Day 0. To start in Moskenes

Posted: July 8, 2012 in Cycling, Norway
Tags: , ,

Alert! Alert! There are some spectacular photos at the bottom of this post.

Admiring the view above Reine

Admiring the view above Reine

I had rejoiced when my luggage and bike was going to be checked through all the way to Bodø. I was looking forward to moseying on to the hotel with just hand luggage, getting a decent sleep, and walking across the road to the airport, and directly boarding the flight.

It was not to be so. The luggage was booked through to Bodø. But, it all had to pass through Norwegian customs first. My bike bags in the Ikea bag arrived. Then my bedraggled bike box slid in through the chute. It was raining heavily outside and the box had seen better days.

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Then the fun began. I put the bike box on a trolley. The bike sagged out the bottom, and the wheel dragged along the ground as I pushed the trolley forward. I took the box off the trolley and taped up the bottom. I then made it through to the customs door. I was flown back to my driving exam days, doing a 7 point turn to navigate through a door which was too narrow for the bike.

I was to check it in one floor higher. It didn’t fit in the lift. I took the bike out of the box, folded the box in half, and transported the trolley with the ikea bag, the bike with the handlebars sideways, and the folded droopy box one by one into the lift with the speedy closing doors. One floor higher I discovered that the checkin was closed for the night. They open again at 5am.
Down again, through another few narrow doors and across the road in the pouring rain to the Radisson hotel: a beacon of peace and luxury in the stress. I opened the box out and left it to dry in the locker room.

I skyped with dad and Valerie before bed. I had asked the wrong God for safe passage to Bodø. Thor was the wrong choice, said Valerie. I dreamed on plans to salvage my droopy bike box.

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The next morning I had a cunning plan ready. Cover the box with the tent tarp and run to the terminal. It had dried out enough, and was ready to be of service to Bodø. Through the narrow doors in three trips and up the lift. My box was too big to be flown, apparently. I had to abandon it. But, the alternative was just as good. Some huge strong plastic bags. A very satisfactory solution. Thanks Norwegian airlines.

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We lifted up above the clouds and flew northwards. Norway is a beautiful country. I felt a lump in my throat looking out of the window at the snowy tundra landscape. I am going to be cycling here!

The view from the plane

The view from the plane

My bags arrived in Bodø. My bike arrived. And… Yes!! It was alive and in good health. I cycled around Bodø, went shopping and bought some emergency rations, and went for a snooze in the sun before the boat trip to Lofoten.

Waiting for the boat in Bodø

Waiting for the boat in Bodø

Waiting for the boat I talked to a nice swiss couple and then a Dutch couple that were cycling from Holland to the north cape. I guess I might run into them a bit, although I suspect they are faster than me. They are also blogging: Esther and Niels’ blog. They had some nice stories to tell in the boat.

The weather has decided to be perfect. There were blue skies and hardly a breath of wind. I cycles south to the picture postcard village if Å. It was quite deserted and very peaceful.

The beautiful town of Å

The beautiful town of Å

Unfortunately the camping ground was closed and so I returned to where the boat had arrived at Moskenes, set up my tent and had dinner.

The camping ground at Moskenes in the late evening sun.

The camping ground at Moskenes in the late evening sun.

It was the perfect evening to take advantage of the midnight sun, and I cycled past the towering mountains like sharp teeth to the mountain overlooking the village of Reine. It is a famous short and steep walk, and no wonder. The views from the top were breathtaking.

The view from above Reine

The view from above Reine

The view from above Reine

The view from above Reine

Admiring the view above Reine

Admiring the view above Reine

The amazing view above Reine

The amazing view above Reine

 

As I said, it was steep.

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It’s now after midnight and still light. Time for bed. I need to be fit for the first real day of cycling tomorrow. I’m a happy chappy. The Lofoten islands are amazing!

Comments
  1. […] Highlight 2: I climbed the almost vertical wall behind the village of Reine on the Lofoten islands to experience the most exquisite panorama. Moskenesøya at midnight. […]

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