Page 5 of GPJMurphy Travel Blog Posts

Europe » Norway » Western Norway » Jotunheimen National Park September 7th 2008

Saturday 6th September Is a Norwegian hangover any worse than a London one? Well frankly when you get the bar bill - yes. At an eye watering £7/pint (well actually less than a pint - 0.4l) getting drunk here was never going to be cheap - and it wasn't. So this morning I have a sore head and an empty wallet. I don't get many hangovers these days, so maybe it is the altitude (about 5000ft), but I feel cack. The driving limit over here is 0.02mg/l which is ¼ of the UK limit. As I finished drinking about 2 am last night (this morning) this is the reason I am lagging behind this morning and updating yesterday's blog. I never made it to Gerainger yesterday. Went for a stunning 4 hour hike in the Jotunheim ... read more

Europe » Norway » Western Norway » Jotunheimen National Park September 5th 2008

Friday 5th September What an absolutely superb day - clearly illustrating the benefits of loose planning, which to be frank is all I am capable of. Still today it paid off in droves. Started my morning ritual of unpacking fetid newspaper stuffed tight into my boots to try and dry them overnight - lovely. Had brekky and then scooted back up “the road” to try and take some pics before the ferry and as is often the way with mega scenery couldn't do it justice - but maybe you can at least see from the picture how steep the cliffs were, I couldn't even capture them fully on wide angle. The road is mega - both from a scenery and rideability perspective. Some of the magic of yesterday had been lost though, as the clouds lacing ... read more
Road to Gudvanger
Me on boat to Kaupanger

Europe » Norway » Western Norway » Flåm September 4th 2008

Thursday 4th September There is another contender vying with Norwegian post card photographer for easiest job in the world. Norwegian weather forecaster. If you predicted rain every day you'd be wrong less than 10% of the time which is a far better ratio than the venerable Michael Fish. No wonder Munch painted the Scream. Jesus, did it p1ss down today. Most days it has rained (the memory of a sunny day in Bergen all but forgotten) but at least to date you got the odd break in the rain and occasionally even a bit of sun, but today it just hosed it down all day. Set off from Ulvik towards Voss and even though I knew it was right out of the hotel decided to trust the TomTom which was showing left. Initially I was glad ... read more
Voss-Gudvangen Road
Naeroyfjord + ferry
The road back to Voss

Europe » Norway » Western Norway » Flåm September 3rd 2008

Wednesday 3rd September Writing this blog seems to be the only way I can remember what day/date it is - by checking yesterday's entry - so I think it is fair to say I am now well and truly chilled. Woke up this morning and it was still raining - marvellous. Call me hypocrite of the century but I immediately re-booked to stay another night in my cell. The place has kind of grown on me - not the room, but the hosts are just so nice and the food is pucka. Maybe I am turning into one of those boring lonely sods I met on the boat and am only staying for someone to talk to - sweet Jesus, you all have permission to exile me somewhere up north if I end up like that! ... read more
Sun trying to get thru

Europe » Norway » Western Norway » Bergen September 2nd 2008

Tuesday 2nd September Remind me not to be smug about the weather in future - it absolutely chucked it down today. Anyway loaded up the bike and set off for Ulvik via the old fjord road after nambying my way out of Bergen. Cobblestones may look nice but they are f*cking slippery when wet and the Norwegians seem to have found a super slippy white paint for them - which is nice. Anyway once out of Bergen, what a stunning ride (called route 7 I recall). The road follows a river, which periodically erupted in magnificent waterfalls, for about 20-30 miles before settling in and following Hardanger fjord's shoreline. Check it out on Google Maps - but plot a route through Alvik not Voss. If you think, “hmm that looks like it would be a good ... read more
Hardanger Fjord en route
Ulvik 2
Ulvik 3

Europe » Norway » Western Norway » Bergen September 1st 2008

Monday 1st September Bergen may be the wettest city in Europe but not today, or yesterday for that matter. Had a bit of a wander round the city and it is a lovely city - as the pictures will illustrate. But cities are for couples, families or mates so having seen as much as I wanted I decided to go for a spin. Looking at the map I reckoned a good loop would be around the Osterfjorden from Bergen-Mo-Dale-Bergen, not one of the famous fjords but so what I was going to those tomorrow as part of my route staying at Ulvik. Famous or not it was a mega ride - once you got down to the fjord edge the road hugged the fjord edge. Once off the E39 onto the 569 the road was single ... read more
Bergen 2
Bergen 3
Bergen 4

Europe » Norway » Western Norway » Bergen August 31st 2008

Sunday 31st August Slept like a baby on the ship last night - an apt analogy: the continual rocking of the ship akin to a rocking cradle. I like ships - you can poke flying and the misery of airports, boats are the way to go. Sea is quite calm this morning, no more than ½-1 metre swell and it is a fair day. Sunnies are a necessity on deck, which is where I am sat writing this. To be fair it wasn't too bad last night either, so I must have misheard the tannoy. Nothing like that crossing of the Bay of Biscay where even the staff said it was really bad, Shame in a way. I guess I am a sick mother, but watching people try and remain dignified while wobbling down the aisles ... read more
Yours truly
Photo 5
Sunsetting in the Fjord

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Tyne & Wear » Newcastle Upon Tyne August 30th 2008

Saturday 30st August And so it begins - the nostalgic last ever ferry to Norway complete with stragglers on the shore waving the Norwegian flag and a captain blasting the loudest horn I've ever heard the entire passage out the Tyne - honked like a man who will not get the opportunity again, which of course he won't. I am typing this on my eeePC looking out at the Tyne and Newcastle disappearing behind me, together with the setting sun. I haven't quite gotten my sea legs yet so perhaps typing now is a bit premature - in fact if this blog never makes it to the internet it will be because I barfed all over the eeepC and trashed it on its maiden entry. Its actually pretty cold on deck - the wind blasts you ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Somerset » Wells August 29th 2008

The Route As chaotic as my trip appears I do actually have a route planned - I just have not committed it to paper yet. A boring task, but I suppose it makes sense. Its just not interesting to write about. I will use the godawful map facility on the blog site. Given the power of google maps I would have expected better than a straight red line between points, but it will give an idea. One thing I am less clear on is timescales so maybe I'll learn something by doing this too. The current route plan in words then is as follows (although subject to change.) a 1.Ferry Newcastle to Bergen, Norway 2.Bergen 3.Bergen Hardanger fjord and Hardangervidda plateau areas (where I am now) 4.Up by road and ferry to the Sognefjellet road (in ... read more

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