Route to the blog:
After just a few minutes on board the world-famous Hurtigruten ship, which will take us from Trondheim to Nesna in a good 17 hours, we feel right at home.
On our exploration tour we discover, among other things, a sauna with panoramic windows, a coffee machine with free coffee (very important for Beni 😊), comfortable seating with a view and last but not least two whirlpools on the deck of the ship 😍!
Since almost all passengers on board have booked an all-inclusive cruise and stay on board for several weeks, there is some kind of activity every few hours, such as a meal or a lecture about Norway including a language course or information and pictures about the area that awaits the passengers the next day.
On the ship we certainly lower the average age by a few years, the vast majority are pensioners from Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
With these options and spectacular views, the hours fly by. It was time to look for a place to sleep, because if you travel less than 23 hours, you don’t need a cabin. So we made ourselves comfortable in a small conference room, which was not used during the night, and tried to sleep a few more hours, because our ship was scheduled to dock in Nesna at 6 am.
We quickly realized that below our “sleeping place” was placed the ship’s docking bridge. So we had a free full body vibrational massage at every port, whether we wanted to sleep or not.
So we reached Nesna on time and without sleep at 6 am.
For our “Tips and Tricks” box, we have the following tips regarding the Hurtigruten ship:
The website is not very clearly arranged, so first the most important page:
Here, as the link suggests, you can book a trip from port to port, similar to rail transport. Since you can book such a partial route without a cabin, the price is a lot cheaper than if you book one of the package tours! However, as soon as the trip lasts longer than 23 hours, you must book a cabin.
So we paid for both of us incl. bicycles from Trondheim to Nesna (17 hours) about CHF 300.
Attention: The bicycles must be booked separately, either on site at the port or who wants to be completely sure calls the German hotline (+49 4087409353). Unfortunately, you can not select them on the website.
You should bring your own food/drink on board, because a normal beer costs about CHF 11.- on the ship.
There is a luggage room where you can store your bicycle bags and they are also accessible during the ride.
In Nesna, back on our bicycles, the dry, warm and luxurious fun is then already over. Completely overtired, we look for the first opportunity to pitch our tent and catch up on a few hours of sleep at the usual 12 degrees and rain.
When a few hours later a voice woke us up with the words “Hello hello, you can’t stay here!” we suspected bad things.
Thus, in the country with the Everyman’s Right, we actually overlooked a tiny little camping prohibition sign in the wee hours of the morning.
So we packed up our seven things in the meanwhile pouring rain and the completely marshy meadow. On the property (a kind of recreational park with fireplace, etc.) we were then fortunately allowed to seek refuge in a hut and even spend the night in there. Even though there was hardly a ray of light in the cold/damp hut with its small windows, we were very grateful for the roof over our heads.
We hope you had a pleasant August 1 / National Day 🇨🇭!
The next day we blinked into the sunlight when leaving the hut, is this a hallucination 😄? No, in fact, the forecast was for the sun to shine for the next 1 1/2 days.
Thus, we experienced a beautiful stretch of road along a fjord. This meant taking a detour of over 50 km, but it was more than worth it. We were rewarded with a fantastic view. When we then found a campsite directly on the beach and could even take a refreshing bath, we weighed ourselves in the 7th heaven. Then at 1 a.m. our beauty sleep was abruptly ended when the tent fluttered around our ears. Almost all the pegs have come loose from the sand due to the sudden gusts of wind and we had to organize stones and wood for fastening in a night and fog action.
After breakfast, we quickly set off, because we wanted to take full advantage of the sunny hours until noon. Unfortunately, Nicole was already not feeling so well at this point, every climb felt like it was a mountain pass to overcome. After the chance meeting on the ferry with a friend of Nicole, then nothing went. So we decided to pitch the tent a few meters after the ferry station.
It can’t go on like this – for the third time in a short time, Nicole has a fever and severe bouts of fatigue. We decide to consult a doctor, which is not so easy here in the far north, as we will realize…
First, we check with the insurance company to find out how to proceed. More about our travel insurance under Tips and Tricks (How do I deregister from Switzerland as a Swiss citizen? What are the advantages?).
When we told the friendly employee our location, he just said we are not in the ideal place to get sick. He could not find a doctor nearby, we should best ask the locals for advice.
So Beni headed to the nearest supermarket and got the info that in Norway you have to call 116 117 and then you will be connected to the appropriate doctor on duty in the respective region. The first problem was that the number can only be reached via a Norwegian SIM card. After several attempts, Beni burst his collar and called the emergency number 113, where we were then connected further.
We were redirected two more times until we finally ended up with a doctor. Since the practice was 2 1/2 hours by bicycle from us, we asked for an appointment for the next day. This would give us enough time to get there. The doctor said we would not need an appointment if we can still ride a bike 😂! We told him that if we had another option, we would like to avoid that. We didn’t find the whole situation so funny, because there are definitely more pleasant things than lying in the tent in pouring rain (partly we could hardly understand him, it was so loud in the tent) and sick in the middle of nowhere. Finally, after more than 2 hours on the phone, we got an appointment.
Nicole felt even worse the next day, the case was clear, we had to organize a ride somehow. Beni drove to the ferry station, where he beckoned the first camper to join him. He described our situation and the 5-member, extremely nice family from Holland immediately agreed to give us a ride. After a mere 30-minute drive and an exciting exchange of travel stories, they delivered us to the practice. We are always happy to have our sack knife souvenirs with us as a thank you in such cases – the children were very happy about it.
By giving us a lift, we reached the practice before our appointment, perhaps that was our great good fortune, because we got an earlier appointment with Artur, a surgeon from Oslo who works here in the practice on a temporary basis. With him we felt understood and he tried to diagnose with the rudimentary equipment he had available. He could not find anything abnormal and ordered various further laboratory tests. Since we had to wait for the results and there was no thought of continuing our journey anyway, we still had to find a place to stay. We were helped by the practice nurse, who booked us a room in the next best “hotel”. The stay hurt twice, because each night cost us CHF 100.- in a very simply equipped room with possibility to cook outside in the rain on our stove 😅. For shopping, Beni had to take the ferry each time and then ride another 10 minutes by bicycle to the store. All in all, a 2-hour ride.
In case we need help, Artur has given us his private number. Since Beni was bored, he asked Artur if he could come fishing with him. After Beni had been on two fishing trips with him, a good friendship developed and Artur even offered us to move into his temporary apartment (next to the practice) 😮!
How incredibly nice, we are allowed to stay and eat with him for free. In the evening we cook together and it is always very funny with him.
So Nicole was able to recover almost completely in a whole 1 1/2 weeks without us having to use up our entire monthly budget for that time. We are now trying to continue tomorrow (Sunday) and in small steps still get to the Lofoten. The weather forecast also looks a lot better than before.
❤️ Many thanks to all the people who helped us and especially Nicole in this situation so much! ❤️
For even more insight into our everyday cycling life, check out our latest video: