The First Road Trip (to Norway) - Part 4

· 2614 words · about 13 minutes

Hi everybody!

Hope you all had a nice week. So let's continue our beautiful, first road trip in Norway, in Bud camping site, next to the Atlantic Ocean.

The next day after breakfast we drove to Molde. It was a nice little town, less than an hour drive from the camping. We parked in a underground garage and walked up a hill where was a open-air museum introducing old Norwegian country houses. It was very interesting to see how people used to live in Norway in the old days. There was a very nice view from the hill to the opposite fjords. It was a sunny day and the local ferries were coming and going every now and then on the shining water. It was beautiful!

In the open air musem of Molde.

The view from the hill of the museum.

After sitting there a while and admiring the view we walked down to the centre of the town. We found an interesting local restaurant just at lunch time. The waitress told us that they had three different possibilities for lunch on the menu, but it was a national day in Norway (not a national holiday although) and then people often eat a certain lamb dish, which is also on the menu. So if we don't mind, she would recommend us that dish, because it's typical Norwegian. We both chose that and it wasn't the wrong choice. It was roasted lamb with roasted potatoes and vegetables. It was very tasty! I so regret that I can't recall its name.


After lunch we walked around a bit in the center of Molde and then drove outskirts of town to a grassy beach. It was a big open area with a very few people and surrounded by mountains. The local airport was also nearby. It was also a very beautiful, relaxing place, so we also spent some time there.

Outskirts of Molde.

On our way back to the camping we stopped for shop some souvenirs. When we arrived to our cabin, the weather was still a beautiful, shiny and warm. The rest of the day we were mostly just hanging outside of our terrace and walking around the camping site. We also took a walk to the village of Bud nearby (2kms). The place was very quiet, but we found a bar which was open. Even though Norway is a very expensive country, we though that a pint and some fries wouldn't bankrupt us, so we went in. Later in the evening - while the sun was still shining - we walked back to the camping. During our walk I spoke with my parents on the phone and they said that they watched the weather forecast and for the next two days it will be quite rainy in Norway. At least the evening was beautiful. After we got back we watched a move and went to sleep.

On the next day after breakfast we continued our trip to south & south east. This was our last reserved accommodation, so from now on, we didn't know where we're gonna sleep. We were on our own. The morning and actually the whole day was truly rainy, the forecast was right. From outskirts of Molde we took a short ferry trip and drove all the way to Lillehammer where we had a stop over for a few hours. We walked around the old town and had a cup of coffee.

The weather wasn't exactly the best...

...but the landscape was still cool.

After seeing Lillehammer, we checked from our GPS that we could easily make to Hamar (still in Norway) on that day and there are at least three different campings where we could try to look for a one night stay. So we did that.

In the old town of Lillehammer.

We arrived to Hammar in a heavy rain. The very first place we checked out, was a motel & hostel. The young receptionist girl was very friendly. We asked her the prices and about the availability. It sounded okay, but because the other two camping sites were quite close, we wanted to check other possibilities also.
The next one - just in a couple of minutes of drive - was closed. So we drove to the next (the last) one. It was open. But they had sold out all of their cabins and they had only free places for tenting. That didn't apply in our case and even though they'd had free cabins, it was way more expensive, than in the motel. So we drove back to the motel and rented a room. We got some discount in advance because the only room they had left was not exactly the same quality as the normal, other ones. We were very happy about the discount, but afterwards we realized that it was for a reason. There were several deficiencies in the room, but with the discount it didn't "feel" that bad. :) We had a private bathroom but a shared kitchen where we could make dinner. We ran into a slight problem in the evening: we realized that we ran out of coffee. We both are coffee people. After waking up, I'm okay for the first one or two hours in the morning, then I gotta get some coffee. My girlfriend however can stand it only for a quarter of an hour or not even that. This was veeery serious situation, so we went down, told our problem to the receptionist girl and asked, is there any shop open around here (it was quite evening hours already). Although we didn't really feel to go anywhere because outside it was still raining cats and dogs. She said that the shops are already closed for the day and they don't offer breakfast at all in the motel, however, if we want, she will be here also in the morning and she can make us a cup of coffee (for a formal price), because she'll be having one also.

On the next day after having a cup of coffee with the receptionist girl, we continued our trip. It was still a bit gray and partly rainy day. We stopped for a lunch in Kungsvinger, close to Oslo. We originally wanted to visit Oslo (the capital of Norway), but a couple of days before we realized that we will have no time for that. My girlfriend wanted to spend at least two nights in Stockholm, so unfortunately we had to drop Oslo.

View from the fortress of Kungsvinger.

After visiting the Kungsvinger's fortress and having a not so great lunch in the town we continued our way towards Sweden, which was only 50kms away. We drove until Karlstad. We found a nice camping site just outside of the city, on the bank of the lake Vänern and rented a cabin for two nights. It was Saturday so my girlfriend wanted have some nightlife, so later on in the evening we drove into the city and had drink in a fancy bar. After having a couple of long talks and hanging out there for a couple of hours, it was still very empty and quiet there, so my girlfriend said that the place felt boring so we went back to the camping.

Lake Vänern, Sweden

The next day, besides of the coffee (we still didn't have a chance to buy coffee in a store) we had another problem: my girlfriend's hair straightener broke down. Just try to imagine a woman without coffee in the morning and with a broken hair straightener. You don't wanna be in that kind of a situation. That's a serious one! You have to think two times every single word you say. :) Luckily I had successful suggestion: let's see if the camping's restaurant is open. Well, it wasn't exactly open, but the cook was already there. He told us that there is no breakfast available on the weekend. He's making the lunch right now, however, maybe he can put something together "with he's other hand". For example an omelette and a coffee? Excellent! :) We even got the coffees in advance, so I already saved 50% of situation. The Swedish cook was very friendly & funny in the same time. They had no omelettes on the menu at all, so the cook just threw a price out of his head. :) After the breakfast we drove into the city and found a pretty good hair straightener in a bigger supermarket. My girlfriend calmed down. :) Life was again just like it used to be. After that we walked around the historical part of Karlstad, but then it started to rain, so we got back to our cabin.

Having a morning coffee in the camping, in Karlstad.

The old bridge of Karlstad from the 1700s.

In the next morning, after making a breakfast, we packed our stuff in our car and headed Stockholm. During our way we managed to find three different camping sites on our GPS, but they were on the three different parts of Stockholm. Unfortunately we got there just by the afternoon rush hour. We were approaching the city from south-west. The first camping was just on our way, the second one on the north-east and the third on the north-west side of the town. We found the first place without problems. The lucky part was - during this whole trip - that everytime when we were checking for accommodation without reservation, we always had a chance to take a look on the cabin also from the inside before renting it. That was a good thing. Especially, because at the first camping we realized that the cabin was very very lousy. Luckily we didn't rent it right away. So we moved on.

However,then came the hard part: driving through Stockholm during rush hour. We were heading to the north-west part of it (officially it was outside of Stockholm) and that took some time... and nerves. :) After getting out from the city center our GPS' sense of humor returned. It was instructing us to turn off from the quite crowded highway and after that turning left to a crowded bridge. I did that. After reaching the other side of the bridge, it told us to turn back and cross the bridge again. Strange request or instruction I though, why couldn't we turn right after coming off from the highway in the first place, but... maybe it's better this way. So at the traffic lights, not that easily, but I managed to make an U-turn. After crossing the bridge we reached a roundabout, where our friend told us to go around and cross the bridge again. OK, that's the most stupid idea I ever heard, but I did that. I turned around in the roundabout and crossed the bridge. Again. At the very same traffic lights - where I just turned around - our friend's spectacular advice was, that we should make a U-turn, cross the bridge and return to the roundabout. I started to get nervous. You know, it was still rush hour and wasn't exactly the best t to play games like this... But I turned around. I crossed that damn bridge. AGAIN. And at roundabout... it told us to go around and cross the bridge again. Well up yours, I say! Then I lost my nerves. I got so pissed, that I just randomly picked an exit in the roundabout and started to drive. Like always, this is what I do when I get pissed off. Then what happened, suddenly our friend got back on track and we continued our trip towards our destination! Just like that. After 20 minutes we got to the camping site. It was a beautiful place, on a sea shore, near to a small town and an old fortress of Vaxholm. There were even cabins also, but the only problem was, that the reception closed just 15 minutes before we got there. Uhhmm.. :( We were so disappointed. We had no other choice, but to look for a new camping. We had one more option left, in the north-east side of Stockholm. The route there was not that bad, but still the traffic was still quite heavy. When we arrived, we relieved that it was still open and they even had free cabins left. In our mind we still wanted to get back to the previous place, to Vaxholm, so we rented a cabin only for one night. But there was another thing...

The first negative experience regarding the service came up for the first time. The receptionist (who perhaps was the owner in the same time) wanted to collect our passports during our stay. I said that it's not going to happen, we don't give up our IDs. We pay, he can have a look on our papers, write down any information he wants, but he definitely won't gonna have them. He said that this is the way, he has a right to ask that. My girlfriend - just studying in the law school - said to him that as a matter a fact, he has no right to hold back our passports if we don't behave disruptively and there is no problem with our payment (we were ready to pay the cabin + the deposit in cash). Otherwise only the police has a right to hold back our papers. The receptionist (or the owner) was referring that what if we make a damage in the cabin during the night (c'mon! a couple in the mid twenties, we just wanted to get some sleep!) so he want to have something that holds us back and we can't slip away and disappear just like that. Well that's why he has the deposit! We started to be in a pinned down situation, because we didn't want to give him our IDs, but we also needed that one night stay. The guy was already saying that we either give up our passports or we can go where ever we want. Then I saw a copier in the corner. I suggested him, that what if he makes a copy of our IDs? He gets all the information, we pay the deposit and the price. A bit reluctantly but eventually we made a deal. Although he let us know that he's doing us a big favor. My girlfriend got a bit pissed on that, but she said nothing, because she knew that we needed a place to stay.

We packed into our cabin. It wasn't even that special, we didn't understand what for was the hustle... We were a bit tense - because of the rush hour, can we find any cabin and then because of the asshole on the reception - so right after we closed the door took a shot. Even though my girlfriend is not a particularly great fan of shots, but at this point, she also wanted to have one. I took another one, just to be sure. :) After that we agreed, that what ever happens, we are not going to stay there another night. We also agreed that on the next day there's not enough time to find a new accommodation and to see Stockholm on the same day - the day after that was our ferry departing from Stockholm (to Turku, Finland) in the very early morning hours - so we decided to change our ferry tickets at least for one day forward, first thing in the morning. After that, we went to the camping's shared kitchen and made a good, tasty dinner. :) But did we found a better accommodation and did we transfer our ferry tickets, you will learn in my next post. :)