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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars

 

Norway - 1 June, 2004

 

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Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Aboard the Ferry M.S. Princess of Scandinavia, DFDS Seaways, enroute to Kristiansand, Norway . . . .
Kristiansand N5808.808' E00759.578' 21 meters 700 km (by ferry)
Lindesnes . . . .
Flekkerfjord . . .  
Finish Egersund (Steinsnes Camping) N5828.720' E00559.746' 3 meters 252 km

Total (BMW 330CiC)

5,149 km

Total (other):

1,835 km

Total:

6,984 km

 

Weather: Clear, sunny and very warm (16-20C).  Cool at night.

 

 

We had a pretty good nights sleep on the ferry and get up a short while before arriving at Kristiansand.  We pack up our stuff and have a brief walk on the deck before our arrival.  Then it is time to go and collect our stuff and make our way down to our car on the car deck.  But even after pulling into the pier, we are not able to get to our car.  They need to unload all the trucks from the deck below.  It is a major operation, and there is a small hitch when one of the drivers does not show up for a while - everything is held up.  They page for him over the intercom - he finally comes and things start to clear out.  The last things to be unloaded are the trailers, which are hauled out by these tractors with cabs that rotate around.

 

Finally they are able to lower down the platform that gives us access to our cars.  Once loaded up and in our cars, they lower the ramps and we are able to drive off the ferry.  Then another wait in the queue to pass through immigration and customs.  No major problem - just took some time.  Customs was asking about our car and what we were doing with it.  But they let us drive through.

 

Once in the city, we take a quick drive to the information center, where we pick up some brochures.  Then, we decide to just head right out of town and begin our drive north up towards Bergen.  We are not sure how long it will take us and we need to be in Bergen in a few days to catch the coastal steamer (Hurtigruten) all the way up to the top of Norway, finishing up in Kirkenes.

 

We begin our drive to the west where we will take the North Sea Road, with our first goal being the southernmost point in Norway.  It is a wonderful drive.  We are taking the old, slow road, skipping the new express route.  The narrow road meanders along, making it's way around rather than through or over obstacles.  It is slower, but more pleasurable.

 

We pass through the town of Mandal, which has had it's ups and downs.  Between 1900 and 1910, one in four residents emigrated to the United States.  Soon after leaving Mandal, we turn south onto route 460, which will take us to the southernmost point.  Along the way down, we take the outer, narrow and winding, road on the peninsula with its wonderful views.  It certainly is narrow - we often have to stop and back-up to let other cars pass.

 

We arrive at Lindesnes shortly before 1 AM.  We decide to have lunch here and bring our cooler with us up to the top of the rocky outcrop where the lighthouse is located.  It is a great day to visit - sunny with calm seas and a moderate winds.  It is very exposed up here on the rock.  To get out of the wind that is blowing while we have lunch, we go down into one of the remains of the old German gun emplacements, using it to shield us from the wind rather than the long gone enemy.

 

Once we have finished our lunch, we spend some time checking out the place and the buildings.  We, of course, have to walk up to the top of the lighthouse and take in the fantastic views form there.

 

Before we leave the top of the rock outcrop, we pull out our flask and have a wee dram, toasting the start of our Norwegian adventure.  On our way back down to the car, we quickly check out the museums with displays on this and other lighthouses.  But with this great weather, we want to spend more time outside, so we are soon on our way.

 

We now can officially begin our long trip from the southernmost point in Norway, to it's very top, way above the Artic Circle at the North Cape - 2,518 km as the crow flies.  We are looking forward to this adventure, which will be a combination of boat and car trip.  Having backtracked to the E18, we carry on west to Flekkefjord, where we turn off the main road and switch to route 44 that winds along the coast.

 

It is a great drive.  Along the way we come to a few great stretches on this road.  Along one 18 km section, it ascends and falls through 14 hairpin turns.  And when we say hairpin, we mean hairpin.  There are very few other cars on road, and we enjoy taking our car to the limit as we roar around the bends.  Soon we are at the small fjord of Jossing, which hit the headlines in the Second World War during the Altmark incident when the British boarded that ship in this fjord to free 300 POWs (Norway was neutral at the time).  The drive up from the base of the Fjord to the top is another enjoyable experience as we wind through the turns and tunnels and under the supporting superstructures that hold back the cliff.

 

We arrive in Egersund shortly before 6 PM, where we decide to spend the evening.  We check into a campsite, where we get a small hut.  After settling in, we head over to a small truckers stop for a dinner of fast food.  Not one of our better meals on this trip.  After dinner, we return to the camp, have our showers (in those annoying showers where you need to insert coins for 5 minutes of hot water - we always make sure we have extra coins just in case).

 

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