Friday, 25 July, 1997

At 8:45 am we had cleared out and cleaned our cabin, packed our bikes and stood ready for departure. We should now cross the Sognefjord and continue down to Bergen. During our exploration of the local geography the previous night, we had found an alternative way over the fjord. There was actually a ferry line only a couple of kilometers away. So we decided to check that one out. But we gave up pretty soon after getting there when we realized we probably had to wait quite some time for the next ferry.

So we continued the 20 km to Lavik and here we was greeted with a eagerly awaited sight just by the queue lines to the ferry: a self-service shop! The ferry was already on its way in, but we just could not miss this opportunity to buy something to eat. As we paid for our things we could hear how the cars outside begun to get going, so in a hurry we jumped on our bikes and a few seconds later rolled up on the ferry. During the crossing we could in peace and quiet enjoy our just bought "breakfast" - which for my part meant 2 double Mars bars and a bottle of Coca-Cola. Yummy! :)

Over on the other side we now had just over 100 km straight south before we would enter Bergen. This part would be mostly about finding a place to refuel. There was one right after we got off the ferry, but we thought we could as well go on for yet a few 40 or 50 km or so. This choice nearly got us into trouble as it later showed. After a while Niklas started to drive up beside me, eagerly pointing at his soon to be empty fuel tank. With a calm nodding answer I reassured him that we would stop at first best opportunity.

But kilometer after kilometer went past without any gas station in sight. You would have thought that this relatively close to one of the bigger cities you would not have such problems finding one. To make things worse, we had now gotten into a rather hilly area with lots of tunnels. It would not be at all good to come to an standstill in the middle of a several kilometer long and dark tunnel. Finally we had no choice but to stop and then I with the biggest fuel tank and consequently most fuel left, went on alone on a "search mission". Niklas had since long been driving on the reserve fuel and now nearly drove on the fumes alone. Claes had also a very little amount of fuel left. We stopped on a narrow parking space and I was being equipped with a cellular phone and a couple of empty Coca-Cola bottles (=fuel bottles).

After six kilometers the very welcome sight appeared: a service station of the bigger kind. I called the group behind me and told them the distance and waited for them in case they would run out of fuel before they got here, in which case I would have to fill up those Cola bottles. But no need to. After a few minutes they both came driving out of that last tunnel and everything was cool again.

After this unplanned little incident, we were now not far from Bergen - the second largest city of Norway with its 233,000 inhabitants. Unfortunately this city was not as motorcycle friendly as the capital. First we had to pay a rather expensive bridge fee, and then soon after another road toll. We took aim on the center of the city, and were soon right in the thick of it.
 Stefan, Claes and Niklas posing in central Bergen.
The traffic was very heavy in the center of the city and finding a normal parking spot would not be very easy. So we took the easy way out and used the sidewalk to park the our bikes. And soon other motorcyclists followed our example. Without we knew it, we had parked right in the very center of the city. We spent about an hour with exploring the closest surroundings. Only at a stone's throw the big tourist information was located, and a block away we had Fløibanen - a funicular that in 8 minutes takes you from the city center to the to of Mount Fløyen. From there you can enjoy a magnificent view over Bergen and the surroundings. Numerous paths offer easy walks through beautiful woodland terrain with lakes and mountains. Up there is also a restaurant, a kiosk and a souvenir shop. This is something you should not miss. Unfortunately we did...

The drive out of Bergen got somewhat chaotic. Right after we got on our way, Claes stopped to answer the phone! And after this stop we came to another as I had slight mishap with the fuel feed to my bike! :) The minute after we were stuck and at a standstill in a real traffic jam. We soon got fed up with it and used one of the advantages with being on motorbikes - we just simply overtook the whole queue at the narrow space on the outside. But somewhere in the confusion we lost our sense of direction and somehow exited the city on the same highway we entered it! At the outskirts of Bergen, we stopped to get our senses back again and at the same time took the opportunity to treat ourselves with some food. Yes, hamburgers again! :)

We then continued east on the E16 and later road 7 along the Hardangerfjord to Bruravik. Here we got on a ferry to Brimnes. While waiting to reach land on the other side of the fjord, we phoned and got us a cabin in the ski-resort Geilo about 100 km to the east. But first we had a couple of places to stop at. And at the top of the list was Kjeċsen.

Down below Kjeċsen
 Claes and Niklas posing at the foot of the road
 leading up to the inaccessible farm Kjeċsen.
10 km from Brimnes, in Eidfjord, we turned left to take us up to the farm Kjeċsen which is located 600 meters up on the mountain at the other side of the fjord. This is a place that is well known because it is so very inaccessible being located at the very steep mountain side. Especially when you consider that the only way up there before, was only a "path" going up the almost vertical mountain wall! If you want to feel the sacrifices those people had to do, then this path is still there and it begins at the water outlet of Sima power station. That "walk" is known to offer both this and that. :)
 View from Kjeċsen out over the Eidfjord.
If you on the other hand just want to enjoy the view, then you can do like we did. That is take the much less demanding 5 km long road up there. Half of it consists of a steep, narrow and dark tunnel, and because of it, the road has one-way traffic changing every half hour. Up there you have only a few minutes walk until you get to enjoy a rather magnificent view over the fjord.

At around 6:00 pm we went down again and stopped in the little village below to refuel. After this we continued up at higher altitude by continuing east on road 7 through 4 or 5 long tunnels. 20 km later we stopped at the second thing we wanted to take a closer look at: Vøringsfossen. It's a waterfall with a 180 m free fall. The best view you probably get from the Vøringsfossen Hotel, but there is also a lookout just by the main road.


The journey continued to even higher grounds as we now got onto the great tableland Hardangervidda. Once again it suddenly got very much colder than down at sea level. It got even worse as the skies got darkened by very heavy rain clouds. And it didn't take long until those clouds started to empty its huge water reservoirs with such an intensity that we had to severely slow down. It even felt and looked like the rain had a touch of snow in it, so we had better to be careful. If it had not been for the bad weather, this had been quite a nice 80 km long drive. But as it was now, we mostly sat and shivered of cold and just waited to end this days last stage.

And our goal for the day was reached at around 9:00 pm when we rolled into Geilo. At Øen Camping we got ourselves a nice cabin. This place seemed hardly even half full. It for sure was not like this during the height of the season - which for this place was at winter, being the ski-resort it is. Now we could look up onto the bare slopes going down the nearby mountain peak. After a nice shower it was time for the last night in Norway (for this time).