Days 71 – 73: Artic Circle Revisitied

71 – Sunday: Narvik and WW2 Museum

We arrived at the Narvik motorhome parking just as most were leaving.  Exercised – we seem to regularly get up and drive to somewhere we can exercise off the E6 main road.  Breakfasted and visited the WW2 museum.  It covered the German attack, British and Allies counter attack, withdraw of Allies troops as needed on other fronts, 5 years of German occupation, resistance work and a harrowing section on the mass slaughter and abuse of political prisoners who were deemed lower than captured soldiers.  James was tour guide reading from the comprehensive English language booklet.  An old fashioned, but very interesting museum.  In a couple of years they will rehouse and probably make all interactive … we liked it’s quirkiness and low price!  There was a cable car to the top of the mountain, but it seemed pretty pointless as we could not even see the top due to the cloud!

Drove on through snow capped dark rock mountains and parked up with a couple of German motorhomes over looking the most amazing lake – the mists even lifted in the morning so we could see it!

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72 – Monday: Tyres and Arctic Circle

Night time sojourn – off-main road car park – with a couple of vans and a tent from Poland – which had people inside – who went fishing…..  We had discovered a slow puncture in a rear wheel which J tried to blow air into and fainted!  Back to the truth – J cannot muster 4.5 Bar or 65  psi – only after a really hot curry!  Drove to Fauske and what did K see?  A Michelin sign over a tyre fitters.  A quick U Turn and 2.5 hours later we had a the slow puncture repaired and a can of ‘stuff’ to that seals such slow punctures.  Fully inflated we set forth.

We climbed and climbed …. the mountains got rockier and the adjacent river was essentially waterfall after rapids along its length.  At the top it opened up and we are at the Arctic Circle – for the second time, but this time on the way down and heading towards warmer weather!  We stopped for a couple of pix … appropriately there was a lot os snow around.  Hard to see but we are actually in front of the Arctic Circle sign!  And, of course, this Arctic Circle centre would not be complete without a miniature Nordkapp globe!  We have spent 14 days in the Arctic Circle.  On the way down, the countryside started to open out and this river was calmer and got gradually wider.

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We stopped in Mo i Rana just to replace K’s running shoes at a massive (shop called XXL) sports shop:  a bit like IKEA … you had to follow the grey path through all the fishing, cycling, gun etc sections before reaching the tills.

We stayed in a free car park overnight just off the E6 main road – small car park – with ultimately 9 motorhomes and one motorbike !  Cosy….

 

73 -Tuesday:  Trondheim

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Up at dawn again (9:00 am!) and journeyed south to Grane village where 23 local men were shot by German troops for being members of the Resistance in 1942.  K norked – lighting up the whole of Norway in her new psychedelic running shoes – see photo below but watch with sunglasses only !  J ran – in his not so new and understated blue shoes, feeling shoe envy…   Then brekkie and SatNav set for Trondheim via a wc emptying and water loading facility – which ultimately proved as difficult to find as Alex Ferguson’s sense of humour when asked why teams visiting Old Trafford were never awarded penalties !  But, we prevailed…

The approach to Trondheim is impressive and looked to indicate a city of more than it’s 180,000 people. Then, we encountered the toll roads!  I must find someone to complain to – perhaps my successor as MD of a major UK road toll charging company!  Sally SatNav brought us to the only free motorhome overnight car park – full to the gunnels – we have parked in the adjacent pay park – all of £2.10 – and see what tomorrow brings…  It’s definitely getting warmer as we travel south – we have dispensed with the extra wooly blanket over the duvet at night – what night – oh for some stars !  I hear that UK is having a heat wave… 25 Centigrade?

Days 63 – 64: Overdue washing and onto the Loften Islands

63 – Saturday:  Cleaning …

Within an hour of leaving our fabulous viewpoint, we spotted a sign for fresh water and a chemical toilet … we actually get quite excited when all Chardonnay’s services are empty / full as required.  We also ran and Norked from here.  Then the frenzy of real activity started … laundry and cleaning Chardonnay inside …. and then, oh joy!…. we both showered.  And even better, we were able to re-fill our tank with drinking water and empty all the grey waste.

Drove for about an hour and half, leaving the main road to do a loop and find a lovely quiet picnic spot for our overnight stay.  The deal is that you are fine to park up and sleep in your vehicle, but you should not put out chairs etc as this is camping.  Yours truly, went into gypsy mode and strung up a washing line … had to get all this laundry dry somehow.  K had rigged up a zig zag line in the bathroom, but we risked a) being dripped on as we peed and b) being garrotted by the cord.

Lovely chat with Munchkin who has an amazing blue dress for her Leaver’ Ball at school and a hang over!

As it was mid summer’s eve and we know it is a big deal here, we stayed up and had a toast at midnight.  Earlier a young couple pulled in: he play acted at fishing and she took photos … you’d have thought they could have had a better time than that?!

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View from the campsite

64 – Sunday:  Driving

Day 1 of week 10 since we set off.  Seems unbelievable really.  Cant understand why more people don’t do this?  Correction:  lots are doing it and they are ALL on the Norwegian Fjords route to or from Nordkapp.  Every third vehicle is a motorhome or caravan.  The friendly motorhomer’s greeting of a quick wave has become something more akin to a nervous twitch.

Today started with a run / Nork, bringing in the dry 🙂 washing and an attempt at a few running repairs.  We drove for about 4 and a half hours and after a couple of bridges and lots of tunnels (up to 6.6 km long), we arrived in the Lofoten Islands.  Pulled off the main road to find a quiet (goes without saying it is picturesque) spot, only to be joined by another motorhome … there are lots here; you just can’t get away from them!

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Bridge to Lofoten Islands

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