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Sweden to Norway Tour 2002

Cykelspåret' - Gothenburg to Halden


Having arrived in Gothernburg on the ferry from Fredrikshaven we spent the next day looking around Gothernburg but in the evening realised that Frank's front hydraulic brake was leaking. After stripping it all down and refilling it we realised that it was the joint in the master cylinder that had been fitted incorrectly at manufacture and we need to find a Magura dealer for a replacement, unfortunately the next day was Sunday, so we had to stay another day in Gothernburg, what a good start to the trip!

Gothenburg - Tollenäs 5/8/02
Spent the morning ringing around several bike shops in Gothenburg, trying to find someone who could mend Frank's Magura brakes. Ended up having to buy a complete new set, as no one had any spares. We fitted them there and then out side the shop (they worked fine and she was glad of them later on the steep descents). We eventually got going and headed north out of Gothenburg towards Kungläv where we crossed over the river Nordre with good views of the Bohus Fortress and continued up quiet roads to Jörlanda where we joined up with the 'Cykelspäret' and continued up via St Hoga to Tollenäs where we camped for he night next to the Hakefjord. A bright warm sunny day with a slight wind.

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Tollenäs - Malo 6/8/02
Woke to a bright sunny morning and soon found ourselves cycling through some lovely wooded and rugged coastal scenery and on to a round of island hopping. Firstly crossing the Almön suspension bridge on to Tjorn and then north on to Orust passing through Varekil, Tengneby, Ellös to Morlanda where we caught the small vehicle ferry which took us the short distance across the Koljö fjord onto the island of Malo. Here after a short ascent over a small rise we found a very nice campsite, with the camping near to the waters edge, there was no hesitation but to stop for the night and we were soon cooled down by an icecream from the campsite kiosk.

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Malo - Lysekill 7/8/02
Woke up to a very still sunny morning and set off after a leisurely breakfast. The route along Malo and Flaton islands was really beautiful as we cycled around wooded inlets and coves. Again it was a small vehicle ferry at Persang that got us back on to the mainland at Dragsmark where we passed through pleasant contry lanes to Fiskebäckskill which was quite an interesting town with beautifully coloured timber framed house terraced on the hill side over looking the sea. from there we caught a small passenger ferry to Lysekill. When we arrived in Lysekill we stopped at the tourist information office to ask where the nearest bike shop as I needed a replacement bike stand.. Having purchased a replacement we headed for the nearest campsite. It started to lamp it down with rain just after we arrived at the campsite, it rained so hard that within minutes there were huge puddles across the campsite. Fortunately we hadn't started putting up our tent and were able to shelter in the kitchen of the ameinities block. At least when rain eventually stopped the puddles showed us where not to put our tent up.

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Lysekil - Rorvik 8/8/02
Whilst we had been in the Tourist Information office in Lysekill I had picked up a local district brochure showing various places of interest, one of which were some ancient rock carvings at Backa just north of Lysekill? As it was on the 'Cykelsparat' we thought we'd have a look. Whilst we were climbing up a hill to get to the site I was conscious of a cyclist coming up behind me "hello" it was another tourer from Belgium and we stopped and had a long chat about the route. They were travelling north to south along the 'Cykelsparat' , they were complaining that there where no maps of the route and they kept missing the signs, we weren't supprised as they were working off a small map from a brochure. We showed them our map and suggested places where they could buy them. They thought we were going in the same direction, but I said we were going to have a look at some rock carvings. We were quite supprised that they weren't interested and they went on their way, well l suppose it's not everyones cup of tea. The ancient rock carvings were just off the road and were carved into the glacier smoothed rock some 2000 years ago but had been recently picked out in red paint to make them stand out. There were fascinating pictures of ancient boats, animals and warrior gods with large calve muscles. These were just the first of many such carvings that the Bousland area is famous for and that we would see later at Tanum.
At Skärholmen we stopped at a stone cutting yard which had a nice little cafe and interesting art gallery complete with ancient stone cutting saw. We made a slight detour of the 'Cykelsparat' to make our way to a campsite at Rorvik, on the way we passed a delightful church at Svenneby which had a beautifully painted ceiling and an unusual bell tower which was not on the church but situated on a cliff behind the church.

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Rorvik - Tanumshede 9/8/02
The campsite was right next to the reconstructed Viking village of Hornbore by and after striking camp spent the morning visiting it. Although not as big as some of the ones we had visited in Denmark it was quite nicely done, with its own little harbour complete with its own reconstructed Viking boats. We cycled on to Hamburgsund and eat our lunch on the harbour overlooking the island of Hamburgo. Our next stop was Fjallbacka a small pleasant fishing town where we cycled down a steep hill to the harbour to have a look around and after suitable refreshment, then had the pleasure of slogging back up the hill to get back out and on our way to Tanumshede.On the way we visited some more rock carvings at litsleby.

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Tanumshede - 10/8/02
Due to the As there were so many more rock carvings in the area we decided to spend a day in the area. We started in the morning with the carvings at Fossum, Balken and Varlös before our visit to the Tanums museum of rock carvings which gave an interesting insight into how the Bohuslän carvings compare with other rock carvings around the world. In the afternoon we visited the carvings at Aspeberget and Vitlycke finishing the day at the Vitlycke museum which was only a few hundred yards from our campsite. On getting back to our tent we were starving and quickly made tea, it was only when looked for the folding bucket to do the washing up that I realised it was missing and remembered that I took it to the toilet block to empty it in the morning. I must have left it there. I quickly rushed over to the toilets but it was no where to be seen, I checked with the campsite owner to see if he migt have found it but no someone must have pinched it!!! Oh well never mind.

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Tanumshede - Strömstad 11/8/02
We woke to a clear blue sky morning and after the excitement of all the ancient rock carvings yesterday it was time to get ourselves back under way. we quickly stopped at the town centre to find some gas, and luckily found a ironmongers/DIY shop that had several resealable cylinders. The 'cykel sparät' took us north through some pleasant rolling farm land to Lur, from there we headed NE to meet the 164. At the junction we passed 2 cycle tourers who were having lunch under the shade of a tree, we said "hello" and gave them a wave as we past. We must have been climbing steadily since we left Tanumshede as we found ourselves on a lovely down hill stretch which went on for about 4km until it flattened out and a convenient bus shelter with seats in the shade beckoned us for lunch. No sooner had we sat down but there was a "Hello" and a wave from the couple we had seen earlier as they past by! It wasn't long before we had reached Skee and were crossing the busy E6 to whend our way through the back roads to the 18th century spa resort of Strömstad where we had the choice of 3 campsites. We past the first one at Stare and gave it a miss as it was very open with little shade from the hot sun, the second one was very close to Strömstad and looked busy, we decided that we needed to go food shopping in Strömstad so we would do that on the way through and see what the site at Selläter was like just north of the town. The Selläter site proved to be a nice site with good facilities and some trees for welcome shade as the day had been very hot.

Strömstad - Halden 12/8/02
Woke to an overcast and muggy morning and set off for our last day in Sweden. Our route took us past the Iron age ship shaped burial site at Blomsholm, which reminded us of similar ones that we had seen in Denmark. After the passing the small airfield at Nasinge it started raining which in some respects would have been a welcome relief from the heat of the last few days had it not still been so warm. It was so sticky and sweaty in waterproofs that in the end we took them off. we eventually reached Svinesund and had an Interesting crossing over the border into Norway, as the road was a narrow dual carriaqe way with a lot of heavy traffic and a steep pull up hill, were we were very glad to see the turning to Halden. By the time we reached Halden we were fairly tired and couldn't believe it when werealised the only campsite was at the old Fort on top of the big hill above the town! Well it was bottom gear all the way up and seemed to go on for ages. Ten minutes after we had arrived it started to rain as we were putting the tent up, we hurried to complete our pitching and just got all our gear in when it preceeded to rain in torrents for 20mins. A Dutch couple who were camped opposite must have taken pity on us, as after it had stopped raining they brought over this huge pan of spaghetti bolognese, the dutch lady said that she had made too much and would we like some?, well we had two huge helpings on our plates and still there was a fair amount left, I think she had been cooking for nine! It was very tasty and most welcome as we had had a long day and were quite tired and hungry.

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Halden - Rest day 13/8/02
Decided on a rest day and spent the day visting the tourist office to decide on our route in Norway and the train station to organise our train to Bergen via Oslo.

Halden - Oslo 14/8/02
Caught our train to Oslo and who should we meet on the train but the couple who we had past several times on their way to Strömstad. They were actually from Germany and had been doing the 'Cykel spärat' but had started on the North Sea route along the Norway coast but had had some difficulties navigating, due to missing signs and had run out of time so had decide to catch a train to Oslo to be in time for their ferry back to Germany. When we arrived in Oslo we had several hours to spare before our sleeper train to Bergen so we decided to have a look around Oslo, it gave us an opportunity to buy a new folding bucket to replace the one we had lost at Tanumshede, every cloud has a silver lining as Ortlieb had improved the design as the new one came with handles, which was much easier to use! Early that evening we caught the sleeper train to Bergen.

On to Bergen through the Eksingadalen valley to Voss