Oslo didn’t let us go that easy. It was like one of the longest waiting times we had but anyway, since I was in travelling-mood I didn’t really experience the flow of time. It was just as it is, just the moment.
While writing this I am not really capable of getting my head straight. So I might mess things up or just forget things, but that’s the way it is.
So we started from Oslo and didn’t get much further than Lillehammer, I have no Idea why, all the people that took us were like really friendly so its hard to say the others just didn’t want to pick anybody up, I suspect that they had other reasons. In Lillehammer we found a super fireplace next to a lake and made a nice campfire where we cooked some tea. Then we went on the look out for a place to sleep and found a nice small fishing cabin that was extremely dirty but provided us with a bed that was like 180 x 80 cm so we cuddled a lot at night but it was very warm. In the morning we went back to E6 and sticked our thumbs out to get north. After a short ride we were picked up by a driver that said he is going for 30 miles. Hmm… we thought, 30 kilometers and said yes but then we realized that it is Norwegian miles. And one Norwegian mile is like 10 kilometers so we had an awesome ride. The driver was very interested in telling us stories and information about everything we passed. We went through the Dovre National Park, a wonderful high plane surrounded by mild peaks covered in snow and ice. The scenery was very special, the ground was covered with a little snow and small trees and moss and plait covered stones sticking out. We learned about wooden trolls and got some information about national parks as well. In Oppdal we jumped out after receiving information, that Statoil sells a thermocup for like 380NOK and this you can fill up anywhere in Norway at Statoil stations for free! Then we had some short jumps until we finally arrived in Trondheim. There we had organized a place to stay already but this person didn’t reply anymore so we did another instant-emergency searching through bewelcome and if I remember correctly we tried Tinder as well (didn’t work).
Vincent finally replied positive and we were invited to his 7-person shared living. Here we had a lot of fun with drinking self-brewed wine, playing games, cooking and just hanging around. We stayed for 3 nights. In Trondheim we went to the University and to Svartlamon. The University is very old and has an interesting main building, also its located on a small hill which makes it very impressing. Svartlmon on the other hand is down at the harbour. In the 1980s people started to squat it and right now there are 250 people living, they have a 10 year contract with the government and organized a kindergarden, a pub, a free shop and a tattoo studio and many other things. While looking for a toilet we run into on guy that sits in the board of the community and we had a chat about squats, places, also the squat in Oslo and about some island north of Tromso where Hippies used to live (or are still living, we had no chance to check it out).
After Trondheim we went north on the E6 again. Not for long though because a nice lady that was working as a prison guard picked us up and offered us to go to Brønnøysund but she was going along the coast. It didn’t take us long to decide to go through the coast although we knew we would have to pay some ferries. Somewhere 30km north of Brønnøysund we looked for a shelter in an industrial area and found a safe spot inside a wooden garage-like shelter. We cooked a soup and had some bread and cheese with it and then we went to bed. In the morning we went to the gas station again and hitched rides from there. We could have gone to the bridge that was 500 meters ahead but it was raining and we found a ride very easy. The bridge was open – it can be closed if it is too windy – and after the bridge we met one of the longest tunnels in the north of Norway. Soon we were dropped in Mosjøen where we checked out the local dumpster for some pizzabread and then we headed further north, to Mo i Rana.
Here we met a Belgium guy that was driving solo through Europe. Pity he had no free place but he gave us a beer and 2 bottles of wine because he had smuggled a lot to Norway and was afraid to be caught. He also showed us pictures of the roads where he was that had like 2 meters of snow left and right of the road. From here we knew we had to get through Saltfjellet, a mountain area that is full of only wind and snow. Also there will be the moment when we pass the polar circle. So far it has never been really cold, I never had to use my down jacket and also sleeping was pretty good with the two sleeping bags as covers cuddling with Sarah.
We got a ride 10km to the next crossroad where traffic splits to the airport and to further north. There we waited, i wrote our names inside of the bus station and then Alva and Orjan stopped for us. They were on their way to the Lofoten, to their cabin. We gladly jumped in. We had a host in Narvik and we thought we might even be able to reach it on that day. But events turned against that plan. Alva was very interested in talking. So we had a long chat, about everything and nothing, also about our further plans. That was when they came to the idea of taking us to their cabin so we could enjoy the Lofoten. That was some luck! So we agreed to stay there for one or two nights. In that time we had elkburger, beef stew, vine and vodka and also Sarah and I went to the closest peak that we could find to get some view of the beautiful Fjord. As we left we were full of joy. This just married couple gave us so much and asked for nothing. Thank you.
Riding this wave of chance it took us only 10 minutes – in the middle of nowhere, really! – to get a ride close to the next big city where we planned on checking out the Hurtigruten. Those ships sail inside the Fjords, previously an old postal ship made to be a traditional cruise but still transporting goods. Also transporting people without the need of buying a cabin or such which we learned. But first we had to wait another night because they leave only once a day and in the morning. So we walked through Harstadt and checked an old building as a sleeping place but continued in hope to find more. More was there. After we figured out that the church is closed and might not host us we went to the harbour again and found a waiting room that was heated. Sitting there, a lot of time to relax I fell asleep. And i was woken up by an asking voice. We made clear that we only speak English and the lady that held a small packet in her hands switched language and offered us some leftovers from the cafe. After talking we realized that she is from Germany too and then we talked in German for a while until she offered us more leftovers. A thermos can full of coffee and some brezels. She even gave us mugs and a bag to put everything in since the cafe was closing and we had to get out to the other waiting room.
In the waiting room where we spent the night we sat and drank coffee, smoked some cigarettes outside and enjoyed some teenies listening to their music. Since the price of alcohol is just dystopic we thought about how it would be to grow up kind of without it, like here in Norway. Kids don’t have their weekly 2 nights of booze like you have them in Austria. Kids don’t drink at the age of 13. You do not see many drunks on the streets. What a different place to our alcohol-culture. Anyway, when this waiting room closed as well we locked ourselves inside, left a window open for if we are thrown out that we can come back in emergency and prepared a nice sleeping place.
On the next morning the ship was leaving early and as we went on it we expected to have the typical cruise-ship where everything costs a lot. But actually, the ticket was 380 NOK per person I think and that was good for a 23hours ride. Also, while exploring the ship, we found a swimming and a whirl pool right under the open sky at the back of the ship protected from winds. It is clear that it took us only 5 min. to get a towel from the reception and we were swimming and enjoying the warm water. After that we went to the sauna that was located behind the locker room and it felt like really awesome. Not much money for a spa in Norway traveling through the beautiful fjords. A stop in Tromso where we filled our Statoilkoppen with free coffee and bought some food and we were sailing on.
In the evening we – of course – had another extensive bath and sauna session before we went to sleep and in the morning at 5 something we got up and prepared to disembark. In Hammerfest. Very far north!