Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Lonely Highway

1-IMG_3584We crossed the Arctic Circle in our long southwards trek today. There was a bit of a blizzard blowing around the funny little tourist centre marking that point on the highway.

After consulting the Hurtigruten timetable I worked out that catching an overnight ferry from Brønnøysund to Trondheim made the most sense for time and cost, but when I called their booking office, it transpired that today's ferry service from Brønnøysund was cancelled. Bugger. Long drive ahead to try to catch up on time lost in Tromsø and the Lofetens.
2-IMG_3610   3-IMG_3606-3707 Trondheim cathedral [ICE]
Trondheim harbour marina
Reached Trondheim, which seemed to be a town with some charms, at least after the bleaker communities to the north. It also benefited from a window of glorious sunshine while I dealt with my coffee and cathedral withdrawal symptoms. The local cathedral is the largest medieval building in Scandinavia - we were too late to look inside, but had a stroll around the outside, a good leg-stretcher after 8 hours in the car.

I got a second wind and thought that we could make some further progress towards Kristiansund - not to be confused with Kristiansand on the south coast of Norway. Narvik and Knarvik are another confusing pair.
Trondheim is surrounded by tollbooths for tunnels and highways (most of which are missing from the 2 month old maps on my GPS) and proved to be a primer for the toll costs to come as we got further south.
waiting for E39 ferry at midnightIMG_3639IMG_3654-3655 off E39 ferry8-IMG_3666The roadscape towards Kristiansund was very attractive, perhaps enhanced by the neverending twilight. We seemed to miss every campsite, B&B and hotel's opening hours, but I kept pushing on, taking the midnight ferry towards the clutch of islands that Kristiansund sits upon. The GPS had an expensive little fit that sent me over a bridge (toll: 68NOK) in the wrong direction. The man at the tollbooth waived the return fee when I came sailing back 30 minutes later.

The hotels in town were full, so I resigned myself to a night in the car (it had to finally happen). I had one last ferry to catch - to Bremsnes - and was hunkered down to sleep in the car queue, when one turned up, off-loaded a bunch of circus vehicles and then took me across.
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I had developed the mildly insane idea of doing the Atlantic Highway in the middle of the night, with the moon riding above...so that was what we ended up doing...twice. The "interesting" section of the highway that twists across set of islets takes about 5minutes to traverse, so I turned around and drove back. Then - at about 3am - I found a nice spot looking out over the sea, rearranged bedding in the car and curled up for the night.

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Atlantic Highway at 3am

Atlantic Highway at 7-30am

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1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:26 am

    would you mind horribly going back and getting that giant troll? - I m sure it woul look excellent in perry St - it would save you landscaping.