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In the land of Vikings... CVE1301

Monday, July 8, 2013 | Manuel Marabese | Europe

The snow is finally melting also on Scandinavian mountains, roads covered with meters and meters of snow for the biggest part of the year have been cleared, the summer sunshine is blessing coastal Sweden and southern Norway... and another Edelweiss motorcycle tour across nordic countries is ready to start!

After a long transport across Germany and Denmark the "beasts" are ready to hit viking roads... Stay tuned for further updates, and bring a (viking) helm along.

Just a brief visual story of the preparation for this tour... Here the tour guides Michael Kreuzmeir (Germany) and Manuel Marabese (Italy) are taking care of the bikes: since we could not find a hotel on the highway we decided to go for an alternative solution that permitted us to sleep close to our beloved 2 wheels.

Another overnight en route brings us to the charming capital of Denmark, Copenhagen... where its lively canals are filled with beautiful people enjoying the best and warmest days of the year.

Time to leave... on a ferry! Destination: Sweden!

What a fantastic surprise awaits our tour members: blue sky and warm temperature to enjoy the weekend in Gothenburg, getting ready for the start of the tour...

What a start! After a sunny weekend in this charming Swedish city that offers lavish nightlife and cosy cafes along the avenues we get on the saddle and start the engines. Today we ride north, cruising along southern Sweden countryside, passing trough the Swedish movie capital Trollhätten (nicknamed Trollywood) and we relax during lunch time in the Moose Ranch. These massive yet gentle animals are considered the symbol of this country, although inhabitants on the north kinda hate them, since they tend to jump in front of your car attracted by the lights... and during arctic winter, your lights are on pretty much all the time. Guess how easy is to drive around there when everything is snowy and icy, with the extra bonus of "moose crossing".

Some snapshots of the day. Patricia and Andreazza, Brazilian ladies.

Ken posing and trying to feed the moose, which had already enough and was not particularly interested in more "salad". In fact after the "salad" they got some potatoes as well...

Another moose and a local example of "Swedishness"...

And also a baby moose, only one month old!

 

When you reach a place like the Norwegian capital, it would be a shame to just stop by for the night und then disappear the next day... For this reason Edelweiss tours often include some "strategic" rest days, where everyone is free to decide how to spend some valuable time, either on a short loop ride in the morning and then sightseeing in the afternoon, or a full day dedicated to cultural sights and enjoying the fragrance of the relaxed pace characterizing urban life in Scandinavia. Oslo has in fact been ranked on the top list of quality of life in the world, often reaching the first place. It reaches the first place among the most expensive cities in the world, by the way.

Karl Johans Gata, the main street in the centre, is full of parks, statues and fountains....

And if you climb the little hill of Akerhus, the old fortress, you can have a view over the archipelago of Oslo fjord.

Time for some musems, like the one dedicated to Kon Tiki, the raft used by the Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl in 1947 to sail from South American to the Polynesian islands. Over 4000 miles across the ocean on a wooden raft to prove that contacts among archaic civilizations were possible...

Feeling a bit explorers as well... 

And right besides Kon Tiki, another museum displays a famous ship, the Fram, used among others by Fritjof Nansen and Roald Amundsen in their expeditions towards the North Pole and the South Pole about a century ago. The shape of the hull was a fantastic innovation in maritime engineering, permitting to push the boat upwards when the ice was pushing against it, instead of damaging the wooden structure.

Tomorrow we start riding again, crossing the region of Telemark... and we are greeted by an unbelievably warm day, with temperatures rising up to 27°C. It's swimming time!

The view from the hotel in Vrådal on the lake side is quite idyllic and not a single cloud can be spotted.

Moving toward west we are about to approach the region of the fjords, but before reaching the seaside in Stavanger we need to cross southern Norwegian mountains side to side, finding on our way countless small glacial lakes...

And also lots, lots of sheep... One of them that day has been lucky enough to become the owner of an Iphone 5, lost on the way... right Ronaldo?

Time for a rest day in Bergen, perhaps the most stunning city in Norway and the former headquarter of the Hanseatic trading company. The picturesque wooden houses of Tyskebryggen (the pier of the Germans) are still standing, now converted into design stores, restaurants, cafes, museums...

Some roads along the fjords are provided with really spectacular vantage point, like the platform that sticks out atop Aurlandfjorden... Just don't get tempted to jump over the glass!

The tour is coming closer to its end and a group photo above Geiranger, the King of all the fjords, is simply mandatory Ok ok, it's not blue sky and sunny today, but that myst creates such an atmospheric light...

And even under a cloudy sky the hairpins of the Trollstigen (the Troll's ladder) appear majestic... The tour is just about to reach its final destination, the charming little town of Ålesund, reconstructed in Jugendstil (liberty style ) at the end of the 19th century...

 

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