There have been few places in the time that I've been traveling that deserved the moniker of 'paradisical'. As I was heating up some water to drink, I couldn't fail but notice that the valley south of Geiranger was exactly that.
It was beautiful to the level that even a downpour of sorts couldn't ruin it.
It made it ever so ironical that the coming days, I would be visting Hell; a little town just East of Trondheim.
After being waved off by my fellow Dutchman-neighbors, I was on my way.
What amazed me on these roads is that regular bus services also drove them, hairpins be damned. I couldn't help but marvel at the guts and expertise to be a bus driver in these parts - the descent from yesterday was still fresh in my memory.
Before I knew it though, it was time to descend into the Geiranger fjord. Oh dear.
In the tourist village, I stopped for fuel, only to find out that the pump station also harbored a vast shop selling everything one could need as a tourist in Norway.
And ofcourse that also included stickers! I bought two of them, and put them in the top case to make my mind up about which one would receive the great honour of getting panniered.
After that, it was time for a hillclimb out of the fjord.
Me, I always enjoy climbing more than descending, since it is more about throttle and less about braking. I just have the idea of being in control alot better, as I feel less dependent on clutch and brake condition.
One thing was for sure though - now having done two descents, I was glad I had renewed the clutch assembly back at home. It certainly paid dividends down here.
Getting out of the fjord, I entered another valley. It was an immediate throwback to my days in Scotland two years ago.
This is the kind of scenery you go on a trip for.
After not too long, it was time for the first small ferry in Norway. The first of many to come in the coming week, but that was a small price to pay for the quiet, flowing roads inbetween.
While waiting, I contemplated the right place for the Norway sticker. Hmmmmmmm.
On all of these ferries you can pay by card, and usually a trip will set you back about 50 NOK.
At the other side, it was time to put the hammer down!
Just look at that. Aww yessss.
Even a touring car before me couldn't spoil my fun.
Neither could two. All you have to do is wait your moment carefully, and gun it.
Montenegro style baby!
Blessed freedom once again.
I knew I was now converging on the Trollstigen - a much acclaimed road which has turned into a tourist attraction.
Getting closer, I reckoned the Drift was due for some more video shooting. I forgot to put the lense back at the right angle, but alright...
I never read into anything at all prior to a trip, so in all my ignorance I thought I was approaching a mountain pass of sorts. You know, doing a climb, being a tough guy at the top, and then going down again.
Boy, was I wrong.
Once I'd made my way down, it was time for the next badge of honour.
Space was now becoming a downright valuable commodity atop my sidecases.
Next stop: Trondheim.
When I'd reached a fork in the road, I made sure I was going in the right direction.
For good measure, I wrote down the roadnumbers (and adjacent towns) on a piece of paper, which I then put in the tankbag.
There we go.
It was now time to set the sights for Trondheim. I wasn't planning to get to the actual city, but somewhere in the vicinity would also be great.
On my original schedule, I was to arrive there on Day 8, so I was doing quite well already.
The overtaking part of it also helped, ofcourse.
FEEL MY WRATH AS I LET YOU DWELL IN RIGHT LANE OBLIVION, HOO-HAH!!1
Oh, another ferry.
Me eating some sweets in the rain got some strange looks, but I couldn't really be bothered.
Because I had sweets. BOOYAH!
The rain wasn't all too bad though. Eventually, it let up.
But the next piece of trouble was already upon me.
Ever had an argument about the route with someone? I did too, right here - I wanted to take the E39 to Trondheim, but The Beast had other ideas for some reason...
Apparently, there 'wasn't a chance in Hell' we weren't going down that road.
As we'd be passing by Hell tomorrow, I drove on. Just before Trondheim, I pulled into a camp site.
A camp site with once again quite a nice view.
I opted for a cabin this time around. I could've set up the tent again, but I wanted to test out what a hut was like before I wouldn't get a second chance.
It was quite nice actually. Pretty much everything you need (save a lavatory and shower) is in there, enabling you to warm up a little after a wet day out in the fjords. I put a small tour in today's randomness vid for your viewing pleasure.
The cold was now an ever-present factor. I decided that my winter gloves were to become the regular apparatus from here on in.
The next day, time to go to Hell.
There was some three-lane motorway to go on first. Quite refreshing for once.
But ofcourse I missed a turn, and ended up in the city center of Trondheim.
City-centres: another kind of Hell.
However, the signs quickly put me on the right path again.
An infernal one, so it seemed. To get to Hell from Trondheim, you must first pass through the Helltunnelen, here in orange.
It felt strangely appriopriate to cross a 4km tunnel just before I could enter Hell.
But it didn't exactly warm up when I got to the other side.
Nor when I was actually there.
Time to get the hell out here.
But not before I filled up at Hell's Shell.
OK, I reckon that's enough puns for today.
I then set out to go on the E6, and move my way up North. I could've decided to head back into Sweden, but with Road 17 still to go, I thought it best to skip the Swedish trees and explore the Norwegian coast a bit further.
Due North it is!
At the next town, I pulled in a petrol station to check up on the chain. It had been making a small noise I wasn't all too comfortable with, so I pulled off the front sprocket cover to see what was what. Sprockets looked fine though... so time for some more lube, and hope for the best.
This was the first time I brought out the rain gloves - they're basically raincoats for your hands, to prevent your gloves getting soggy.
But after just a few minutes of riding I got so annoyed with them...
...I took them off and hid them away again, not to use them again. Clutchwork and braking was hopeless with these things, as my hands were too big for them. And these were the largest ones I'd been able to buy.
Not too long after though, it was finally time to turn off the boring and busy E6...
...and go on what I was told to be the best scenic roads in Norway, Road 17.
The thing with this road is is that it leads exactly where the E6 is going, only the views are way better and it's got quite a few ferry crossings in it. As a result most motorists stick with the E6, making it ideal if you just want to see Norway instead of gunning it towards the North.
Sadly though, the ever-so persistent drizzle kept oogling for my attention.
At the next petrol station, I checked to see how far I'd come. This is where I was...
...and this was where I planned to be going, there and about. You can see the E6 just to the right underneath my finger - just by looking at the map you can see Road 17 is way more interesting in terms of riding pleasure.
The pump attendees saw fit to learn me some Norwegian in the process. The most important words to learn anywhere on a trip like this is 'Thank you'.
In Norwegian, it's 'Takk' (pr. 'tahk'). Or 'Tusen takk', which is their version of 'thank you very much'.
I decided to put on my rain coat, as the rain showed no signs of stopping.
The views, they were surely improving though.
Ofcourse, you have some straight, hayfield territories as well.
But most of the time, I could just lean in a little bit.
I had no idea where I was by now. The towns along the road didn't have any signs with the town name on them, so I just kept on going.
Eventually, I stopped at a supermarket to get some milk and cookies (HELLSYEAH). Outside, I could hear a few small children crying inside... and it was quite funny to notice that all of that stopped when there was this huge biker entering the store.
The look of total bewilderment on their faces was epic.
The road was getting more entertaining by the minute afterwards. Views were getting better and better...
...and so were the turns. Whooooo!
I decided to let the camera tape a bit.
I was quite happy to roll in a camp site like this. The previous one I'd come across had been shut for the season, so this was exactly what the doctor ordered.
I wasn't expensive as well - I had to pay 100 NOK to pitch a tent here.
And yes, that's cheap to Norwegian standards.
And just as I put the gloves out to dry...
...the sun came out. I had gone from Paradise to Hell, and then somehow, I had arrived in Paradise again. It had been raining the entire day, but once I stopped for the day, so did the downpour. Timing, it's a wonderful thing.
Mind you, I couldn't help but notice that in these parts people don't really go camping with a tent that much. On the roads, campers and caravans kept popping up to block my view, but I still thought the camper-tent ratio would be OK at any camp site I'd go to.
Ofcourse, I was wrong.
Let's see if you can find the one single motorbike-tent in this picture.
Once again, I had done more miles than previously anticipated. I was getting quite close to the Arctic circle now, and I found out that had some pretty unusual side-effects...
More on that tomorrow!
Now, let's see if you can guess both of the movie references in today's randomness vid...