The best beach in the world … probably

At least for driving onto for the day!

Day 24 … Well. Didn’t go far today at all. About 5 miles from our campsite last night is the island of Rømø, reached by a causeway from the mainland. The whole west coast of the island is a massive beach accessible by vehicle and can be used for daytime parking so on we went. It is truly huge, goes for miles. By the time we got there in late morning there were so many cars, motorhomes and even caravans set up for the day. There was so much space though that it didn’t feel crowded at all.

The view as we drove onto the beach

Chris playing with a boys toy.

The sand was compacted hard like concrete but there were areas where it was soft and powdery so care was needed to pick the best route. Chris just put his foot down and went for it. It worked. Phew!

Further north on the beach it got quite sinky, we had a walk along there and the only motorhomes were 4x4s, German specialist off road vehicles or converted army vehicles… want one !! Lol

It was hot and sunny with quite a strong breeze coming off the land. Perfect.

It was a fabulous beach day.

Came off the beach by just going for it again, it worked. There is no free camping on the island so we checked out a couple of sites. Full to bursting. Wouldn’t have fancied that anyway. Drove back off the island and past where we stayed last night. A few miles down the road was a gravel track leading to a picnic area on the coast, overlooking Rømø. (Hojer. Skiffervej) Mud flats yes but a narrow sandy beach too. Nice place to stop. Two other motorhomes there and a small van but room enough for 10.

Had a tasty barbecue, walked the pups. Tired with all that fresh air. Fab.

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Still in Denmark

Day 23 … We probably could have driven Denmark north to south in a day without any problem but it kind of holds us here.

Rather than using the motorway down the middle we drove the equivalent of our north east England single lane A1 down the west side, road 11. (a Belgian guy we met this morning said the east coast isn’t worth going to? by the way, he was 85 and still motorhoming and cycling). What a fab drive… wide, long straight stretches, few roundabouts, bypassing large towns, very little traffic. I guess I hit the only pothole in Denmark and it was teeny. There are cycle lanes everywhere, the verges are neat and trimmed, absolutely no litter. Diesel just over £1 litre. What’s not to like. The speed limit is max 50 mph but that’s fine, small price to pay.

Lots of places to stop for the Bunnybus but less places than Norway where you can dump and refill. We decided to find a campsite as I fancied a long shower for a change. We turned off the 11 and took a small western loop on the 419 to take us back by the sea (not that far from the border with Germany) where we found Ballum camping, Bredebro, 110dk (about £12). It was warm, 37 degrees at 8pm. Downside… a couple of clegs (horseflies), luckily I felt them bite and brushed them off immediately. I used the dogs natural tick repellant stuff after that and it seemed to work.

Note the washing…. I can be domesticated!

A thatched cottage, we saw quite a few

This was the beach?!! Mud flats really! The tide sooo far out.

Chris spotted the sea and even a ship to prove it.

We had thought about spending a couple or so days in Germany next but we bumped into a lovely German couple, married 6 weeks and have dropped everything to travel in their camper van for a year. They said if we like the quiet of Denmark then the German rivers are not the places to go, too packed and busy. We may have to rethink.

Denmark doesn’t have the dramatic scenery of Norway but we love it too. It’s been great travelling in friendly, clean, quiet, such laid back and sparsely populated countries. Ideal for anti-social types like us. Lol.

Miles of beaches

Day 22 … Packed up and headed a little south on the west coast of Denmark to find a beach for the puppies. Saw an Aldi en route and had a good shop. Fridge full to bursting. Prices much the same as the UK, so satisfying to get a basket full at a reasonable cost. They do fresh pastries and breads too, much like Lidl at home, but we don’t know what type of bread we bought, will find out tomorrow. The fruit pastry things with poppy seeds were lovely.

Denmark so far is fairly flat, just very low hills. There is a lot of agriculture. The villages are very neat and well cared for, many houses have little stalls or tables outside with local produce; fruits, jams etc with honesty boxes. There are some thatched cottages too. The roads so far are good, even the B roads

We are loving it.

The first place we tried was Blokhus which appeared to be a small holiday resort but unlike those in the UK again it was so smart, white houses, so clean and tidy. Restaurants, craft and arty shops all looked very inviting. Apparently you can park on the beach, overnight too, so we headed down there. Indeed everyone was parked on the compacted sand with the sea just a few yards away. Loved it but it was soooo heaving. Cars and motorhomes, even a couple of caravans left and right along the beach. I dare say it would have quietened down later in the day but it was just too busy.

Drove a few miles down the coast and found somewhere to camp just behind a beach (Slettestrand, Fjerritslev). Just 100 metres to a huge beach that just doesn’t stop. Up to now the whole west coast seem to be beach? What I can’t understand is that we are about opposite Aberdeen and the water is warm??

A sunny warm day but a bit windy. Had to be careful not to burn.

With a fridge full of nosh we had our first barbecue of our holiday. Stuffed ourselves so we are now sooo sleepy. Chris is asleep, puppies are asleep and I guess I soon will be.

Back to Denmark

Day 21 … Warm and hazy sunny morning about 23 degrees. Did a bit of chilling and then some construction traffic started. There are some posh flats overlooking the sea and it looks like they are building more. Not much relaxation possible with that around so we decamped and pottered round the coast about 4 miles till we found a quiet little marina. Parked up and took the doggies for a walk.

Ferry to Denmark was at 5.30 so we headed down there at about 4. Got into the queue and walked about outside on the grass for a while. Couldn’t believe how many cars, motorhomes and lorries were waiting. Guess it’s the best route to and from mainland Europe? How big was the ferry going to be??

Pups were fine left in the Bunnybus for the 3 3/4 hour journey over to Hirtshals in Denmark. We looked around the decks, the shops and had pizza and chips in one of the cafe/restaurants. Not too bad for Norwegian prices at about £15. It was a smooth crossing but we were tired and ready to find an overnight spot not too far away.

We use two apps. Campercontact and park4night. Tracked down what looked like a nice stop only about 15 miles away. Hjorring, Marup Kirkevej. Looking west right by the sea on top of cliffs. As we drove up we could see about 7 motorhomes already parked up but we managed to squeeze in at the end.

It’s lovely here with nice walks (downside.. have found 6 ticks on littl’un up to now, not attached just crawling about, ugghhh. A German a couple of vans down said he thought they only got them in Germany. We set him straight on that one. Lol)) and as you can see, a fab sunset view right from our Bunnybus.

As I write this I can hear the sea crashing at the bottom of the cliffs below us, what a great sound to go to sleep with. Have left the windows and skylights open to hear it all the better

Night night all. (20 mins past midnight)

What a difference a day makes🎵

Day 20 … Nice and pretty sunny this morning but still cool, maybe 14 degrees. Last night we had one damn mozzie inside but couldn’t find it. I put mosquito milk and skin so soft on before bed, thinking it’ll get Chris anyway. Poor sausage. Woke up with a lump right on the top of my head. Go figure! Must have scratched it so it went scabby. I then convinced myself it was a tick. Ugh.

We decided to have a bit of a clear out and tidy up. Our poor little bobil the bunnybus was starting to look like a dog kennel.

Headed south once more. It got sunnier and warmer. Lovely mountains and pretty villages, affluent ski centres. It got to 28 degrees as we were crossing a high plateau. Then 30 degrees. We stopped for an afternoon break near Lillehammer (Winter Olympics 1994) on a beautiful river so the pups could have a dip. 41 degrees!!

Apparently this area was the inspiration for Henrik Ibsen’s play ‘Peer Gynt’ for which Edvard Grieg wrote the music.

Yes the water really is green, and clear

On the way down to Lillehammer we passed a Sami (indigenous people of northern Scandanavia, they look quite Mongolian) shop. I had meant to call into one in north Norway but we always seemed to be past before I noticed it. This time I saw it in enough time so we called in for a nose at their handicrafts. Anyway we bought 2 beautiful reindeer skins.

It was a lovely drive, helped a lot by the weather.

Arrived at Larvik on the south Norway coast, south of Oslo, at about 9.30 pm. We had hoped to make it here today so we could just have a pottering and minimal driving day before our ferry at 5.30pm on Wednesday.

Cute small port. There is a bobilhavn here at about £15 for the night but as expected it was full by the time we arrived so we drove a couple of hundred yards past and found free bobil parking. We were the only ones there, and a view of the sea. It’ll do nicely.

It’s weird to see an almost dark night. Midnight moon instead of midnight sun

A driving day

Day 19 … Still raining when we woke, a nasty little horizontal drizzle, so we made the decision to head south as far as we could to try to get better weather today. As I walked the pups it settled a bit but still wet. Bit of pricey shopping then drove to our last ferry. Again got there just as it was loading, 20 minutes and we were on our way again. Roads mostly dry by now, cloudy but fair.

Cut across to the main route through Norway, the E6. Its not a motorway or even a dual carriageway but you can trundle down at mostly 50-56 mph max, apparently speeding fines in Norway are the highest in Europe. Headed throughTrondheim where there were loads of roadworks but little traffic as it was early evening by then. 4 lots of toll cameras though and we pay the same as a lorry it appears as we are over 3.5 tons.

We did well today and covered just short of 300 miles. Found a nice little spot in a picnic area by Buvatnet lake just north of Berkak about 52 miles south of Trondheim.

No more sunny nights now. Back to a light twilight.

We decided to return to Denmark via a different route so we have booked a ferry direct from Larvik, just south of Oslo, to Hirtshals in northern Denmark. Not until Wednesday teatime so that gives us plenty of time to get there.

Holey mountain

Day 18 … Midnight was the first sunset we have seen for a while. It barely dipped below the horizon then it was on its way up again

It was a dry but cloudy morning then the drizzle came over but luckily passed quite quickly. Our 4th ferry soon followed, another 1 hour trip this time and a sparkly new ferry, only a year old.

The funniest thing. Yesterday when we had the one hour ferry we thought that there was an interim stop so didn’t take much notice when it docked, we were outside on deck and looked inside to see that everyone had gone. It was a mad race down to the car deck so we didn’t hold everyone up. Just made it. Today the opposite happened. There was an interim stop which we weren’t aware of and we had a wee panic as we were still up on deck only to find out we were okay.

About a 20 minute drive to our next ferry

An open topped one this time so no getting out.

The weather was okay and there was a landmark I wanted to see so we branched off the Fv17. Thought we would get a few bits and pieces of shopping but didn’t realise the shops aren’t open here on Sundays.

Got to Torghatten campsite, Brønnøysund about 2ish. Lovely spot down at the bottom of the island.

The reason I wanted to stop here was to have a look at Torghatten itself. A granite mountain with a natural hole right though it.

According to Norse Saga tradition the hole in Torghatten was made when Hestmannen the “horseman” was chasing Lekaya a beautiful girl. He realised he wasn’t going to catch her so released an arrow to kill her. The Troll King threw his hat into the arrows path to save her. The hat turned into the mountain with the hole through the middle.

It was a rocky climb up to the hole, but worth it. Lovely views and very atmospheric. We then had a walk round to the other side so the pups had a good run and a swim in the sea.

As at the North Cape when we had a fly-by from the Airforce. Today we had a sail-by from the Navy. I’m honoured. LolWe were out for a couple of hours or so and just made it back to the Bunnybus as the rain started again.

It still hasn’t stopped.

Soggy to sunny

Day 17 … Thought we might get another view of the glacier this morning but it wasn’t to be. Raining and low cloud so no views at all sadly. We continued on down the coastal highway through constant rain until we got to our first ferry, only a 10 minute crossing.

The road was still a nice drive, every now and then we got glimpses of our potential views but then they disappeared again. We soon reached our second ferry, an hour this time, so we got out of the Bunnybus and went up into the ship. Small but smart with a little cafe. £8 for a ham and cheese bun!

We popped out onto the back deck as we passed the Arctic Circle once more

The Arctic Circle globe right in the middle of the photo

Set off south again until our 3rd ferry of the day. 25 minutes. Still raining.

By this time we realised we were just missing all the scenery so decided to find an overnight stop before ferry number 4, have some tea and hope the weather would improve.

We drove over what is known as a very picturesque bridge, Helgeland, but today it didn’t look it’s best

As we checked out a couple of spots the clouds started to break up and once we found a nice little parking place (Fylkesvei, Offersøya towards Tjotta Island) right at the tip of the island the sun began to appear.

There were 2 beaches to choose from so the pups had a lovely run and swim

The evening just continued to improve. Hope it bodes well for tomorrow

The view from our door, no one else around.

A day of surprises

Day 16 … Woke up to no rain. Clear with clouds but some sunshine. Cool but that’s fine by us. What a difference a day makes. Mountains in the distance we hadn’t seen last night.

So decision made to head down the E6 then branch off down road 17, the coastal highway.

Firstly we had to replenish our stocks and did a bit, and I mean a bit! of shopping. Prices are on average maybe double what they are in the UK. Some things way more than that eg bacon. But if you shop carefully, check prices and don’t necessarily expect to buy everything you would at home then it’s less of a shock. The best buy was a large punnet of locally grown strawberries at about £2. I have to say they were the tastiest strawberries we have ever had.

Once on the coastal highway, within a few miles and over a bridge was the Saltstraumen Maelstrom, the worlds most powerful tidal current. We had missed high tide by a couple of hours but it was still very impressive as we walked back over the bridge and had a birds eye view

Whoopie more interested in a bird colony!

We drove on through some lovely scenery never knowing what was going to be round the next corner or over the next mountain. There wasn’t much traffic, again mostly motorhomes really (or bobils re the Norwegian, a great word I think. Most bobil owners wave, a higher percentage than in the UK).. There were a lot of tunnels and I believe we will have, I think, 7 ferry crossings down this highway

Then the best thing ever..

We came over a hill, spotted a beautiful view and, of all things, a glacier. Just had to stop for a better look. Neither of us have seen a glacier before. This is a branch of the Svartisen glacier, the largest in north Norway and the 2nd largest in the country. We were in a tidy clean tourist information car park with large well kept grass areas and picnic tables. Another motorhome was parked there so we decided what an excellent place to spend the night with a glacier view to wake up to.

As I write this however it seems a storm is coming over. It’s getting windier, I can feel our Bunnybus rocking, and the rain is hammering down. Hope it blows over by tomorrow🤞

Rain stops play

Day 15 … Well, we had fully intended to go over to the Lofoten Islands today. The photos on the internet looked amazing but of course they were taken in bright sunshine. It was overcast and rainy this morning and the forecast was a bit rubbish. After much thought we decided to give them a miss. It’s still a long way to go, about another 150 miles on slow roads. Time wise we would be a bit pushed and wouldn’t be able to stay long. Would have still done it had the weather been fab but the spectacular views were likely to be disappointing.

To save for another time.

So we headed back south, but staying in Norway, hoping the rain might stop. It didn’t and the mountains just slipped in and out of the low cloud. The main road (the E6) is twisty and turny, up and down but is more pleasurable and interesting to drive than the long road of trees through Sweden. Even involving a ferry.

Later in the afternoon our sat nav showed an accident and road closure on our route, the only route frankly, with delays of hours so we thought we would have an early stop and a bit of a relax. Found a bobilplass (motorhome stop) in a village called Innhavet and parked up. It was right on a fjord and about £19 including EHU (electric hook up) and facilities. Spotlessly clean with well marked tarmac pitches each with its own grass area, albeit artificial. It’s a shame it was too cool to sit outside.

We are keeping our fingers crossed hoping for better weather tomorrow. If it’s awful we will just continue south till we find some sun. If it looks like it is improving then we intend to do a little detour and drive down the ‘coastal highway’ or Kystriksveien which is apparently one of the most scenic roads in the world.