Saturday, 15 July 2017

Saturday 15 July - Trondheim and Kristiansund via the E680

Where’s Bertie? He's in a car park at a harbour/marina in Kristiansund (exact location: 63.11730, 7.73166

Next to the motorhome parking in Trondheim is an athletics ground and Bertie's position didn't just give us a good view of the river, but also of the track. It provided good entertainment as we ate our tea last night; better than watching the telly, which is what we probably would have been doing at home.

We made use of the track ourselves this morning, although I could only motivate myself to do one lap, still being a bit puffed from my (impressive, even if I do say so myself) sprint finish from our run along the river.

By the time the usual breakfast/showers/sorting stuff out/faffing had been done, we had slightly overstayed our 24 hours in the parking area (alas, the restriction signage that was missing from the back row three weeks ago has now been replaced; if it hadn't we might have stayed two nights).

Being Saturday it was cheap diesel day*, so once on the road we pulled off the E6 to find a UnoX filling station, which are generally a few pence cheaper than the competition. This one wasn't, but the detour wasn't wasted as we stumbed across a big Øbs supermarket, which is also cheaper than most (a cucumber for only £1.70! Three peppers for just £2.60! You know you've been in Norway a while when you get excited about prices like that!). The price savings were nearly wiped out, mind, when I was charged £3 for a kilo of oranges that weren't in my basket. Thankfully Mick loitered at the exit to download a book, otherwise I wouldn't have looked at the receipt and noticed before we left the shop.

We drove, we stopped for lunch and we drove some more, until a junction where we made a snap decision to take the coastal route, even though it was a lesser road and slightly longer, on the basis that there was reportedly an idyllic kipping spot that way.

The kipping spot was indeed lovely, being at one of the many tiny marinas dotted along the coast...

...and with lovely views, set off nicely by the sky (it feels like weeks since we had a warm and sunny day; 11 degrees and dull or damp has been the norm):

We would have had a very peaceful night there, I'm sure. But we didn't, as a perusal of the weather forecast told me that it's going to be a touch breezy tomorrow, versus the mirror-calm sea today, and thus I wanted to get the next ferry crossing out of the way in the better conditions.

Moving on did negate our reason for taking the coastal route in the first place, but we are not sorry to have come that way, as the scenery was absolutely superb and the road very quiet (unsurprisingly I suppose as it dead ends at a couple of ferries, the most frequent of which runs once per hour). Here are a few snaps taken at speed out of the window, all looking towards the rocky islets dotted around the fjords. What I didn't capture were the rocky lumps of mountains on the other side of Bertie:

It was only as we arrived at the ferry queue (first in line; we arrived four minutes after the previous one had left), and I read the nearby information board, that I learnt that we had just driven past three of Norway's highest island mountains and that all three can be visited on a 2-hour walk. If I'd known that an hour sooner, today and tomorrow would have looked different.

View from the road end, whilst waiting for the ferry

The missing of the ferry by four minutes turned out not to be a bad thing, as we arrived at the car park in Kristiansund ten minutes after the charging period ended. It's not much to write home about, as kipping spots go (we didn't have high expectations, which is why we intended to stop short) but they all look the same once the blinds are drawn and you're in bed, so as long as we don't suffer for being in a town on a Saturday night, it will do.

Tomorrow we are off to drive a route that the Guardian newspaper declared to be the best road trip in the world. "Really?! Why?" has been the gist of the opinion of a couple of reports we've read from people who have driven it, but we thought we would go and see for ourselves anyway. I wouldn't be surprised if today's drive turns out, in my opinion at least, to be the superior.

(*I know I've gone on about the fuel pricing a bit, but twice this week we have parked within view of a petrol station, gone for a walk and returned to find the price of fuel had gone up by 20p/litre; today it was 11.41NOK/litre, compared with a 15.4 peak during the week. All stations seem to change their prices at the same time and by the same amounts, with there being no difference between those based on main roads and those in towns or at supermarkets. Crazy!)

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