Well, after a lovely day off doing proper sightseeing stuff in Trondheim, it was time to hit the road again. The boys (aka Tom and the Colonel) needed to be removed from their personal garage first though – did I mention that? When we arrived at the hotel, the private, onsite parking turned out to be a public car park. Now, I’m of the opinion that Tom is far too young to leave unattended in a big city (the Colonel is much harder and is ready for anything) and so politely asked the question as to whether anything else was available. The very lovely Magda sprung into action and allowed us to park the bikes in a storage room just off the main street – so they had their own room for a couple of nights!! Good customer service or what?
So after they were reintroduced to the bright lights and packed up ready to go, we had a quick chat to a film crew which had just arrived and were very interested in our exploits – we’re so on it daarlings – off we set.
Satnav v humans
The road out of Trondheim was just as beautiful as the rest but was doubly so in the sunshine. Tim had mapped the route and fed the Satnav but it seemed to not quite understand our desire to take the curvy roads rather than the main ones. How very dare it. What does it know – harrumph. Well, actually it knows that we actually had ticked the unpaved roads option and hence why it was arguing with us. So we were feeling rather smug having ‘beaten’ the Satnav until we reached the border with Sweden and – bam – rien de tarmac! Welcome to Sweden brits and stop being mamby pamby about hard surfaced roads. 20+ miles of gravely ….yes, unpaved, roads for my first off-road experience. The language was a bit choice over the intercoms for a start I have to confess but after a bit, the sliding, wobbly feeling wasn’t so bad. No wonder the Swedes are prolific rally drivers if this is not untypical of their roads! Satnav 1, Humans 0.
After the excitement of that experience (and there’s been more since) a really lovely evening in Are (where I had skiied a few years back) was lovely – and our first beer and supper in the evening sunshine. Happy days indeed.
A long and winding road…..
Sweden is lovely but blimey the roads are very long and straight – sometimes as far as the eye can see – and so can feel a bit monotonous. So, to break the boredom, you can a) play a game of eye spy – but to be honest it’s mostly things beginning with T or b) take it in turns to be on moose watch. Now there are actual warning signs alerting you to the imminent threat of wandering moose (and occasionally wild boar) but I have to say, having played the moose watch game, I’ve not spied one as yet. Tim came closest but I think he was mistaken as this one was wearing leggings and eating a hot dog.
After a lovely day, we found ourselves in a basic, but very lovely hotel with the most amazing views. Pelle, the host, was amazing – advising us on the best route for an evening walk and, as it was Sunday, giving us the front door key as everyone was leaving at 8pm! Our walk was lovely and ended up at the most mahoosive church for what was quite a small rural village. Commenting on this to Pelle the next morning, it was revealed that it was, actually, the largest rural church in Sweden as all the local farmers had given (wanted to be seen to be giving) large chunks of money to have it built – a bit of a funding competition it seems. ‘Hippocrites’ says Pelle who suggests that there was more than a bit of hoped-for-salvation rather than true piety. Tim was also thrilled to learn that there was a KTM dealer in the village too – quite a sizeable set up too – and so we had to pop in ‘for a bit of contact spray’ (yeah right) en route. Curvy roads for a change + a blattette on the motorway made for a lovely route.
You’re not a Janner…
You may remember reference to this in the last blog. Well, it came from a guy who was originally from England but had been living in Norway for 20+ years. Ex-Navy he clearly had spent some time in Plymouth hence the reference to us not being Plymothians. He was also a biker – very experienced and had owned some nice bikes over the years – and he was quick to give some solid advice about the speed limits in Scandanavia and how keen they are to enforce them (I think I mentioned this previously) even to the point of them lying in hedges in camouflage gear. Well, Tim thought it would be a good idea for me to hear Tom at full chat. ‘You stand at the side of the road and I’ll ping past’. Tom sounded beautiful to be honest and Tim never needs much encouragement to wring a bike’s neck, but we nearly had a close call. Having literally just said that we hadn’t even seen a police car since arriving in Sweden, guess what. Luckily he had closed off and was going at a decent pace but it was a lesson all the same (albeit a very exciting one!)
Day off today – I know this as it is raining again – and so off into Stockholm.
Look out for some techy bits as Tom is getting new tyres tomorrow and the Colonel needs his centre stand fixing (even though it was already replaced on warranty after a re-call) so more on that soon.