Tuesday 19.8.2014 417km Total: 4816kmWe leave the cabin at 6.30AM and find our corner in the corridor to just chill and try to pass the time. Now there would be plenty of time to kill because another ferry had taken our slot so we were delayed 90 minutes until we docked.
We hook up with Joakim since we're going on the same ferry from Fredrikshavn to Gotherburg and we actually get to the port 20 minutes before last check-in, new trip record!
Now how they thought when they made a dedicated spot for bikes that leans away from the side stand is beyond me but we finally get all three bikes secured.
There are some sea on this voyage as well but compared to the open seas on the Norröna we don't let that get in the way of a sturdy lunch.
In Gothenburg we say our goodbyes to Joakim and head for home, after about 100kms the rain stops and the rest of the ride home is uneventful.
Monday 28.07.2014 427km Total: 427km
I originally wrote this as a Ride Report on the ADVrider forum and there I named it "Doing it in style".
The reason for that was a Scottish biker named Paul that we met on the ferry over to Iceland.
He intended to spend the whole trip riding the gnarliest F-roads while camping and had brought most of the food he was going to eat with him.
All this was an impressive high rise building on the pillion seat of his BMW 800GS.
Upon hearing that we intended to spend most of, if not all of the trip sharing rooms in hotels or guesthouses he exclaimed (with that awesome Scottish accent that made the Romans so nervous they built a wall): Ahh, you're doing it in style!
I've never really seen it that way since sharing a room we tend to come out of it pretty cheap but I can see how a warm bed and a hot shower can add some flair compared to going full out Bear Grylls.
I do think my mechanic really doubts my sense of style though, he has now called me twice with updates asking what have you done to this motorcycle?
Well more on that later. This is my story and I'm sticking to it:
Me and my travel companion Bear (name changed to protect the guilty) set off from the truck stop were we had agreed to meet at about ten o clock .
With all the gear we were bringing it felt like we were almost as heavily laden as the big rigs at the truck stop.
We had plenty of time to get to the ferry crossing over to Denmark which inevitably led to us mucking about, drinking coffee (just me, but I do drink enough for the both of us) and just generally taking it too slow.
All in all we caught the check-in for the ferry with 60 seconds to spare.
Once across Kattegatt we went straight for the Hotel in Hirtshals.
I had booked it through the Agoda booking site and had no idea how late the reception was open so off we went.
Now, walking into a hotel reception in bike gear probably a bit worse for wear after a long day in the saddle you sometimes don't really get the treatment you deserve (or maybe I'm just a complete asshole and DO get what I deserve, I'll just leave that open to interpretation).
This was one of those places, Hotel Strandlyst obviously thought themselves far to posh to cater to some bearded bikers.
I don't know if it's because of the 90's biker wars or what the problem is but of all the places I've ridden the overall worst treatment I've gotten in hotels is in Denmark.
The clown in the reception claimed no rooms where available, no booking had been made and the booking site which happens to be one of the biggest in the world was completely unknown to him.
We weren't going anywhere with our "discussion" and had no plan B so I called Agoda and asked them to sort it out.
They on the other hand called booking.com which on behalf of Agoda had made the actual reservation.
Apparently THE largest booking site in the world was known even in the great state of Denmark because in fifteen minutes time (at 9.30PM) someone had mysteriously checked out and voila, a room had mysteriously appeared.
I do think we would have heard a thud or seen some sheets tied together and flung out a window had this really happened since there were no rooms in street level and absolutely no one passed us while we sat in the reception the whole time.
As we hauled our luggage to our room I really felt we were off to a bad start but as most times, a warm shower, a cold beer and a hot meal was all it took to cool my blood from boiling point and change my perspective.
In all fairness even though the hotel sucked the restaurant was great. The food was good, the beer was cold and the waitress was cute.
Tuesday-Wednesday 29-30.07.2014 5km Total: 432km
After a sturdy breakfast we ride to the port and park along with all the other bikes, there were still two hours before we were to board so there was plenty of time to take in the atmosphere and scope out the "competition".
There really were all kinds of bikes, everything from small sportsbikes on street tyres, a Gold Wing trike with trailer all up to the full on desertracer-kitted bikes that seemed to be there just as warm-up for Dakar 2015.
After checking in and unloading the gear in the cabin we hit the Taxfree and stock up on necessities before loading up a movie, we had been previously warned that there was little to nothing to do onboard so I had brought my traveling-laptop and portable harddrive filled to the brim.
We eventually get our asses over to one of the restaurants onboard and had some food and the first little taste of the Faroese beer (which in general is the best I've ever had) before we hit the sack.
Pretty pleasant journey thus far but as I was to find out that's just because we had been following the coast of Norway, at about 4AM I wake up because I feel as if someone just chucked me into a tumble-dryer, obviously we had hit the open sea.
I actually felt that I needed to cling to the bed to stop me from falling out so definitely no more sleep for me.
Luckily we had prepaid breakfast and dinner for the whole trip otherwise we probably wouldn't have eaten much, we were both a lite worse for wear thanks to the seas but we eventually dragged ourselves out of bed and hit the breakfast buffé.
The restaurant wasn't exactly crowded when we got there so I guess we weren't the only ones who felt the seas, Bear was a bit worse off than me so he just managed to eat a slice of melon before he threw in the towel and went back to the cabin.
I actually thought I was doing pretty good until I did the mistake of looking up just to see someone further down the restaurant do a rocket-vomit with some poor bastard desperately trying to catch the mess with a barf bag mid-air.
Result: Player 0 - Vomit 1 .
I do my best impression of the Pink Panther and sneak some food for Bear past the restaurant staff when I leave.
Lying down helps a lot when you're feeling seasick so we loaded up another movie on the laptop.
We stay like that until lunchtime, at lunch we meet a Scottish biker named Paul again who we first met on the ferry from Gothenburg.
He introduces us to a Swede called Joakim and a German called Dieter. They were sharing the same cabin on the ferry.
Joakim rode an Africa Twin which gets me a bit nostalgic, it was the bike I had before I traded it in for the Tiger and even though the Tiger is better in every way I must say I do miss the old beast.
Joakim had kitted his bike with the most brutal engine bars I've ever seen (we call it a moose-fence in Sweden) so like Paul he was obviously not planning to stick to the ring-road either.
We hit the Skybar exchanging numbers in case anything should happen on Iceland and drink few beers. A few biking-stories were obviously exchanged as well.
We eventually feel the need for something other than beer so we go to the only restaurant still open only to find that all that is available is sandwiches.
Not great since I have milk-allergy and didn't want to spend the rest of the voyage in the bathroom.
I ask the staff if there really isn't anything else and they say they'll get something from the kitchen (which should have been closed by that time).
The look on the other guys faces (who were chewing on some dry sandwiches) when this goddess of a woman brings me a grilled chicken with oven baked potatoes was absolutely priceless!
That and the fact that the staff on the ferry speaks all languages known to man leaves me with a real good lasting impression of the staff on the M/S Norröna, I swear to god if one of the passengers where to speak Klingon I'm sure there will be someone in the staff that do too.
This is how we spent most of the trip, the movie is The best bar in America btw, great movie!
Chicken! Happy Happy Joy Joy!