Trolltunga, Norway

Another popular hike is the one to the Trolltunga or troll’s tongue north east of Odda.
As this hike is supposed to take 8-10 hours return and we have already done 3 walks together (one of them to Kjeragbolten took 5-6 hours and I was totally shattered after that one!) I decided to let Logan go to Trolltunga by himself. This way I wouldn’t hold him up and he could go his speed.
I meanwhile washed all the clothes again we had in the washing machine in town yesterday and didn’t get clean (oh what fun). So while I’m busy boiling up water, soaking clothes, washing, scrubbing, soaking, hanging out clothes and start all over again, Logan is racing up and down the mountains between Folgefonna and Hardangervidda National Park.

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About 4 hours later I hear a voice behind me: “Ah washing clothes, are you?!” LOGAN?!?!? I was surprised but I wasn’t. I thought he might take about 6 hours, with 4 he surprised even me a bit! So here you see why I can’t keep up with him!!!
He said the Germans who left before him, came his way half an hour after he reached the Trolltunga! So they were WAY behind.
There’s a free toilet and warm shower provided at the car park which we make use of before leaving and driving on to Eidfjord.
Actually going to Eidfjord wasn’t exactly the plan. We are planning on catching the ferry from a place called Brimnes, before Eidfjord but we didn’t have any cash on us and had no idea whether the ferry accepts credit cards. Just in case we keep on driving to get cash out in the next town which happens to be an absolutely beautiful little haven called Eidfjord! A large cruise ship, the AIDA, has docked here and after getting out some cash, we decide to stay the night here – right at the Hardangerfjord, in a no mobile home zone! Well seriously, the sign is so tiny that we see it much later when we had already hung out all the clothes in the sun to dry. We didn’t move anymore and fortunately no-one seemed to bother.

Guess what’s for dinner? Rissoles (in German: Klöpse – very important to know!) with vegetables and mushroom sauce.

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In the morning we couldn’t help ourselves but drive a little further in the “wrong” direction to have a look at this popular waterfall, the Voringfoss. On the way we discover a nature centre where we think we could possibly pick up some more info on the Hardangervidda, a mountain plateau which is now a protected national park. The whole plateau is above the tree line and due to it’s year-round alpine climate, arctic animals such as the polar fox or reindeer can be found here; further south than anywhere else in Europe.
Since it is very rare to see reindeer, bears, wolves or foxes, we choose to buy tickets to the centre which include a fabulous movie shown on a wide screen (actually 5 screens). Geography, flora and fauna are shown from the perspective of a helicopter flight and while watching, we sometimes get dizzy when the helicopter turns or flies through small gorges etc. The video alone is worth the entrance fee of 120 NOK (about 16€/$20). After the video we have a look at the very informative exhibition as well.

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This is what we see when we exit the exhibition, do you see this too???

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YES! It’s a goat on top of a roof! In Norway there are many houses with natural grasses growing on top of roofs. This one is being utilized as a goat’s pasture at the same time!

Then we drive on to Vøringfoss from where we have an impressive view over the country side and a 182m deep gorge in which the waterfall drops into.

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There’s also a tourist shop nearby offering all these Norwegian things again, for example these postcards:

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More on the Hardangerfjord and Bergen in the next post!

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Buerbreen Glacier, Norway

We heard and read about Odda, the gateway to two national parks, Folgefonna and Hardangervidda, and to various hikes like Buerbreen Glacier or Trolltunga.
The national parks are home to the largest wild reindeer population in Europe, to a few brown bears, polar foxes, red foxes wolverines and wolves.

To get to Odda, we are driving along road 13, having to catch the ferry again to cross the fjord between Hjelmeland and Nesvik. This one is only about 12€ / $14 as it’s really just a 10min crossing.
We keep going all the way to Odda along the popular tourist road 13 with its beautiful lakes, mountains and waterfalls.

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A tourist shop has cleverly opened up next to the spectacular views of this waterfall and of course we have to have a look. Warm woolen socks, troll figures, Viking accessories, stickers, cups, books etc all showing either the Norwegian flag, trolls, elks or ..of course.. vikings. We’d love to buy a few things but $30 for a pair of socks or $25 for a little troll figure? Not really.. Maybe we find a cheaper tourist shop in Bergen or Oslo.

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Arriving in Odda, we park up at the fjord, next to a camper service area and even toilets. They are located in the bus waiting area, as well as electricity sockets – all for free.

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As its Sunday, no shops are open, so we just go for a walk through town before getting ready for bed.

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In the morning we collect some reading material from the tourist information and ask for a Telenor shop to see if I could finally get my sim card activated, but again no luck. Odda has no shopping centre, just 3 supermarkets.

Then we head off to the Buerbreen Glacier just a few km south west of Odda. The walk is supposed to take between 2.5 to 3 hours return.

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Again this is quite a challenging hike where we need to climb up bolders and rock faces by holding on to ropes or chains. Almost the entire hike leads along the rapid river coming from the glacier above. The higher we ascend, the better views we get.

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At the end of the hike the way is cut off by the river and unless you have climbing gear with you to hook yourself onto a wire cable, it’s impossible to cross the rapids and get to the glacier. We have also read many warnings about going into the glacier as it is very dangerous and should only be done with an experiencend guide and proper equipment.
We take a couple of photos at the end of the hike before descending quickly as the river brings down icy cyclone-like winds. On the way down we find a lovely spot near the river to have lunch, before returning to the car park. An absolute chaos of cars and campervans awaits us at the bottom. There are so many vehicles up here and the street is only wide enough for one car, that now no-one is moving anymore. Some want to leave, some want to get in and nothing’s happening. It takes about 20minutes until we finally get out and drive back to Odda. Here we get some mince for Spaghetti Bolognese tonight, do our washing and charge the video camera.
Unfortunately the washing machine st the tourist information didn’t wash out the mud of our clothes, nor the smoky smell of the camp fire the other night. Looks like I’ll have to hand-wash everything again tomorrow!

Here is a mix of photos of the rock piles along the river, the lovely long-haired cows/bulls and also of Logan’s undies hanging out of the van to dry and his freshly shaved face! He hasn’t shaved in over a year I think, he always only trims his facial hair, so I keep giggling every time I see him now.
He he he he

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Preikestolen, Norway

After the long and difficult trek to the Kjerag Bolten, we have had two lay days to recover and regain strength for our next adventure: The Preikestolen!

During those two days we have been enjoying beautiful views at the Lysefjord and tried some more fishing. Since I’m never lucky fishing, Logan of course caught four(!) Mackerels during the first 30 minutes, when I wasn’t there yet. The next hour of fishing with me present is unsuccessful – I’m not surprised anymore. Instead we catch a jellyfish and I upset some kind of marten when reeling in the fishing line and accidentally smacking him with the bait. Oops. He’s hissing at us a few times and then tries to charge us up the rock but then disappears.

Four Mackerels should really be enough for the two of us anyway, so we get the fire going and prepare the fish to be cooked.

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Oh and we are not professionals in preparing fish, so we just cut it apart and take out the bones once it’s cooked. That works well enough for us.

On the second lay day we stop in Forsand to go shopping for some basic groceries before driving on to Preikestolen.
Our plan is to camp nearby so we can start the walk early in the morning. Unfortunately there seem to be so many tourists coming here, that wild camping is not allowed nearby, so we have to drive back to the main road and stay there.

Hiking to Preikestolen

Even though the weather forecast has been predicting sun, we wake up to a thick layer of grey clouds.

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That’s demotivating as obviously you need to have good weather for the best views from the Preikestolen or “Preacher’s stool”. We don’t want to waste any more time though and make our way back up to the car park: 100NOK. Wow! This is not even the main car park near the restaurant, since that one is full, they opened another car park another couple of km down the road. To still ask for 100NOK is a bit much. We turn around and park up a little further down the road and get the bicycles out – cheeky I know.
We ride down to the restaurant and main car park and lock up our bicycles here.

There is a sign describing the walk, the length, difficulty and what you shouldn’t wear: sandals or high heels. When proper shoes are recommended in Norway, you better follow that guideline as they mean it! (I still saw a couple with sandals and even a woman with pumps!! She must have broken her foot soon after that or I would be very surprised!)
The trek immediately starts off with a rocky path, turning into boulders and holding on to trees or rocks with hands is necessary in parts. We cross several streams, grasslands and steep walls on the way.

While the trek to Preikestolen is still a lot easier than the one to Kjerag Bolten, it’s not an afternoon stroll and takes about 2 hours up and a little less back down. (This is if you don’t stop too many times)
I’m surprised to see a lot of children on this track, partly climbing themselves and partly sitting in a backpack on daddy’s back. A lot of people also take their dogs and it amazes me how they manage the steep climbs and balancing on boulders.

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After about two hours of hiking the skies have turned into a crystal blue and we finally arrive at the Preikestolen – I haven’t seen so many tourists in one spot in a while! Wow! Logan and I look at each other with big eyes and have the same thought: would the Preikestolen break off under the weight of all these tourists?? There’s already a large crack through it, especially visible from above.

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We first try to take in the incredible views over the fjord and at the Preikestolen before actually making our way through the people chaos on the platform. We get a few shots and have lunch, sitting on the edge, overlooking the Lysefjord.

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Then we climb up even higher, so we can see the Preikestolen and the Lysefjord from above. It’s such an amazing view!

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Then it’s time to make our way back. 1.5 hours of walking downhill and jumping from rock to rock are ahead of us before finally reaching the car park. I brought shampoo and fresh clothes and clean myself in the bathrooms while Logan is getting the Globetrotter van to pick me up. He then also has a clean and we make our way north. At the Preikestolen bus stop we see a young couple holding their thumbs out. “Where do you guys need to go?” I ask. “To Tau. Our ferry leaves from there!” she says. Turns out there hasn’t been any buses coming in a while and they were already a bit late. We give them a lift to Tau and then make our way towards Hjelmeland, spending the night at a nice spot on the side of the road. There are stone tables and chairs here, so we enjoy beautiful views over the valley while having dinner and then playing a game of chess.

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Kjerag Bolten, Norway

After Logan’s 40k(!) run yesterday, we are off on the big Kjerag Bolten adventure (pronunciation: Sherag). The Bolten is a boulder trapped inbetween two rock walls; it is suspended over 1000m above the Lysefjord.
To get to the Bolten, you start the walk from a restaurant up the serpentine road from Lysebotn.
Whether you get there with your own car, book a bus from the camp site in Lysebotn or hope for a hitch hike from the cars on the ferry.
We got here via the long southern road along the fjord. For photos please see previous blog post.

The parking fee for the day is 100NOK which is over 10€ or $16. You can pay in the restaurant. There are toilets and showers provided but at the end of the walk I have to find out that the showers (which are an extra 10NOK) don’t even work. I’m very disappointed about that looking at the overpriced parking fee that is “supposed to help maintain the car park and facilities”.

The walk is rated “very difficult”. After a few meters we have to make our way up a steep and sometimes slippery mountain. There is a chain fixated to the ground so hikers can hold on for safety. I like treks like these with a bit of a challenge. Red T-markers sprayed on rocks lead the way but there is no actual track. The views are fantastic from the first mountain. The end of the fjord, the town of Lysebotn and the mountains are visible from here.

(Bottem left photo)

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After the first mountain the T-markers lead us into a valley (upper left photo) where we need to cross a creek via a wooden bridge. There is so much mud around, it doesn’t take long until I step in a puddle (to Logan’s delight) and have a wet foot. Oops.
Proper trekking shoes would do a better job in this kind of terrain.

To be honest, I was hoping that there was only one mountain to climb but standing on top, we could see there was a second mountain behind the green valley.
Again the chains are helping the steep and treacherous way up but I’m getting exhausted and slow down Logan (who really should be more exhausted than me after his long run yesterday). He get’s a bit impatient with me, trying to hurry me because he thinks we may not make the ferry in the evening. But hey, I’m not THAT slow!
So on top of the next mountain, I realise there is a valley with a river and ANOTHER even much bigger mountain! It’s still so far away that the people climbing up, look like an ant colony to me. I’m uncertain about my abilities, especially because I can’t keep up with Logan anymore. He’s always about 50-100m infront of me, impatiently tapping his foot from time to time until I get closer again.
So down again, crossing the river aaaand up again! The monster mountain! Step by step, with aching legs, I’m climbing meter by meter
until we finally reach the top. It’s gotta be the end! We must be at the Kjerag Bolten finally. And then I see ant-sized people again! Oh no!!! It’s not a mountain this time, just a long way to walk over a rocky surface with crevasses and even some meter thick snow in parts. Tourist-made rock piles are decorating the landscape and a sign post is pointing the way to Kjerag Bolten.

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From the sign post it’s only a stone’s throw to the Bolten but the way down is precarious! A thin line of hard-packed snow leads through a crevasse towards the platform and the Kjerag Bolten. Right and left are big bolders below and falling or sliding off the thin snow track, wouldn’t be pretty. Walking very slowly over the very slippery snow, we make the crossing and get a first sight of the Kjerag Bolten. I immediately get an adrenaline rush thinking about going on the rock, as anyone here does, for a spectacular photo.
Logan is first and coming back, he re-assures me, it’s not all that bad. There actually is a line up of about 5 people before its my turn. A young women gets dizzy and goes right down on her knees, leaning backwards onto another bolder. A young man reached for her hand to pull her back on the main platform. Right infront of me is a dad with his maybe 5 year old daughter who is slightly freaked out. I can’t blame her, I’m scared too! Looking down the 1000m chasm didn’t help much either.
Now it’s my turn. “don’t look down and keep smiling for the video camera” I keep telling myself. I can feel my legs shake from the strainiousness of climbing for three hours and now the adrenaline adds to it. Logan seems
to keep filming for aaaaages. Finally he is done and I try to communicate to him to also quickly take a photo. He makes hand signs: “with what?” Then it seems
come to him that I gave him my phone.
“Click”!

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..Ok back to safety!!!
Wow that was exciting. We unpack our lunch and enjoy the view while eating.
Logan again asks for the time and I can proudly say: we made it in 2 hours and 30minutes. 3 hours is what it is supposed to take! I’m NOT slow Logan. 😉
A few more photos and we are making our way back over all three mountains which takes approximately the same time or a bit less. My legs start to get weaker and I slip a few times, adding some more mud to my shoes and pants.

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Exhausted we arrive back at the car park and I check whether the showers are working but as already mentioned they aren’t! So we have to make do with the sink and warm water tab in the disabled toilet.

Back down in Lysebotn, we are lining up for the tourist ferry to Forsand. The ferry is 640NOK = about 88€/$105 one way for two people and car/mobile home.
The trip takes 2 hours and we get to see the steep rock cliffs of the fjord, a seal baking in the sun, the Kjerag Bolten from below (see in photo), several waterfalls and hear stories about the locals here at the fjord.

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Arriving in Forsand, we find a perfect little spot to camp right at the fjord. Tomorrow we’ll try our luck fishing again!

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Lysebotn and Lysefjord

While trying to figure out the best plan of how to visit the Preikestolen and Kjerag, we come to the conclusion that it may be the best idea to drive to the ferry terminal and ask for prices there. We want to work out the cheapest way.

Option one would be to take the ferry from Lauvvik to Lysebotn and back the same day without the car. We were also wondering if there is a bus going from the ferry in Lysebotn to the Kjerag walking track.
Option two is to take the car but on the way back get off the ferry earlier to drive on northward.
Option three is to drive all the way from Lauvvik to Lysebotn. It is a long, curvy and steep road but said to be very impressive. Then take the ferry back to Forsand to drive on to Preikestolen.

The 30min trip per passenger (no car) from Lauvvik to Lysebotn is 220 NOK one way. So we’d end up with a price of 880 return for the both of us.
So option 3 turns out to be the cheapest as we only need a ticket back from Lysebotn to Forsand which is 420 NOK for the Campervan up to 6m, including the driver and 220 extra for the additional person. That turns out to be about 86€ / Au$100.

So we make our way eastward along the bendy road and are rewarded with some terrific landscape! We even still find snow up here!

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Having reached the highest point and soon the restaurant from which the walking trek starts, we follow the very steep serpentine road down to Lysebotn. The weather forecast is rain and clouds for the next to days, so we’ll just spend our time down in Lysebotn, trying to catch some fish and kick back before the 6 hour walk to Kjerag.
The Lysefjord is beautiful and numerous waterfalls are running down right and left, into the fjord.

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Stavanger and Eikelivatnet lake, Norway

Arriving in Stavanger, we find ourselves a car park and go for a walk through the city. Surrounded by Norwegian style houses, we find a large lake with a fountain right in the city centre. Nearby we discover a Gothic church and on the other side a wedding.

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We then follow our way down towards the water. There is a market with stalls selling Norwegian style pullovers, warm winter shoes, flags and much more. Pubs with music and outdoor seating areas are located along the port.
I then discover a sign saying “Old Town” pointing left.

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That sounds interesting I think and we follow it up some steps and past some houses. All of a sudden we find ourselves in a lovely old suburb of cute white wooden houses, decorated with flowers everywhere. The cobblestone street leads us past the “Can museum” and two girls selling waffles out their kitchen windows. What a lovely idea to earn some pocket money, so we decide to buy some. So do the tourists who watched us buying them in the first place.

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When returning to our mobile home, I pay for the parking ticket and we drive through the open boom gate, wenn all of a sudden we hear a loud noise of plastic dropping. “What the?!?!??” Jumping out of the van, we discover the boom gate lying on the floor. Now what? Run? Laugh? Call someone? First I check if there are any scratches to be seen on our Camper but the gate was only made from a light plastic. I quickly manage to take a shot, before we then just leave. No time for drama, we want to go fishing.

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And with fishing, another drama unfolds once again! The new fishing line we bought, seems to be too thick for my fishing rod and keeps tangling up badly. Logan then let’s me use his fishing rod for a little while and soon after I loose the rather expensive fish bait to the sea grass at the bottom. His fishing line is thinner and tears when I try to pull the bait out. How frustrating. Logan isn’t happy either, but hey, he lost two yesterday already! I give up for today and leave the fishing to Logan. After another hour or so, he throws out the line, gets somehow tangled and the bait goes flying into the lake! Another one gone. Disappointed we pack our stuff together and retreat to the campervan.
Thanks for the fish Norway.

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Norway Fishing Dramas

It’s so warm! Half asleep I throw down my blanket and turn around one more time, but it is so warm up here in the campervan bed. Then I open my eyes and see sun rays peaking through the small openings of the windows. Sun!!! Finally after days we have sunshine!
We pull out chairs and table and have breakfast outside, overlooking the Listafjord.
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After passing through Flekkefjord, the street gets narrow, sometimes only 3m wide, and very curvy. Going past deep chasms, cliffs, fjords and up to 400m-high and grey weather-beaten mountain scenery.
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I also tried to capture the beautiful and very unique architecture: from houses hidden below an overhanging rock wall (picture above), wooden churches or the typical idyllic Norwegian-style houses surrounded by large bolders, lakes and grazing sheep.
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Arriving in Egersund, we stop at a
sports store to buy some bait that may attract Norwegian fish better than our little neon yellow fish-bait. Logan also suggests we should buy more fishing line, as ours isn’t long enough. We go for the cheapest one which is still about 20€ and some stingsilda 28g bait for 10€. I read that one does the trick here in Norway.

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The landscape after Egersund is less mountainous, but instead a beautiful sandy beach borders onto hilly fields and forests.
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From Sandnes, near Stavanger, we drive east along the fjord, which I believe is still part of the Hillefjord and at the very end of the street we find a small village called Dale. We are basically across the fjord from Stavanger. Here we discover a small grassy spot right at the fjord to park on. As soon as the engine stops, we excitedly jump in the back and unpack the fishing accessories. Logan is first in and within 10 seconds he has a fish on the hook!!! (This is no exaggeration!) I couldn’t believe it! He throws it in a second time and within another 30 seconds he’s got another one but this time the fish is putting up a fight and … The fishing line tears!!!
I already had a feeling that the line was too thin when we reeled it onto the rod. Now this really is a problem. We lost one of the good bait and we don’t really want to loose the second one. Nor do we want the poor fish swimming around with hooks in their mouths.
How very frustrating!
The second problem is, that even the front part of the fishing rod itself broke off too!

Back at the Intersport store in Sandnes, we buy not just fishing line (this time the second strongest they have!) and more bait, we also buy (what we think are) floaties and even a new fishing rod. Over a hundred euros poorer we quickly get back to the same place… We better make up for this now by fishing every day and actually catching some too!

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Back at Dale with two rods, a stronger line and more bait, we keep fishing for an hour but pull nothing out but seagrass.
Also the floaties dont seem to stay afloat and sink with the bait.
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I wonder whether we’ll ever have any luck fishing???
We change location one last time to a spot only just south of Dale and try fishing from a jetty this time.
No fish.. An hour later, still no fish! My fishing rod keeps getting tangled and knotted up. During my last attempt I can’t seem to reel it in anymore as there are knots everywhere. I patiently de-knot what I can, while the hook with the bait is dangling at the bottom of the sea.
Finally I seem to be able to pull it out, obviously with a lot of seaweed on it as it is quite heavy.
I can’t believe my eyes what I then see emerging out of the water while I’m reeling it in: a crab! The first “fish” I ever caught is a CRAB?!?! I’m not all that happy about it, more so shocked! But Logan yells at me: “Pull it out!!!!!!”
Eeeew so we’re having crab for dinner, are we??

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Logan puts up a little fight with the crab, he’s a strong little creature! Then we take him up and throw him in boiling water. Poor thing, threw off one of his claws in stress.
Logan seemingly enjoys his crab dinner, while I only have a few small bites of his fish he caught earlier.

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Funny enough he hooked himself later that evening crying out for help, hahaha!

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Norway, Viking Roadside Assistance (ADAC) and Norwegian Customs asking for drugs

As we still need to wait a few hours for the ferry to take us from Hirtshals in Danmark to Kristiansand in Norway, we both decide to go for a run – individually though, as I could never keep up with Logan’s speed and distance. While Logan is running towards the town of Hirtshals, I’m running along the beach in the other direction. The weather is cool, windy and sometimes rainy; probably quite good for a run! Soon I’m forced to turn around as there is a small river (or creek) separating the beach. It is too wide to jump, so I’m turning around, running back towards the van. Just as I arrive, Logan also returns from his run and decides to go for a refreshing swim in the Baltic Sea. A few people stare, it is probably rather uncommon for a person to go swimming in this kind of weather.

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It is then soon time to drive over to the ferry terminal. We are one of the first to arrive and one of the last to go on the ferry – of course. Once on the Fjordline Express ferry we get comfortable in the “comfort seats” in the top level and soon daze into a shallow sleep as it’s already past 11:30pm.

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The ferry ride only takes 2 hours and 15 minutes. There were two children on board who would also cry for those two hours and 15 minutes – non-stop!! How very exhausting for everyone on board, also for the toddler himself to cry for over two hours without a break, wow!
I’m glad once we get back to the van and am looking forward to falling asleep very soon… But of course the appearance of our flower-decorated van, the peace sign hanging from the mirror and Logan’s deadlocks lead to the customs officers stopping us to get our van sniffed through by a dog! I was already highly amused about how the cliché of someone with dreadlocks got us into this situation but the creme dela creme was the the question of the officer: You smoke? Marijuana? Cannabis? Logan laughed and responded: Don’t let the hair fool you, I’m not even smoking cigarettes! The disbelief in the officer’s face expression was priceless!

Finally we are able to pull up in one of Kristiansand’s side streets and get some rest.

In the morning we have our first experience with grocery shopping in Norway. All we need is some water but a 5liter bottle of water is over 7€!!! All we end up buying are 4 bottles of bubbly water and instead of still water in a bottle we use the next opportunity at a shell station to top up water and also refill all our water bottles from a tap/hose supplied.

And there is our next problem: When we want to refill diesel, the petrol cap won’t open! No matter how hard we try, it won’t open but instead just makes a clicking noise. We have to call the German road ride assistance (ADAC) who then send us the Norwegian road side assistance “Viking”. It really pays to be a member! After the nice assistant doesn’t seem to have any luck with our petrol cap either, we are being taken to a mechanic who then breaks the lock in the cap. This service didn’t cost us a cent. The only little problem now is that we can’t lock the cap anymore and it isn’t as tight as it should be, so hopefully there won’t be any dirt or sand falling inside the tank until I can replace the cap.

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Finally, by 2pm we are on the road westwards. It has been raining all day today but our first impression of Norway is still a very good one. There are a lot of lakes and fjords everywhere along the south! First we stop at the south cape and take a few snapshots of the lighthouse, before moving on.

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We make it to a place before Flekkefjord where we try our luck fishing again.
We haven’t caught a single fish during all of our Europe trip, I wonder whether that is going to change today! While we are sitting patienly for 3 hours, trying all sorts of bait like fake fish, bread and sausage, “our fish” like to nibble but never bite; while the guy next to us is pulling one fish out after the other. Within 30min he’s got 4 fish and leaves. We keep on trying for a long time but eventually give up as the rain and especially mosquitos become unbearable. Soup for dinner tonight and we’re still smiling of course. But maybe we should consult a fishing expert before our next fishing adventure!

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Hirtshals, Denmark

Finally we can enjoy breakfast outdoors in the sun! Logan sets up chairs and table behind the van (and sheltered from the wind) while I’m cooking up some porridge.
Some rabbits hopple through the grass, one time even only a couple of metres infront of us.
We are taking our time. Logan plays some guitar in the sun before we are leaving around midday.
Of course we had to take a wrong turn very soon and didn’t realise for another 30min. Doesn’t matter, we’re not in a hurry; our biggest challenge is to find a water tab so we can finally fill up our dry water tank! None of the following three petrol stations seems to have a tab and the fourth one has one but it isn’t working. I’ve had enough, grab the watering can and fill up a few liters. Logan is slightly embarrassed but we drive around and find another watering can and a bucket full of water. I pour both contents into the tank as well! That should last us a few more days, even though there seems to be some detergent in the water as it got a little foamy when I poured it in. So we better don’t use it to brush our teeth with it.

Arriving in Hirtshals, we park in town, go for a walk through the shopping street and along the port and eventually park on the sandy beach, which is hard enough from all the rain so we won’t get bogged.

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A walk along the windy beach helps us stretch our legs before getting settled for bed.

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In the morning we decide to go and visit the WWII bunkers near the lighthouse here in Hirtshals.
During war, the German occupation forces built 7500 bunkers in Danmark. These bunkers were the largest construction project in Danish history. The 6000 bunkers along the Danish Coastline were a part of Hitler’s Atlantic Wall, stretching from the border between Spain and France in the south, to the North Cape in Norway.

The bunker museum Hirtshals consists of 54 excavated bunkers along with many gun, mortar and machine gun emplacements. There are also radar and searchlight installations. In All, the area consists of 70 different locations, connected by 3.5km of trenches.

The following are photos I have taken of the bunkers and trenches and put a war-themed photo filter on top.

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And here are a couple of photos of the bunkers without any filters:
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Now we are patiently waiting for our ferry to Norway tonight!

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Flensburg into Danmark

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Rain! Again! We’re making our way from Kiel to Flensburg along the Baltic Sea. Mum said: “You won’t need your fur jacket! It’s summer, even in Norway!” We’re still in Germany and I feel like wearing my warmest winter clothes!

Arriving in Flensburg, the wind whistles through the ship masts. It’s Sunday, all the shops are closed and the city is quiet, so what is there for us to do? We find a free camp spot at the eastern side of the port and I suggest we should go fishing here. I’m getting changed into warm clothes and the moment I step outside the door: Rain! At first I’m being stubborn and want to go fishing anyway but soon have to admit that it’s not very pleasant out here. We retreat back to the van and watch some episodes of “Once Upon a Time” on the laptop. Occasionally there is a big ship going past, sounding the horn.

In the morning Logan and I both wake up to “AUSTRALIA!” I can hear Logan turn around, to look out the window; now I’m curious too! A white van with red and blue painted windows and two kangaroos with the Australian flag are decorating the side. Logan caught a glimpse of the man who responded to someone asking where he was from. I only saw him leaving. This is only the second time we saw someone from down under within the last 5 months. I wonder if he saw our Australian flag at the front of our van?!

The shops are open today in Flensburg and we find our way to Karstadt, a popular German shopping centre that you’ll basically find in every city. Finding water tabs wasn’t easy so far, so I cheekily fill two bottles up with water in their bathroom which then discretely disappear in my bag. We also buy some more wet baby wipes, which turned out to be very practical in a camper’s life!

Still raining we only browse through a few more shops (I noticed many signs here are already in Danish!) and then leave for Danmark.
The border is only a few kilometers from Flensburg.
We aim for Aarhus today, as it is about half way to Hirtshals, the town we need to catch the ferry from in two days.
Aarhus seems to have a nice core with old buildings. Logan points out that more people here are blonde and paying attention to it, it’s true! Well over 50 or 60% are blonde!
Just behind Aarhus we find a lovely place right at the beach that will be our home for tonight. The weather has cleared up a little, though still cloudy and very windy! A few people get ready for kite surfing on the Baltic sea, while we are going for a walk along the tidal flats. Someone must have dug in the sand here before for mussels or oysters as there are holes and big mounts of sand next to them everywhere.

While we enjoy the late afternoon and evening outside on our chairs with a glass of wine, we keep seeing people going for strolls along the beach and the high grass with their dogs. One family enjoys a snack next to us while their two Golden Retriever girls “Malou” and “Bela” come and receive a lot of cuddles from us. Such happy, enthusiastic and greedy (hoping for a snack from their owners) dogs!

What’s for dinner? Kässpätzle!!! Oh yea, one yammie traditional German meal! Logan is still licking his fingers!

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