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Thread: Overland to Scandinavia and more! Spring 2017

  1. #21
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    Overland to Scandinavia and more!
    Spring 2017


    Lits to Blattnicksele

    As we left Lits for the 200 mile run to Blattnicksele and Sandsjögǻrden Holiday Resort & Camping we got the distinct impression that we were going to see a lot more Snow and Frozen Lakes the further North we went, but at least the roads were clear……



    This is where some of those logs end up……



    Garage Sale?........



    Anyone fancy a bit of Ice Fishing?......



    Think this farm could do with a Garage Sale?......









    Over the bridge and into Vilhelmina!......







    The town Moose still looks good!......



    Open clear road again outside the town……









    Nice large pieces of ice clinging to the rocks!……



    As we come into……
    Which is just inside Southern Lappland……



    Black Bear looking for a snack?......



    As we pulled into a small parking area for a drink and a snack, we could look back towards the town centre of Dorotea……



    While at the edge of the parking place there was this signpost for Ski-Doo riders and the places to go to with the distances......



    While each of the places on that signpost were on trails across this frozen lake!......



    Back on the road and we then pass the Solifer (Polar) Caravan factory, which are still the only manufacturer who ‘pressure spray’ each caravan as it comes off the production line to ensure there is no water ingress!......



    We thought for a minute that we were going to get stuck behind this machine, but it turned out it was sweeping all the winter grit away from the junction……











    Next town along the route was……



    As we see another car that had left the road during winter and ‘kissed’ the trees!......



    After filling the tank in ‘Flamenco Red’ with Diesel that was actually cheaper than the price we are paying in the UK, it was a short drive then to the campsite turning off the E45 into this ‘snowy lane’!……



    The on the right is the entrance which as soon as we got there we recognised that we had stayed here 2 years ago!……



    As the campground was not useable we pitched between a couple of cabins……



    We then found out that the Huskies were still here, and one female who is 16 years old (116 Human Years of age) spent the Winter with a few of the others hauling sledges around and seemed to enjoy every minute of it, so we had to go and say ‘Hello’, and here she is!......



    Then she hops back on her platform to soak up a bit more of this nice sunshine!......



    As we then went off to meet the rest of the gang!......



    The ice on the lake and the floating ‘Picnic Table’!......



    The lake which up to 2 days ago you could still walk out onto it, but now the ice is no longer joined to the shoreline, so might be fragile!......



    While here is the weather forecast for a place called Kiruna which we will be heading to tomorrow!……
    I think we could be muffling up in the Salopettes we brought along to sleep in, as well as the Thermals!......



    N.B. As well as the ‘nice weather’ we have on our front door, because of our night time locations I doubt if we will have any Internet connection for the next 7 DAYS, so there will be no updates for the Travel Blog, but then you should have quite a bit of catching up to do, if we have not become ‘frozen stiff’ and cannot operate the keyboard!!!......

  2. #22
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    Just got to our next halt which was supposed to be an ' Free stay Aires' on a dockside, but it turns out that the Boat Club have grabbed it and are now charging NOK180/night (€21 or £16)! But at least they have an Internet connection so I can git goin with the updates again

  3. #23
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    Overland to Scandinavia and more!
    Spring 2017


    Blattnicksele to Lappenasuando

    During a short conversation with the young man in the TENT in the picture below I found out that he had flown from Switzerland to Iceland, cycled around Iceland and then caught the ferry from Iceland to Denmark and is now making his way through Sweden into Norway to go to the very top!
    While yes it was very COLD last night!......



    While at 09:00 we were back on the E45 road North after it had rained for around 30 minutes!......



    Then a short while later we spot our first Reindeer!........



    Next town......



    This lot is going to take a long time to melt!......



    While just outside the town is another group……











    All the boats are out of the water and there are no signs of them going back in yet!.....



    As we then come into Arvidsjaur!......



    Main street……



    Mounds of snow seem to be BIGGER here or it might be the way the snow has been pushed into mounds……



    Trinket shop……



    Then we find a very interesting place called……



    The description of the place, which is still in use by the Sami People……







    Some of the wooden buildings……



    The plans of the buildings......



    The description of the buildings......











    A set of steps made from a tree trunk, and just swung into place when needed……





    The ‘Birch Bark’ which acts like ‘Roofing Felt’ between the first and second layers of wood that form the roof……



    The town church!......



    The view from the church back into the town!……



    While the black Audi was the ‘Tug’ for the twin axle Polar Caravan, the Caravan was plugged into the Electric supply for the Audi, that stops the engine oil from freezing up in the winter!……



    Meet the Moose Family!……



    While this is the man who carved them!......







    Back on the road and we see these models dressed in Reindeer skins!......



    The old bridge at one of the Rastplats we called into!......



    The Rastplats itself with a very clean and again heated WC also set up for the physically challenge!......



    While a bit further up the road we see a couple of Male Reindeer still sporting their antlers……





    Next stop was on the Polar Circle itself (Seems like a few people also made it judging by all the sticky labels on the sign!)……



    As usual the Café was closed……



    Not sure if this ‘building’ can be rented as a Cabin to spend the night in!......



    This is the spot where the Arctic Circle line is supposed to pass through? While I was under the impression that it keeps moving!



    The description of the Arctic Circle……



    Now heading into Jokkmokk……



    As we pass this Hydro Electric Power Station & Dam with some interesting Sami paintings……





    Next town……



    As we enter the town all the initial houses lining the road are exactly the same shape and size……



    Just to give you an idea of how deep the snow was on the road look at the verge……









    Oops! Didn’t bring mine……



    As after 260 miles we get to our next stopping place which is the Rastplats at Lappenasuando, complete again with heated WC……



    That’s it for today……

  4. #24
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    Overland to Scandinavia and more!
    Spring 2017


    Lappenasuando to Bjorklidden

    Just after we woke up this morning we found ourselves in a ‘Mini-Snowball’ storm. Difficult to take a picture outside as they would not show up but I got these on the lid of the waste bin as I closed the door of the ‘TinTent’ (They were not Hailstones.)......



    As the storm passed this trailer pulled into the Rastlats at Lappenasuando from Poland with a delivery of little ‘TinTents’ destined for Norway, but try as we might we could not find out who the manufacturer was!......



    Oops another ‘Winter mishap’ except this one ended up upside down!........



    Clear road for now, but it didn’t last......



    As we get into the area of the LKAB Mining Company with their Ore Trains going to Narvik in Norway!......



    As we then get into Kiruna. The original town is still ‘sinking’ due to LKAB’ Iron Ore mining activities that excavated ore from under the town so they are having to build a new one, this is going to be the new City Hall which is due for completion in 2018……



    After stopping off for a final Grocery Shopping run and Fuel fill up as both are considerably more expensive in Norway……



    We head off to see if we can park near the ‘Centrum’ of Kiruna……









    Passing one of the Pit Head Shafts of the mine and there are a few around the town!……





    Not sure what this was erected for?……





    We get to the centre of the ‘Centrum’ with this iron sculpture, but there is no room to park!……



    So we head off back to the E10 to continue the journey to our next night halt passing this old railway wagon which had something to with the mine at some point……



    Now very far up the road we reach our next halt, and having parked up, we take a walk back to see the water and ice in the river……





    As we just finish a mid afternoon cup of coffee the snow starts, and it gets into a progressively heavier downfall and starts to build up in the parking area, while the road remains quite clear......



    So we decide to pack up and pull out hoping to get through and ahead of the falling snow!......



    BUT.......for the next 30 Miles the snow kept falling very heavily!!……..



    At one point I did feel the traction slip on ‘Flamenco Red’ as we went over a section of ice on the road that was around 200 meters long!
    While we did get to some clear road, the snow continued to fall but not as heavy……





    Then we found an area that we could pull into and see what sort of condition the outfit was in!
    OMG! ‘Ice Bound’ I think sums it up as there was ‘Ice’ everywhere!
    The chassis of the ‘TinTent’ was coated from front to back in ice that was around 1 inch thick, while the front had another ‘Black coating’ on it as it came up off the road and stuck!



    ‘Flamenco Red’ was also coated, not only on the roof and rear but the door panels had small icicles hanging off them and the door handles were covered, while I have never seen so many icicles hanging from the underneath!……



    As there was nothing we could do we continued as we had passed through what we learned later was a very bad snow storm that also went through Kiruna……









    We then found a winter campsite that was also in a ski area and the ski lift was running, but the campsite had no places, so we turned around and continued further towards Norway!……



    The Helicopter Base at the winter campsite just in case of accidents or emergencies!……







    As we then pulled into a Rastplats in a place called Bjorklidden we could then take a longer look at just how much ice we had collected as there was no chance of it thawing out with an outside temperature of around -4C and a very cold wind!
    When I ‘tapped’ the front locker of the ‘TinTent’ the ice fell off like an avalanche, but the two outer sections remained in place! The grab handles were not accessible and the outer lower running lights had disappeared from view, totally covered in snow and ice kicked up from the road as we travelled along!......



    As we settled down with the gas fire turned on as we warmed up, we saw this Swedish Couple and their Dog enjoying the sunshine that appeared in the evening but they were suitably dressed to be sat outside, while they also had a log fire burning in a special holder that was hanging in a tripod!......



    Having spoken to the couple, I asked what sort of temperature we could expect that night as was advised that it would more than likely be around -10C!

    When I looked at the Thermometer the following morning as we got up it was showing -2C INSIDE the TinTent!
    While I have to admit that we did NOT run the gas fire all night.

    Next stop tomorrow will hopefully be in Norway with some better weather……

  5. #25
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    Overland to Scandinavia and more!
    Spring 2017


    Bjorklidden to Norway & Evenes

    As we could not believe the temperature in the ‘TinTent’ this morning when we woke up and crawled out of a very nice warm bed!
    It didn’t take long to get dressed and make breakfast which being HOT also helped the warming up process even though the gas fire was now putting out heat!.....

    Half an hour later and we were back on the road wondering if the snow was really that deep as we passed this house, while we could not see the entrance road to get into the place!......



    Then we saw this long black shape off to our left and realised it was a train tunnel for LKAB Mining!......



    As we then passed the entry or exit depending on which way the train was travelling!........



    Yes the snow was really that high on the roadside as we made our way to the Border Crossing point......



    The start of a Winter Sports & Ski Village!......







    The Border Crossing as the weather turns bad again!……







    Welcome to Norway in the Snow!......





    As we then start to travel along the Bjørnfjell Pass towards Narvik!……













    The Traffic & Road Management Garages as the snow clearing trucks are getting ready to presumably go out……



    As we then get down to the coast in one piece and get to this tunnel we find that there is now a ‘Toll’ for using this section of NOK 34 as we are under 3.5 Tonne, but as a ‘Visitor’ we have to wait until the invoice arrives in the post back home……



    The second tunnel......









    As we then see Evenes Church just past which we make a left turn……



    As a plane that was landing at Evenes Airport goes overhead!......



    We then get to what is listed as an Aires with water and toilet, when in fact it is a small campsite with water, toilet, HOT shower, Electric Hook Up (EHU) and kitchen & chemical toilet waste dump facilities but no Internet!……



    So we decide to stay and get set up as around 50lbs of ICE starts to drop off the ‘TinTent’ and ‘Flamenco Red’ as the temperature has risen to 5C!……



    While the view was rather nice as the snow clouds rolled by on the other side of the water!......



    After a bit of lunch, we then went off to have a look at a small ‘Stone Church’ that was on a promontory from the campsite and this is what we also found……



    The plan of the site……



    One of the old fortifications!……



    The door led to the inside of the fortification but had been welded up to stop anyone going in!……



    One of the gun emplacements……



    As Mother Nature is slowly claiming the place again……



    Another gun emplacement!......





    As a trench led from that one to this smaller one, but the door was again welded shut, as we then went on to the Stone Church……



    Which is quite large……



    While inside are……





    The picnic table with a view, but not today as the wind is rather cold!......



    Looking back……



    As we then see the observation building in the cliff face……



    The view across the bay to the campsite……



    We then went further along the road and found this place, which we think was the munitions store for the guns that we had just seen, as the sign outside said ‘No naked flames allowed inside’ while it seems that the Norwegians are now using it for something else……



    So we then go back to the village of Evenes……



    While looking at the church……



    We see this sign, which is the first we have seen in Norway and can be attributed to the Battle of Narvik in 1940……..



    As we then found 1 Commonwealth War Grave in not very good condition. The soldier who gave the ultimate sacrifice of his life was W P Martin of the Royal Artillery who died at the age of 27.



    Next to his headstone was this memorial to some of the Polish POW’s who were used as forced labour to make the fortifications……



    While on the other side of the church also in the graveyard is this memorial stone to the Norwegian Resistance Fighters……



    Back on the road tomorrow while we have been advised that we can expect to see an improvement in the weather, still the next place is not far!……

  6. #26
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    Overland to Scandinavia and more!
    Spring 2017


    Evenes to Lødingen

    Well there cannot be many places where when you open the curtains or roll up the blinds you get this stunning view to look at!......







    Then we got back on the road towards our next halt with more nice scenery as we travelled along!........







    The next left turn takes us over that bridge up ahead……







    As we are now firmly on the road to Lofoten……









    Fish Farm in the ocean……



    As we then come to our next town and night stop……







    The so called ‘Aires’ once again turns out to be a Boat Club ‘Campsite’ with all the usual facilities but the Zero Price advised turns out to be NOK 180/Night (€21…£16), but with the views and clean facilities we decide to stop and get set up as we look across the harbour from our pitch……



    Quick cup of coffee and we are off to have a look at the lighthouse (‘Fyr’) and the view from ‘Up there’!……



    The lighthouse station……



    The views from around the lighthouse......











    While back down below and across the other side of the ‘camping area’ we see this old sailor......



    There seems to be a few of these ‘painted’ bikes around the area!……













    We saw this ‘GIANT’ bike as we came through the town while it looked more interesting as the Ferry boat came in and passed behind it!……



    A few old adverts on the side of a shop……



    One of the other ferry boats tied up and out of service, as there are several that come and go to the town……





    Time to head back……



    There goes another of the ferry boats on its way out from the town……



    While this Navy ship shortly came passed us here in Norway, so I looked up the details as we have Internet!……

    KYSTVAKT W322, named ‘Andenes’ is one of the Norwegian Coastguard vessels, it weighs in at 3,320 Tons is capable of 21 Knots and carries a crew of 60+ while also seeing service in the Gulf War and the Antarctic…..



    Time for dinner and we are all caught up!……

  7. #27
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    Overland to Scandinavia and more!
    Spring 2017


    Lødingen eventually to Bleik

    As we said Goodnight to this sunset, 4 hours later it was light again and a few hours after that we were back on the road, initially to a place that I got from a French Camper forum that along with the next 2 proved to be incorrect as they did not exist!......



    So we carried on to a place I knew was OK as I had been in email contact with the owner who assured me that he was ‘Open 365 Days/year, so we then sat back and just enjoyed the scenery as we made our way to Bleik and Midnattsol Camping!.....





    Along the road of ‘Sea Mirror’ Reflections!........









    Passing through another small commune……







    The road bridge over to the town of Sortland……



    As we manage to find a layby to stop and admire the view……





    The view across to Sortland……



    As we then get closer to the bridge but continue past on the Andenes road……



    While a bit further along the road we come to another smaller bridge……



    That we follow the road around and go over……



    The we come to more roadworks as the authorities make the road wider and better to accommodate the number of Fish Transport Trucks that come from Andenes and also to make a pedestrian footpath……



    Fish Farm……







    Snow clearing equipment for use on the roads……



    Then we saw not one but 2 Elk/Moose who scrambled over the road in front as the first went into the woods but the second just got caught by the camera……



    While a bit further up the road we see these 3 Reindeer in the field at the side of the road……



    Next bridge and this one was rather high and we are going over it!.....



    Looks a bit like a ‘Ski Jump’ for cars!......



    Quick look at the scenery before we go over!……



    As we then come down the other side……



    I did think that if this next picture had a sprig of Holly and a couple of Red Berries on the top it would resemble a Christmas Pudding!......



    Entering a nice little village we have an Ice Cream Seller in front who is playing music loudly as he travels along, but no customers appear to rush out to buy any ice cream……





    The we spot this small church and as there was room to park we went in to have a look around……



    A bit of the history!……



    Sadly the door was locked and the windows too high to see inside……



    View back across to the village……





    Communications masts as we now approach Andenes as there is an airport which is also used by the Norwegian Air Force and the UN……



    As we then enter the town of Andenes……



    Looking back to the town from the quayside…..



    As the overnight halt place was no longer there, we made our way out of the town passing this strange ‘garden’ that had large red plastic balls all over it……



    An old house that has now been turned into a restaurant……



    Now on the road to Bleik……







    As we come into Bleik……



    Then get to the campsite as the sun comes out!......



    Lots of exploring to do tomorrow!……

  8. #28
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    Overland to Scandinavia and more!
    Spring 2017


    Exploring in Andenes and Bleik

    Yesterday evening yet another Snow Storm came through with those very small ‘Snowballs’ coming out of the sky!......





    While this was our 23:05hrs Sunset, but it did become light enough to read a book by 01:30hrs the next morning!......



    Then at around 09:00 we have this beautiful but cold day!........







    The first ‘Hut’ accommodation on the campsite, brought in initially because of all the very strict building regulations in Norway. It’s actually a caravan called a Hobby ‘Landhause’!......



    Then after breakfast we went off to Andenes and our first stop was by this door and the date of 1856……



    Which was when the Andenes ‘Fyr’ (Lighthouse) was built, and here it is, still standing and made of Iron sections……



    Around the light at the top is a ‘curtain’ which only allows the light to shine out to sea, so making sure that the residents in the town are not effected when it operates……



    In this picture the ‘curtain’ can be seen……



    The view from the harbour wall……



    The small globe and the points of the compass by the base of the lighthouse……



    Along the harbour outer wall……



    Looking from the harbour wall back into the town with the sun directly in front……



    Lovely clear sea water……



    As I then heard a strange sound and followed it around to locate it, I found it was a pair of Sea Eagles whom I think were nesting on this small island inside the harbour……



    Nice view……



    Then as I swung back the Eagles took off!……



    Across the harbour……



    An old historical picture of the dockside in Andenes……



    Sea life in a Mural as the town has a good reputation for Whale watching……



    While here are the lower jaw bones of a whale, not sure if it was a Sperm or Minky Whale……



    Andenes main street……



    Nice little garden with a grass roofed house!.....



    The Bakery and Cake Shop, the chimney was made of concrete slabs, not as you would expect bricks!......



    2 x Café Latte = NOK 70, I’ll leave you to do the maths for the exchange rate of NOK 11.2 = £1……



    Side Street in the town……



    The town church!......



    Back down another side street……



    The ‘Toddler Buggy Ride’ and there were 8 of them in this……





    Inside one of the four supermarket stores in Andenes a quick picture of the fruit and the prices per kilo, except the Kiwi Fruit which are priced per fruit!……



    Nice house for sale but did not find out the asking price, but it is on the main road into and out of the town……



    While the Tourist Information Office was closed, the wallpaper was ‘interesting’……



    Now that is what I call an ‘All Weather Buggy’ for a Physically Challenged person!......



    Then we hear this ‘ROAR’ and look up!……



    It was the Norwegian Airforce plane doing what we call ‘Circuits and Bumps’ as part of Pilot Training……



    As we then found this sign, we thought that with all this cold weather made even colder by the North Easterly wind that is dropping the temperature by around another 4 or 5C, then maybe a short time in this place might help?......



    We are off on a Special Evening with the local community tonight which is an annual ‘Beach Clean Up’ so will let you know what happens later.

  9. #29
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    Overland to Scandinavia and more!
    Spring 2017


    A 2nd Day in Bleik

    While our assistance in the community beach cleaning exercise last night helped with finding and removing old rope, plastic bottles, some other plastic bits and containers we also found 2 dead sea birds which was sad, while there were a couple of old fishing boat nets that were buried very deeply in the sand and could not be extracted!......
    The ‘reward’ of going to the community hall following for Waffles and Coffee was a really nice time as we got to spend some time with the local residents to hear about life up here in Bleik which goes from being very nice to sometimes bleak due to the weather.
    At the end of the evening came a really nice surprise as we were given a large plastic tub with a Chocolate Cake in and another plastic box with Norwegian Biscuits in, which was the community’s way of saying ‘Thanks for your help’!

    Much better Sunset last night, but the Midnight Sun does not arrive for a few more days yet by which time we will be away from here……





    After sorting out a few things this morning we set off on a walk through the village……



    Seeing this fish ‘drying out’ on the side of a house!........



    With a few more ‘drying out’ slightly differently on another house……



    As this Cormorant ‘drys’ out its wings in the sunshine on a rock near the harbour……



    Then we found this house in which their lives an firm Liverpool Football Club Supporter as the two sun bleached small signs in the centre of his garage are the emblems of the football club!......



    While his garden has a ‘nice touch’ for which he uses a ‘special lawnmower’!……





    The sign for the pathway……



    Off we go……



    As all the melt water from the snow makes different waterfalls coming down the hillside……



    With ‘bubbling’ streams all joining up……



    As a few of them reach the sea at this point.……



    A coastal mini lighthouse……



    While the light inside was split between Red & Green lenses and only shone out to sea……





    As the path took us up away from the beach we come to a small still frozen lake……



    While away in the distance behind the lake on top of the mountain is a surveillance ‘Golf Ball’!……



    The view from up on the hill……



    Making our way back down the hill we see this slab of concrete with what looked like iron rods in each corner that had threads on to presumably hold something down, but now the installation was derelict……



    Looks like a big Whales tooth but is actually a bird sanctuary mainly inhabited by Puffins……



    Home comes the lone Fishing Boat while the ‘white dots’ around it are the Seagulls hoping to get to feed on the fish heads as the crew clean gut and clean the fish and drop the heads back into the sea as they make their way back to the harbour……



    Still going but the number of Seagulls following has reduced……



    Continuing along the track we see this piece of ‘flotsam’ that is from Nova Scotia Canada..... but there was no ‘Note’ attached!



    As we saw the Fishing Boat coming back we made our way to the harbour to see if there was any fresh fish for sale?......



    After asking the Fishing Boat Skipper he picked out a nice 2Kg totally fresh Cod, and filleted it for us.
    The cost was NOK 19/Kg (£3.50) WOW!……



    So tonight the first 2 pieces, of the 4 we got, with a knob of Butter and some salt and pepper will find their way to the BBQ, even if it is -20C outside and blowing a force 9 Gale!……



    Back on the road tomorrow but now heading South!......

  10. #30
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    Nice pictures. Hope the trip south gets you warmer weather.

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