Right, this one is gonna take a while. Grab a comfy seat, get a cup of tea (few biscuits might be an idea) and enjoy.
Following on from this thread: http://www.astraownersclub.com/vb/sh...d.php?t=113097
The time had come to head over to Norway. We were heading out from Newcastle on Tuesday the 4th. So it was a quick throw if things into the Vectra and off to pick the mate up ready to head the 130miles or so South to the ferry port at South Shields just north of Newcastle.
Colin decided he was only taking the basics with him:
Having never travelled with DFDS, I was rather dissapointed when the Ferry equivalent of a mini bus turned up......it was going to be a long 18hours.
18 hours and a load of kip later and we arrived in a rather over cast Stavanger:
However, the customs inspector took a bit of a dislike to us, one look at the car and we were sent straight to the customs warehouse where the car was loaded into a bay and the door promptly shut behind us:
after 20 minutes and a lot of arse clenching wewere shown the way out and headed off for our first leg of the journey. This was to be our first leg of the trip taking us from Stavanger upto Krisstiansand for our first overnight stay. Now we would like to ig up the Quality inn, in Krisstaindsand, who have to be one of the best hotels we have stayed in. we arrived and 9pm, having missed dinner to be greeted with a nice big lounge to chill out, which had free coffe/tea & water, a big ass TV and free make your own pancakes......awesome.
Next day it was off to our 2nd stop of the trip, not knowing what to expect. It was a 3 hour trip taking us upto a very very little town call Vradal. Unfortunately once there, there was very little to do all day as there was nothing at all there, although the locals seemed happy to see us:
However whilst spending the day chilling out, I came across Colins copy of last months Top Gear. Now in that partcular issue they listed the best driving roads in the world, and geee shucks wouldnt you know it Norway was listed They listed the Aurland tunnel as a must see, basically this tunnel is the largest road tunnel in the world stretching for a staggering 15miles.
Now our next days drive was due to take us from Vradal to Oslo
However a quick look at the TomTom, revelaed that the Aurland tunnel was a 7hour or so detour ontop of the drive we were already doing the next day:
So with that, we hauled our ass out of bed at 9am, destination Aurland!
Now tunnel aside, some of the road taking you to that area are quite simply awesome, even by Norways standars, the scenery is 2nd only to that of Scotland imo:
The entrance to the tunnel:
Inside is obviously dark, but every so often they have enlarged areas which are there to allow HGV;s to turn around, these are distinguished with blue lighting which is visually stunning
Eventually what seemed like an eternity and 12 hours after leaving Vradal we arrived in Jessheim just outside Oslo. (although mileage wise we werent doing that much, due to the majority of road in Norway being the equivelant to our A roads, coupled with some at times random speed limits it takes ages to get anywhere)
Now Saturday was the day we were due to go to the Gatebil, and tbh Saturday was a **** up from start to finish, and tbh I partly put this down to me for not looking into the pack DFDS provided prior to leaving, but mainly at the door of DFDS. The pack we had supplied gave directions for each leg of the trip, bar directions to Gatebil. As a result we 'assumed' it was near to where we were saying on the Saturday night, it wasnt and no-one seemed to have any real idea of where it was. To cut a very long story short, we wasted all of Saturday and a full tank of fuel looking for the show. We eventually found its location a little after 5pm that night...I was well hacked off. as a result I wanted to go for a drive to chill out and let of a little steam, so thats what I did:
Here I am in Sweden: