15 May 2020

The report part 1 continuation of the trip to Norway by Dmitry Labutin and Vasil Bulatov from the team #108ADV, who travelled for two weeks on bicycles Format 5221 and Format 2322 in Norway.


Day 9


In the morning we planned to get up early. However, sleeping in the fresh mountain air is too sweet. We woke up, had breakfast in the common kitchen of the camping, charged all our gadgets, drank tea again and began to get ready for the journey. The sun came out from behind the mountains and all the washed things quickly dried up, which could not but rejoice.


Today we were faced with the task of making a march to the railway station in the city of Dombås. The route according to the navigator was exactly 108 km and 1020 meters of ascent along the Rauma river, already beloved by us. We drove past a familiar campsite in the town of Åndalsnes and looked at each other with a smile. After all, just a few days ago, we slept here in the pouring rain and dried our things in a rented motorhome. These memories will remain with us for life! This is a wonderful place, I want to come back here and we hope we will succeed.


Ahead of us was a long ascent of 1020 meters and it is worth noting that after climbing Trollstigen, this ascent was no less exhausting. We twisted and again admired the already familiar views of the mountains and the river. Only this time we were driving under the sun and everything was even more beautiful.


In the middle of the way, we had lunch with buckwheat with mushrooms, toast with peanut butter and, according to tradition, coffee/tea with cookies. We use special disposable filters for coffee and tea, which is extremely convenient. Having refreshed ourselves, we went further. The ascent was behind and ahead of us was a fairly flat road to the very finish.


We turned on the music on a portable speaker and drove forward with a thrill. We flew at a fairly good speed of 25-35 km / h and no longer worried about the likelihood of not catching our night train. We were lucky that the waiting room was open and we didn't have to freeze for 2 hours outside. As elsewhere in Norway, there is not a soul at the station. We are already accustomed to this, but our bustling native city is waiting for us.


We got on the train, but we couldn't get on it, as there were no seats. The car is designed for 5 bicycles, in fact, there were 2 and the rest of the space was occupied by some boxes. The guide turned out to be harmful and did not want to let us in. All such situations on this trip were for the better, and this one was no exception.


After waiting for a little at the station, we boarded a comfortable train with wi-fi, in which we were met by a funny smiling guy (conductor) who looked a bit like Jim Carrey. Not only did he refuse to charge us for transporting bicycles, but he also gave two tokens for 4 cups of coffee! Also, a bonus will be the arrival time in the centre of Oslo, 9:00 a.m. instead of 7:00 a.m.


In Oslo, we have to ride around the city, get ourselves 2 boxes for bicycles to prepare them for sending by plane. The task is not easy and we hope we will succeed. We have a couple of days for that.



Day 10


We did not manage to sleep on the train, as there was free WiFi, coffee, comfortable reclining chairs and gorgeous landscapes. And now we, tired, but ready for new impressions of the capital of Norway, went to the pier of Oslo S station, which is located right in the centre of the city. This is the most convenient from logistics since all the places we need are within a radius of 2-3 km.


First impressions of the city are rather mixed. We were warned that Oslo is not as safe as it might seem, especially at night. We were immediately convinced of this, having driven the first few hundred meters. As in most capitals of the world, there are quite a few immigrants, homeless people, drug addicts and just dubious people here. Such a sharp contrast to what we saw just a day ago. There are unusually many people and cars on the street, everyone is in a hurry, buses carry tourists, and they are mostly Chinese.


You know, we thought that we were already accustomed to electric vehicles and the next Tesla would not cause any emotions. But what is happening with the transport in Oslo surprised us. Most cars are electric, fewer hybrids, even fewer diesel, and very little of the petrol we are used to. The latter looks extremely inappropriate and even wild here.


We had a bite to eat in a vegetarian restaurant, rested and went to see the nearest camping, which is a couple of kilometres away. It turned out that he was on a mountain and the calories he just consumed did not help at all. The ascent was so steep that it was difficult to even on foot. We seemed to be cheating when we were happy about the victory in the ascent of Trollstigen.


Camping was not impressed by the word at all. But due to its location, it is the most popular here. For the first time we saw the traffic jam of campers and the queue at the reception. The territory of the camping is practically not fenced in anything, only bushes and outsiders can get here without any problems at all.


The cost of accommodation for one tent is 330 CZK per night, which is twice the price of the campsites we stayed at. Ideally, we wanted to rent a caravan or a house to throw off all our bags, unload bicycles, go for a ride and see the city. However, everything was booked and there was only one option: to put up tents. Leaving all your valuables in tents is a risky option. Here they can easily be stolen, and there was no storage room in this camp.

We decided to roll around the city in the already familiar version in a full crew with bags. In addition to walking around the city, we had the most responsible and fateful task - to find boxes for packing our bicycles on the plane.

Bicycles without covers or boxes are not loaded onto the plane, and if they are loaded, then in Perm we will get a bicycle of different geometry. We dashed 40 km around the city, dined at a pizzeria with Italians and it was time to decide the issue of the place to spend the night. We decided to drive to the campsite again since it was a kilometre away from us, but we had to trudge up a steep mountain again.


Since the campsite is not guarded and there are a lot of people there, this is a deliberately tasty place for thieves. We decided to set up camp in the most secluded place in the park opposite, and with the saved almost 5,000 rubles to dine like kings the next day. We prepared tea and threw ourselves exhausted into their tents. The bustle of city life knocks out much more than hundreds of kilometres in the beauty of Norway.


Day 11


We woke up to the sound of a siren and an earthquake. Frightened, they remembered that work was being done nearby to prepare the foundation for the construction of a new house. Builders are filming and levelling the site in the rock. Oslo is also located in a mountainous area and apparently, you have to do explosions to remove the soil layer.


We slept well enough, packed up the tents, packed all our things and went to the campsite to wash up, recharge our devices and have breakfast. We spent there almost all day and it was time to go to get our boxes. We rushed through the city as if we were familiar, passing the already familiar streets and intersections. Cyclists and pedestrians don't follow the rules very much, even in front of the police. So we turned on the local lifestyle and rolled as we wanted, without waiting for a green traffic light.



As we agreed, 2 boxes were waiting for us. We asked them to hold back until the store closed and went to eat. The goal was just to have a delicious meal in the nearest establishment, but a couple of blocks from the store we came across the most bicycle establishment in the city, PELOTON CAFÉ, which was noticed the other day.


The place is very atmospheric, there are cycling paraphernalia, bicycles everywhere, several large screens with Tour de France broadcast are installed. By the way, the establishment even has its merchandise, and on weekends they arrange races. The atmosphere was complemented by a playlist of different incendiary styles of music such as bossa nova. It is simply impossible to sit still, you want to move your hips.



The kitchen consists mainly of pizza, coffee and cocktails. The waiter said that the pizza is small for one person and, accordingly, we took pizza and coffee. Pretty soon they brought us two large (40 sm each) uncut pizzas. The fact is that in cycling you can eat a lot and be loaded with carbohydrates to the fullest. The pizza is delicious, the coffee is decent, the atmosphere is the coolest, but it's time to take our boxes.


We went to the station, dropping into the grocery store. Already at the train station, 20 minutes before the train, we thought that 2 bicycles and 2 boxes actually take 4 places, and in order not to pay too much, we just dismantled the bicycles and packed them in boxes in an instant (even the guys from the Formula 1 pit stop will envy this).


They did not buy tickets in advance, since there is no place to buy a bike, according to the rules, if there is a place for a bike, come in, if not, then you wasted your money and are waiting for the next train. The fact is that trains here consist of an average of 5 carriages, and only 2 of them have places for bicycles and wheelchairs. Fortunately, the fare can be paid directly in the carriage from the conductor. The conductor has contactless payment, the train has Wi-Fi, a coffee machine and sweets.


We got to the airport in 30 minutes and already sat down within the walls familiar to us to plan further actions because we still had a whole day before the plane. It's time to have dinner and finish our food supplies. We have 2 full servings of buckwheat with vegetables, 8 servings of mashed potatoes, pumpkin seeds and delicious cookies left. At night, only 7-Eleven works at the airport, where we bought tea and poured boiling water for porridge. We sat down at a table of a closed Burger King and smoked buckwheat with pleasure, having got their free ketchup.


At this airport, we have already spent the night on a bed under the stairs and decided not to change our secluded place of the shelter. But as soon as we started putting things out, the janitor kicked us out. However, I realized that we needed a secluded safe place to sleep, so I showed a suitable place for us. It was also under the stairs, but it was even more closed. We settled there, this time with even greater comfort, inflating both of our rugs and climbing into the sleeping bags. Compared to people who somehow try to sleep on benches, chairs, on the floor, in airport carts, we slept like kings!

Tomorrow we will have to properly pack our things and prepare the boxes for shipment home.


Day 12


We settled down so well in this secluded chill-out under the stairs that we even managed to sleep, lie around and surf the Internet. It is impossible to overestimate the cleaner who recommended this place to us because in the morning a souvenir shop was already working on the place where we slept last time. If we got a job there, we would have kicked out by morning. They packed their things, washed and took a place on the benches in the waiting room.



We still have stocks of food that we had breakfast. This time, pay almost 100 rubles. for a glass of boiling water, there was no desire at all. However, we were lucky with a smiling Indian saleswoman in a nearby café and we got boiling water for free. The pancake survived, we rejoice at the free boiling water! We had almost a whole day at our disposal and we spent it packing bicycles and bags, endlessly weighing and shifting things to meet the 23 kg standard. The rest was taken in hand luggage, keeping within the dimensions and weight of 10 kg.



We found a counter for oversized baggage in advance to find out the exact weight of the boxes. "Perfect," told us the controller and asked to convey to colleagues at the front desk that he gave the go-ahead! We were the last to go to the reception. And the smiling manager dealt with us for a long time. Time was running out, the boarding was already coming to an end, and there was still a queue in front of us for inspection. Everyone, as usual, put things in plastic trays, I had to take off my cycling boots. The staff checked absolutely all bags, paying special attention to the electronics. I had to get the battery out of the SLR camera, but everything went well.


However, only with me, many had to show their bags, which took quite a long time. Dima's bags with all of Dima's equipment lay in the search for the longest time, time was running out in earnest, and we were pretty worried, hoping that we would have to open the packed things with difficulty.


But everything went well, we rushed to the landing, trying to buy more souvenirs on the way. It's good that they rushed us, the landing was already ending, and we were the last to run into the plane. Adventure still does not leave us, even here. I am writing this text sitting in the only seat on the plane without a window! Back in Perm, we reserved seats in front of the wing by the window to film the flight and once again admire the beauty of Norway, but we managed to take the only seats without a window! Remember, row 8, places A, B, C - do not take! Moreover, D, E, F have a window. Well there.


This was the end of the adventure of Dmitry and Vasil.


Read the first part of the adventure

Read the second part of the adventure