Dedicated to a wonderful Mother Jean Noble 31/5/1929 - 20/8/2007 - may we never take our mothers for granted. - Goodbye Mum

Bergen National Flower Norway Bergen old


(Updated 16/10/07) The worlds richest Nation (per capita). Out of the ten Richest Countries (based on 2006 GNP per capita in US$)

1. Luxembourg $87,955.00

2. Norway $72,306.00

3. Qatar $62,914.00

4. Iceland $54,858.00

5. Ireland $52,440.00

6. Switzerland $51,771.00

7.Denmark $50,965.00

8. United States $44,190.00

9. Sweden $42,383.00

10. Netherlands $40,571.00

(NOTE: ***Luxembourg's high GNP per capita is due in part to a significant number of its workforce living in neighbouring countries. Non-residents are not counted in Luxembourg's population which in turn raises the country's GNP per capita score. This effectively places Norway in first spot. (REF: Here)

A 25% GST (VAT) makes purchasing anything (for us) in Norway, only on an absolute needs basis.

I have read a lot about this fascinating country, it's history and ties with Britain and Europe. The bravery of its people in times of exploration, war and conquest. The incredible feats of seamanship, that are hard to beat anywhere on our planet Plus their “legendary” warmth and hospitality. We Look forward to meeting it's people and seeing it's history first hand. Sampling it's rich heritage and foods and seeing the beautiful scenery so often featured in guide books. We will let you know – warts and all – what we find :-)

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Monies in Aussie Dollars

Friday September 21st 2007 Shetland UK to Bergen Norway.
By Ship 360 Kilometres to 62-3° Latitude (Our Max. Latitude) The Arctic circle is at 66° latitude.
Approx. k's Average Speed kph Cycling time Hr(s) Min. Max speed. kph Max temp we recorded °C (Shade)
. Road Conditions: , O/night Accom.: $0.00. Warm Showers Host.
An early start from our hotel at 0300 (3am) followed by an uneventful boarding onto the Danish Ship M/V Norröna. We were presented with a “DEFRA” form (sort of customs) which said in (part) Capitals “DO NOT take food products abroad”. We were going to make sandwiches and take a flask of Coffee, but decided to forgo this as the rules seemed strict. We were body searched (Clothed, patted down) and our bags were searched.

After we got on board we headed for the “Couchettes” which are on deck two of this eight deck ship... a small 6 berth cabin “unisex” - we were the only ones in there. No bedding and plastic covered mattress. After a sleep we went for lunch...

We bought a small (something like a dinner roll) ham and lettuce roll at a cost of $9.16 EACH. (it was stale and hard) plus a coffee and a chocolate drink, at $3.95 and $4.00 respectively. $26.27 PLUS we lost $2.16 on the exchange making a grand total of $28.43 (£12.00 exactly) for our “lunch”.. It will be the only purchase we make on this voyage. The banks remain closed through the day to prevent one changing money, if you have boarded without Danish currency. Only opening just before we disembark to capitalise on the “cafeteria” exchange rate. .. You be the judge, there is fairness and there is .........
Saturday September 22nd 2007 Bergen Norway. Today five and a half hours walking, exploring Bergen.
Approx. k's Average Speed kph Cycling time Hr(s) Min. Max speed. kph Max temp we recorded °C (Shade)
. Road Conditions: , O/night Accom.: $0.00. Warm Showers Host.
We are staying with our Norwegian “Warm Showers” friend and her husband.

On our first night with them, they did a dinner of Halibut the likes of which surpassed ALL fish dinners I have eaten in my life.. Large slabs of fish drizzled with a vegetable sauce (Which contained real saffron) and cooked to absolute perfection. I don't want to set them up for a load of phone calls from you “warm showers” people :-) - so I won't go into the other courses :-)

Both lee and I enjoyed their excellent company and found them to have a broad, knowledgeable intellectual base. Of course this provided for a very stimulating conversation... For those that know me well, I tempered my opinions to take care of both “political correctness” and cultural sensibilities – as best I could :-).

We decided not to cycle around Bergen as the bikes attract too much attention... So we walked and walked and walked, for us this is very tiring, as walking uses quite different muscles to cycling and cycles are what we mostly use to get around.

Cycling on the “wrong” :-) side of the road too, needs some getting used to. We were able to purchase much of our needs, however, could not get the “official” NSCR map for Norway. We ended up with a road map from Bergen to the Swedish Border ($AUD21). We now have a European Adapter for our plug(s) (Also $AUD21.00 for those who have not decided whether to buy or not before they depart).

For those of you warning us about going to Norway due to prices!!! We purchased some of food.. Here are a few examples of the prices we were charged. Those that live here may know much cheaper shopping options:-

  1. 105g tin ”ordinary” sardines about $2.75,

  2. Kilo of nice meat about $50.00ish (varied to much higher),

  3. Lamb about $40.00++ per kg,

  4. Pork appeared as the cheapest of the meats.. @ around $30.00 ++ per kg.

  5. 500g powdered milk $12.40, (Yes 1kg = $24.80)

  6. 1 tin Coconut Milk $4.00 ++,

  7. Small tin of tuna 200g or so $2.75,

  8. Pack of instant noodles $4.20,

  9. Cheapest 100g coffee we could find $8.00,

  10. Half Doz. eggs $5.50,

  11. Small bottle of fish sauce $3.60,

  12. 750g Muesli Cheapest we could find $6.10.

I am not going to comment on the prices of my host country, I'm sure they get sick of hearing it. The average Norwegian must live with these prices and I'm sure they would rather not in most cases. I will, however, let the prices talk for themselves – it's up to you to interpret them. But, if your coming here on a budget you need to plan carefully.

Bergen is a beautiful city, once being the Capital of Norway. The architecture is unusual (to us) and very distinct. They are a relatively small country, population wise, with only abut 4.65 (approx.) million people. In terms of land mass Norway would fit into Australia a little over 19 times. Yet! they have had incredible influence on world history, over the centuries...

A bit hard to read so I have written it here for you: To honour the memory of that great company of true Norsemen, who though at peace with all men. Dared to defy the perils & Horrors of war and in a rightful service endured fearlessly to the end. This monument is set up by their friends and Admirers in Great Britain”. Want to know more? A good starting point is the put the “Shetland Bus” in Google

Our intention is to stay with our hosts until Monday morning... Prior commitments by them mean we spend tonight (Saturday) alone.
Sunday Lee said she would cook a traditional Thai curry for their dinner, yum!! We had a lot of difficulty finding the ingredients, but think we can muddle through with something pretty authentic..
Sunday September 23rd 2007 Bergen Norway.
Approx. k's Average Speed kph Cycling time Hr(s) Min. Max speed. kph Max temp we recorded °C (Shade)
. Road Conditions: , O/night Accom.: $0.00. Warm Showers Host.
We continue our exploration of this fascinating city....
Monday September 24th 2007 Bergen to Bergen bush camp outside of OZ (Pronounced Wus without the W)
Approx. 43.7k's Average Speed 7.55kph Cycling time 5Hr(s) 35Min. Max speed. 33kph Max temp we recorded 10°C (Shade)
Hilly. Road Conditions: Good, O/night Accom.: $0.00.
An atrocious day Constant rain that varied from heavy to torrential... The North Sea Cycle Route exists but signs to it do not in the most important parts.. e.g.. when you come to a two, three, four or more choice intersection.. Despite doing 43k's we were still 17k's from our destination and the total we SHOULD have pedalled was 40 k's.... When the cycleway's do exist they are good,

but like Australia, they end without warning leaving you fighting the trucks. Add to that no signs and you end up constantly lost. We bush camped in what seemed a deserted forest..

NO apparent footprints and certainly no car tracks, downed trees further up, torrential rain and yet several “walkers”, in the middle of the night disturbed us... Odd. More later too frustrated just now
Tuesday September 25th 2007 Bush camp outside of OZ To bush camp about 26 K's from Lervick
Approx. 23.06k's Average Speed 7.73kph Cycling time 3Hr(s) 00Min. Max speed. 41kph Max temp we recorded 12°C (Shade)
VERY Hilly. Road Conditions: Good, O/night Accom.: $0.00.
After a sad morning that delayed us. The reason for the sadness was a serious accident on the E39 between a Motorcycle and a Van. It held up kilometres of traffic.. We suspect the worst after viewing the scene, but cannot confirm for sure. we cycled the short 17k distance to the ferry,

which took us to island No two. The ferry (45 minutes) cost a total of NOK92 (Roughly $19.20 for the two of us including bikes) The insanity of the “signage” continued.. leaving us lost once more... Hills and traffic combined to make a long day plus of course the 45 minute ferry ride... WE started to break camp about 6:15am leaving at about 8.30am and reached our destination at about 3.30pm.. Lots of stops to read maps and ask questions.. The Norwegians are very helpful and not once were we refused assistance when we asked. A bus driver stopped and asked if we were lost...

His advice saved us more lost hours. We pitched camp in heavy rain and settled down to our dinner. It is pretty dark early here.

we are camping in a bird sanctuary... Perfectly legal of course..... Catchya Later.

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