Norway and The One Where I Felt Like Ross

After a small break in Wakefield, we were ready to set off again. I kept seeing signs too! I’m not actually quite sure if I do believe in them really, but during the ten days we were in Yorkshire, I kept seeing, hearing and reading things about Norway. The main one was being stricken/whaooed by a big landscape painting in the first ground floor room when visiting the Leeds City Art Gallery – Two huge cliffs overlooking what I thought was either a river or a lake. It’s only once I read the notes (on the side of the painting) that I discovered it was the picture of one of the most famous Norwegian fjords, Sognefjord painted by Adelsteen Normann (1848-1918), a prolific Norwegian artist. I had read about it the day before and cornered the page in our guide book! It was really time to go.


The Sognefjord, Norway by Adelsteen Normann

Getting to Norway

After looking at different ferry routes and weighing up costs inc. petrol & stopover depending on the itinerary, we decided to go for Hull-Rotterdam and drive from Holland to Hirtshals in Danmark to catch a ferry to Kristiansand on the South East coast of Norway. This route was the cheapest option even though it included much more driving than if we had done Harwich-Esbjerg. We were saving £250 just on ferry cost alone.

We finally made it to Norway on Friday 23 August and were amazed by its beauty right from the start –after driving through “flat Holland”; boring, but speedy autoban in Germany; then pretty Danmark, Norway’s scenic landscape beat them all! I know though that you cannot judge a country just by driving through it on one of its motorways – Germany and Holland do have many pretty corners which we’ll discover at some point next year.

First stop – Egenes campsite, Flekkefjord

Back in Wakefield, I had looked at maps of Norway and read about places we could go to and visit. One of the first things I had read about was the scenic coastal road from Flekkefjord to Egersund, the Rv44. This was also en route to Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock) - straight harsh cliff offering a sheer drop overlooking the Lysefjorden fjord – Jamie had told me a lot about it in the past years. 


View from the harbour at Sogndalstrand, a small pretty village on Rv44.

So we headed for Egenes campsite, 5km off Flekkefjord – a small pretty port town on the South West coast of Norway. The old part of town with its beautiful & traditional Norwegian houses dates back from the 18th and 19th centuries. Parked just in front of the Serula lake for just Kr 150 (about £15) with full facilities (hook up, water, shower & toilet, washing sinks and even free wifi) felt great – camping in Norway was actually cheaper or about the same price as in the UK!... 


Jamie canoeing off Serula lake by the campsite.
Well... I’d forgotten to read the small “Camping” section of our guide book and the fact that one has to pay for their shower in most campsites in Norway!

Working out the shower or the one where I felt like Ross

Each shower has a meter; the price you have to put in depends on the campsite. In Egenes, it was 3Kr per min, but you had to use it for a minimum of 3mins so 9Kr. Even though Jamie had already been in when I went, we hadn’t discussed how it fully worked... Not that there’s a science to it really! But as soon as I was about to put coins in the meter I realised I should have asked him whether turning the tap off would stop the meter or whether it’d continue and I’d waste my money!

I was educated in a way where you always had to save money and not be wasteful – turning the tap off when applying shampoo and shower gel was a must. As I didn’t know whether the meter would stop, I put a smaller amount than what I’d originally thought; 20Kr. I’d obviously never timed myself in the shower or more accurately I’d never timed the length of time I let the hot water run to wash off shampoo etc... 20Kr = 6 mins was way too long. I then only put 10 Kr, only to realise that that again was too long. Unfortunately, then I put 5Kr thinking I’d try to save money... By that point, you may have noticed that I’d completely forgotten about the minimum fee, which meant that I had to add more money and as I didn’t have another 5Kr coin, I ended up adding 10Kr on top. My first Norwegian shower costs me 45kr (about £4.80)!

By that point, I actually felt a bit like Ross in that episode of Friends where his spray tanning session goes horribly wrong and end up badly orange/brown. Like him, I felt stupid, but most of all, stolen!

I didn’t want to leave it like this though and be beaten by a meter!  So I had a last shower before we set off and only used 9Kr! I did think I was being clever this time, only to find out that it wasn’t just quite right as I had to finish washing my scrub off with cold water. It was only for another few seconds, but there was no way I was going to add another coin in this “coin eating machine”!

Comments

  1. Sounds magic ... money for a nice warm shower is a good investment though £5 is pretty steep. What about the food ... is it all weird fish and funny beer? Good tip about going via Hull to save money ... I knew there must be some reason to go to Hull. Have you done any cycling yet - I want the full gen on the cycle routes especially if the mythical North Sea circuit exists.

    lovely to hear from you, Ken

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