to stop at the viewing pull-ins and take way too many photographs.
From the Atlantic Road it is just a short distance to Kristiansund where we stay tonight.