North through Trondheim to Afjord

Trip Start Feb 02, 2010
Trip End Feb 02, 2011

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Flag of Norway  , Sør-Trøndelag,
Thursday, July 22, 2010

It was after nine PM by the time Nina was all back together. Camilla and Jens invited us to dinner (a wonderfully delicious salmon, caught by Jens in the river nearby) and offered us a room for the night which we accepted as it was a little late to head off and Felix wanted the silicone instant gaskets to go off over night before they were put under stress from the bike running. Before bed Camilla whipped up a heap of delicious waffles so we had possibly the best dessert all trip - waffles with sour cream and strawberry jam - absolutely the best, such a treat! We also had the pleasure of meeting Camilla’s son Oliver, exploding with energy but a sweet little boy, he was friendly to me but quite frightened by Felix and his beard. He could not say ‘Flossy’ so instead called me ‘Slotty’.Around midday after saying goodbye and thanks that didn’t begin to cover for the kindness, friendship and hospitality showed to us we headed off towards Trondheim. We followed the E6 which was quite big coming into the city and quite stressful being so fast, big and busy. In Trondheim Felix spent almost two hours in Biltema while I waited patiently outside. He didn’t find what he wanted most, anything to fix the latest but thankfully not too dramatic problem, a broken cable adjuster screw on the carburettor, but did come out with a spark plug remover and some gasket paper. 

As Felix walked out an elderly man came over smiling and said he was part of a not-so-active old-timer Motorcycle Club and that maybe he could help us with Nina’s carburettor, but after a closer look realised it was too different to his old Zundapp to swap parts. We felt so encouraged and supported by a stranger’s interest and kindness in that moment, something that is especially strong in the Norwegian culture.  

 Next we headed over to the horrible City Syd shopping mall where we found a public phone to call another biker, Arne from the Barracuda MC who we also met on the weekend. He is a mechanic and also owns a Ural so had offered us a place to say and some mechanical help and parts should we need it. Felix has been hoping for a while someone with mechanical training and Ural experience could have a look over Nina again and hopefully catch any problems before they make themselves apparent on the road. We got an address and were quickly on our way to Åfjord.

 In Åfjord we were welcomed warmly and firmly instructed to make ourself at home. We have total luxury, the whole ground floor apartment to ourselves. Lena, Arne’s wife who is such a character, but is the kindest, friendliest, warm hearted person, made a local speciality for dinner, a brothy soup with vegetables and little meatballs called ‘Sodd’ - after riding on a cold drizzly night (even though it was still broad daylight at eleven) it was perfectly warming and so good. We had a really nice evening with them watching Pulp Fiction and talking.

 So today we slept in again. Since one PM when Arne came home from work, he and Felix have been out in the workshop working on Nina, every time I go out to see how their going they say all is going well, things seem to be working out right now, which is very nice. When they came back from a little test ride, Felix seemed very happy with the way Nina went. Good news! For dinner Lena cooked a dinner very similar to Lasagne but with potatoes replacing the pasta sheets. Such goodness, cheesy, meaty, tomato, yumminess. 

 We stayed up late again talking with Arne and Lena, learning that Lena is possibly one of the most qualified drivers out there. Not only is she licensed to drive every kind of vehicle, she is certified meaning someone has come and tested her driving and certified she is highly a skilled driver. And, not only is she a highly qualified driver but also a highly skilled welder. Before she drove trucks and buses she was a ship builder, building huge cargo ships. She is one super practical lady. She comes from the most Western part of Norway where it is apparently normal for women to have such hands-on ‘mens’ work. When she met Arne, who was working as a diesel mechanic in Åfjord, she begged and begged for a job driving buses in the area. And so here they live, in the beautiful Åfjord commune. 

 Wednesday we managed to get out of bed just after the crack of midday. We were going to catch a ride into Trondheim with Lena. First we drove in the car to the bus interchange, where we then got into the bus, a massive coach - that even had an on board hot water earn, providing hot water for people to make a free coffee or tea as the journeyed. On this bus we drove to the ferry, the same one Felix and I caught on our way to Åfjord on Monday evening. On the ferry, Lena is counted as crew - as she is on the ferry with various buses sometimes up to four times a day, so up we went into the crew only section where we talked to two men working on the ferry about their experiences sailing cargo ships to Australia to pick up exports of sugar and lead

 Lena dropped us of right in the middle of Trondheim and then we walked straight to Nidaros Cathedral, a massive and famous Cathedral. I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed visiting Nidaros even though I find it a little strange that places like that are built for worship and as a holy sanctuary but are now flooded with tourists and are just a big money making tourist attraction. I can see why though, and I’m quite glad in a guilty was because otherwise it wouldn’t have been so kosher to wander in like we did. It is such a beautiful building, the effort and detail gone into making such a place is staggering. The stone carving of every piece and the stained glass, gosh I loved the stained glass windows! So colourful and beautiful. And as you walk through the cathedral they tell different stories from the bible.

 The best bit though was going up onto the roof. We luckily, luckily got a place in the last group for the day to go up. So we waited in a corral, then when the last from the previous group was down up we went. One of the strangest thing I have ever felt as a sensory muddle came from walking up the narrow, spiral stairs. This is not an activity for anyone wider then your average healthy person, I’m not thin, but I’m not very wide either and I wouldn’t want to be any more so for going up those stairs. As a the guy leading us up said, if you have a heart condition or are claustrophobic maybe don’t attempt this. The stirs were very steep and except for the three small windows, no natural light comes in. So you wind round and round and round and round in a narrow, dim upward spiral, wondering if you are getting anywhere or are just trapped in some kind of sensory deception. After a quick walk along a balcony looking over the choir, it’s back up the winding stairs a while longer till you come out on the roof. It was raining quite a lot when we came out so Felix and I were the only one’s to walk around more then once. Coming back down again, we realised how steep it really is.

 I could have spent longer looking in the Cathedral but following our usual pattern of arriving late and getting kicked out at closing time, we had to leave a little sooner then I would have preferred. Lena was going to pick us up in another bus at seven, so we had an hour and a half to have a look around the city. We had a little to eat at a not so reputable fast food restaurant and went to the supermarket to restock for the trip further north. We then walked around little bit before going to the bus stop to wait for Lena. The ride back to the ferry, on the ferry and back to the bus station was much the same as on the way to Trondheim. At the bus station, we went through the automatic bus wash which was fun. Back home we had another delicious dinner and a really nice night talking and laughing with Arne and Lena. We have had such a nice time staying with them.

 Today we had a late start, it was still raining even though the weather man has been promising sun for a few days now. Felix swapped the most worn tire - the back tire - with the least worn one on the sidecar so we can get a few more thousand kilometres out of the set of tires, and also checked and adjusted the brakes.  In the afternoon, well around seven, we - Felix, Arne, Lena and I went for a ride. Us on Nina and them on Arne’s Ural Hilda. What a beautiful ride it was. Through valleys with huge cliffs rising way above us. We rode along the stunning rocky coast and along lakes. Through little fishing towns and to a lovely sandy beach near Stocksund with very posh apartments for expensive holidays. It was so beautiful. As we were riding along just before we turned to go back home I was thinking how perfect the weather was, the sun had come out and was setting over the sea and making wonderful colours and patterns in the clouds. 

 We stopped at the start of a path leading up into a cave in one of the cliffs for a moment before turning to go home. Felix offered I have a ride. I have been riding occasionally, we think it’s a good idea I can at least ride in first gear should we happen to end up in a emergency situation where Felix can’t but I don’t get much chance to practice. But today we were on an extremely quite dirt road so it was a good chance to get some practice. I even made it into fourth gear today and was going along very nicely - even when it started pouring rain. From nowhere suddenly we were being drenched in heavy rain. I kept riding along getting very wet. 

 Then something funny happened. We came up to a short but steep bit of road and I had to change gears. I got terribly flustered as I usually do when I have to change gear and ended up stalled halfway up the hill. I was to scared to do a hill start so in the bucketing rain Felix and I did this funny shuffle of positions. Without letting the bike roll down the hill. It was very funny. We had no wet weather gear with us so by the time we got home all four of us were soaked and very cold. It didn’t matter and no spirits were dampened as we had a nice warm dry house to warm up and dry off in. Plus another yummy dinner. While dinner was prepared, Arne took Felix in Hilda to see the Barracuda Motorcycle Club House which was very cool to see and also gave us an exchange patch to stitch to our jackets with the Barracuda MC logo on it. So tomorrow we plan to head off again - we could be tempted to stay another day if it’s still raining. It is meant to be mainly sunny though. We have had such a good time here. It’s been really fun, a lot laughing, talking, good food, good motorbike repairs. But we must (and want to) keep adventuring, after all, thats what we’re here for. 

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Julie & Virgil on

Gosh! What amazing traveling you are doing ;o) We are so glad you decided to go North! Wonderful adventures and stories you are sharing - thanks! Stunning photogrophy too!!!

Happy travels!

We are getting very inspired and excited ;o) Looking forward to further blogs.

All our love,

Uje, Widge, Alkira and Lilja

Monika & Kevin on

Your blogs are better than any series on TV (except for Master Chef) I can't wait to read/see the next episode of your adventures. I am truly amazed at the generosity of the many strangers you have met on your travels. Love Aunty

Mandy Black on

You two are going so well, covering some of the worlds most beautiful places. Love the cathederals photo's, such an amazing place and to think they hand build these sacred places is just incredible. Great writing girl, so wonderful to follow, really a lovely story and journey for us all. Thank you. Take care or yourselves, lots of hugs.

Camilla. on

Jeg likte virkelig din beskrivelse av mine vafler=)
Håper turen deres går etter planen,og at dere har det bra!


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