Posts Tagged With: architecture

Jotunheimen to Oslo – from the mountains to the sea

Having been to Nigardsbreen Glacier, the most northerly point of our Norway tour, we aim for Jotunheimen National Park.

On the way we pick up some very delicious raspberries of a farmer for 30NOK. A rip off unfortunately, as we discover them in the supermarket for 20NOK about 30min later.
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Arriving in Lom, we stop at a Stave Church and the tourist information centre where Logan picks up a 2013 calendar with pictures of Norway.

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We drive over a pass, overlooking Norway’s highest mountains of up to 2469m. There is even plenty of snow up here still and many glaciers make their way down.
Gjende lake is described in the travel book as Norway’s most beautiful lake. Unfortunately we arrive there when the sky is dark grey and rain is just starting to fall. We are very low on diesel and feel a little too nervous to stay, so instead just drive on, hoping to finally find a petrol station.
The mountain scenery is incredible and distracts us from our worries for at least a little while.
Finally in Beitostølen, we discover a petrol station – thankfully!
After filling up diesel, we backtrack a few kilometers and then turn right in a private toll road called Jotunheimsvegen. The entry fee is 80NOK (11€/$13), pretty expensive I think at first but considering that this is privately owned and supposedly the most beautiful mountain road in all of Norway, we are happy to pay.
Along the road we pass a few small huts and houses and many lakes. Some cows block the way and even though we almost hit them with our van, they only move out of the way veeeery slowly.
We make camp here on Jotunheimsvegen for the night. Logan is off fishing again, comes back soaking wet but as (almost) always: without any fish.

Oh we’re not the only ones from Australia! This campervan parked next to us at the Stave Church in Lom. The raging river is also in Lom, while the other three pictures were taken on Jotunheimsvegen:
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In the morning the road takes us to Skåbu and then onto Lillehammer. The scenery changes drastically from a treeless mountain landscape to green fields, forests and blue lakes.
Lillehammer was host to the winter Olympics in 1994, so we are driving up to the well maintained ski jump and athletics track. Logan even does three 800m rounds on the track and I time him. Next time I’ll bring my “cheerleader pompoms”!

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Eventually we drive on to Oslo and the find-a-carpark game starts all over again. We are driving back and forth, doing u-turns, searching, looking.. THERE! What’s this? I can’t read the sign and get out to translate it. Within 5 seconds a bus arrives and angrily beeps the horn at us. I run back to the van and the game continues.
We decide to leave the city centre and drive west. There actually seem to be streets in which no parking tickets are required. Since the sun is still out, we get the bicycles and ride back into town.

Oslo has a beautiful mix of architecture but I mostly prefer the older style buildings:

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Flowers are to be found everywhere throughout the city which I personally enjoy looking at very much. The colourfulness of the city continues along the harbour. A very colourful Indian bus is displayed at the front, along with a young boy playing the drums, a guitarist, fairy tale figures and green elephants (which I think are part of a music festival).

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The port also has a small beach and grassy area to relax or enjoy the day with the children.
I noticed a lot of young women have children here, probably because Norway is said to be the most child friendly country in the world.

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The best surprise of the evening are the swing dancers who probably belong to a dance club. We keep watching them for quite a while and I keep laughing and smiling at this genius dance style. Some people even wear old fashioned clothes.
I really want to join a dance class now!

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More on the fantastic Oslo Museums in the next post!

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Italy’s Spur – Pischici and Manfredonia

Another shower experience! This time it’s different, so I feel like sharing this fun story once again! The shower at Azzurro Lido needs tokens to work. My first mission is to find the owner. Equipped with a towel and my toiletry bag, I search for Mr. Azzurro Lido all over the campsite, including the house, when all of the sudden the alarm goes off. I’m sure that at least now he’ll turn up somewhere. But he doesn’t! I then see some smoke trailing behind an old caravan and find him and his wife cooking a BBQ. His wife is getting a token out of the house and exchanges it with me for 2Euros. I assume that the time is limited, so I get undressed first, before inserting the token. Then I pop in the token and quickly get my hair wet under the still cold water (don’t want to waste time). All of the sudden the water gets boiling hot and there is no way of changing the temperature as there is no tab. I step aside from the water and quickly get shampoo in my hair and over my body. The boiling hot water burns my feet and I force myself to at least quickly rinse the foam out of my hair. The moment I step under the water, the water flow stops! WHAT IS THAT? A 30 SECOND SHOWER??? I’m full of shampoo foam everywhere, including my eyes! Half blind I reach outside, hoping the token may have come out – no luck! My eyes burn and I’m so frustrated, a few tears are flowing. I paid 2 Euros for this shower and would have been better off washing myself with a hose! Well all the frustration doesn’t help, so I walk over to the tab which is for cleaning your feet and squeeze underneath to rinse the shampoo out of my hair and then splash it over me, to rinse myself too. Lucky there is only a few people on the beach, quite far away, not knowing I’m half naked and blind.

When I tell Logan about my lovely experience, he is laughing. He had the same experience yesterday but he was given two tokens for 2 Euros and he didn’t wash his hair.

All batteries charged up we leave Azzurro Lido and drive through Pischici. The very steep and tight streets make it hard not to damage our Globetrotter. At times, I have to get out and guide Logan through between cars and walls, only having 1-2cm on each side!!! At one point we realise all our fresh water is running out of the pipe. Just out of nothing! Oh no! What did we damage now?? We find out, it’s only a valve that needed to be turned back and everything was closed again. Phew!

We soon keep going and choose to stop along the coast at a few lookouts. The dramatic cliffs and small coves are picture-perfect!

  

  

  

The road leads us to Manfredonia. The architecture shows signs of Greek influences, probably because the city was settled by the Greeks in ancient times. We only drive through once and then go grocery shopping in a nice shopping centre, before finding ourselves a car park next to a small takeaway bar.

Logan got motivated and is having a bottle of vodka tonight and soon is feeling social again, talking to some strange characters at the take-away bar next to our van. “Oh no”, I’m thinking. I hear him talking about our travels and I really hope the person he is talking to, and the two dodgy looking Italians behind him, are good people, since we are planning on staying the night and next day here and I wouldn’t appreciate any visitors or people stealing things from our van.

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