Thursday, 5th June, 2014

Country: Sweden, Norway
Distance travelled:
Weather: Raining almost all day

It was a wet and dreary morning which only strengthened our resolve to head to Norway and Oslo today. We drove back to Säffle to fill up with fuel since every report we had read about Norway emphasised the cost of fuel and recommended filling up to the brim before crossing the border. A long stop in the McDonalds carpark was used to do more In-depth research on the attractions in Oslo since all I could remember was that they had a Viking Ship Museum. Mark also picked our parking spot, a type of motorhome aire with electricity, water, showers and free wifi located at a marina. It was a rather hefty fee at 200 Kr (about $36 AUD) but was located fairly centrally. And the showers beckoned…

We had thought to stop just before the border to top the fuel tank up but decided that we wouldn’t be able to fit in enough to make it worth the time so the only stop was to jettison our Swedish potatoes. Norway doesn’t allow their importation, due to disease I assume, and as we feel the same about the import of foreign products into Australia, we felt we should respect their laws.

After our cash flow concerns in Sweden, we stopped at the first town we passed, Mysen, to withdraw some cash. Unfortunately, it appears the British banking systems’ ferocious security will only allow us to withdraw about £200 in cash at any one time. Not a problem in itself until you start adding up the fees and charges most banks serve up along with any international transaction, and this may really hurt. A good thing we will be trying not to spend too much money in Norway. I wonder if it would be cheaper to swap to our Australian accounts for fuel at least.

Rain continued as we drove closer to Oslo. A proportion of the roads around Oslo, and though Norway, are toll roads and we believe, given the lack of toll booths, that the bill will be in the mail. I had spent some time wrestling with the GPS to see if there was some way to avoid the tolls but decided that the detour would probably cost as much in fuel as the tolls. We eventually hit Oslo with our usual great timing at roughly peak hour and into a truly impressive tunnel. I’m not sure of its length as it branched several times which, since our GPS signal had dropped out 500m in, meant that in the confusion of cars and trucks going far faster than we were comfortable with in a tunnel we took the wrong branch. However we got to try again as the GPS kindly took us around and through the entire lot again. That toll bill will be mounting up.

Eventually we reached Sjølyst Marina Bobil Camping (bobil being Norwegian for motorhome), a large aire located within one of the many marinas near Oslo. We drove along two long lines of motorhomes from various countries such as Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Italy, France and Belgium. I even saw two from the United Kingdom, one of which was a bright orange Volkswagen.

Our first move was to try to hook up our EHU cable since we were paying for the privilege of electricity but unfortunately we didn’t have the correct plug to allow us to connect to the european socket. This was going to be one of those times we regretted not buying every little nic-nak suggested on the motorhome forums. Oh well, with our excellent solar panels, we could survive without it.

I pulled my bike out of the garage and set off to find the toilets while there was a brief respite from the rain showers. Typically it was way back at the entrance and we had parked at the far end of the carpark from there. The amenities block required a code to gain entry, so I gamely asked the next person to exit. Luckily for me she understood English and kindly shared this valuable information. The rest of our evening was spent researching our proposed visit to Oslo the next day and looking for further information on what else to do in Norway when we left Oslo.

Oslo - Sjølyst Marina Bobil Camping

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