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  • #4231
    Peter Jørgensen

    Vi har fra Robert Johnston, Auckland New Zealand modtaget følgende, som jeg syntes vores medlemmer skal læse og hygge sig med.

    A TR adventure in Europe 2015. The Grand Tour of Norway. (R2)

    After the success of the TR EuroMeet and subsequent tour of southern Norway in 2013 Bjarne Refsnes, current President of TR Register, Norway set out to organise a subsequent “Grand Tour of Norway” to take place in June and July this year, if enough people were interested to see a lot more of the land of the trolls.

    Norway is a long thin country, not unlike New Zealand, that stretches from around 57°N at the southern tip all the way to 71° 10’N at Nordkapp (North Cape), a straight line distance of over 1700km (New Zealand, in straight line from North Cape to Stewart Island is around 1500km for comparison)

    The brochure arrived by email in 2014 and illuminated a not to be missed opportunity to see all the bits of Norway north of where we had been in 2013. The timing was planned to coincide with the northern summer solstice in order to really experience 24 hour daylight and to travel as far north as it is possible on a mainland road system anywhere in Earth.

    The journey became even more interesting as, not having a handy TR or another car of a suitable pedigree of my own to really fit this tour, I joined Alan Wilkinson from the UK in his TR6. This is not such an ordinary TR6 as it is powered by a 3L BMW diesel engine and gearbox and has had the rear suspension upgraded to a whole modified assembly from a Jaguar XJ12, as the original TR6 components could not cope with the torque from the BMW power plant.

    The adventure started mid June from Derbyshire, UK with a quick run to Hull to travel overnight on a ferry (P&O) to Rotterdam …only a wee bit up market from crossing Cook Strait. The next day was a serious drive from Rotterdam to Kiel, a distance of around 600km to arrive in time to catch the ferry to Gothenburg that evening. A solid day’s drive but, with the benefit of the German Autobahns travelling at around 150-160km/h, no problem to arrive with time to spare.

    The next ferry (Stena Line) was seriously up market from the NZ Interisland services and, after a good breakfast arrived in Gothenburg to drive 350km north through Sweden to Oslo in Norway. This day delivered great roads, not a lot of traffic, good weather and was scenic. Just before the Norwegian border a detour was taken for about 30km over rough gravel roads to a deserted village, Båstnä, to look at a car graveyard used for dismantling cars left from the 1970s, a time when only car parts could be readily imported into Norway. Everyone took some time to look at the hundreds of cars of all types now buried and rusting in the forest and undergrowth before driving on to Oslo.

    Two nights in Oslo gave everyone time to have a brief look at this rather interesting city at its best as spring turned to summer and then the real adventure began.

    Day 1, Sunday, Oslo to Geiranger, twenty two cars from Norway, Great Britain, Denmark Germany & Switzerland set out. The majority were TR6s with a few TR4s & TR250’s and a brave TR3A driven by Mick & Linda Forey (who joined the Blenheim National Weekend earlier this year). The rest was made up with a Stag, MG Midget, E Type and a BMW cabriolet from the 1990s. It was sunny, top down weather and a journey over a range of mountains and past 3m high banks of snow left behind when the road was last cleared, frozen lakes, great scenery and a lunch stop at Beirostølen for some downhill runs on gravity go-karts.

    Over the days that followed the fleet headed north over some of the most amazing roads, down the Trollstigen (“Trolls’ Ladder” …Norway’s answer to the Stelvio Pass) and then along the famous Atlantic Road to Orkanger. The next day an early start to visit Austrätt Fort at the entrance to Trondheim Fjord. This was built in 1942 during the German occupation in WW2 and has been maintained in an excellent state of preservation. It uses a 3 barrel 28cm gun turret taken from the German battleship Gneisenau which was damaged in Kiel by allied attacks.

    The overnight stop was at Mosjøen followed the next morning by crossing the Arctic Circle and then a 4h 30m ferry voyage from Bodo to the Lofoten Islands, an archipelago off Norway’s North West coast. Two nights were spent in Nusfjord an old fishing village with time out to catch some fish and watch whales in the nearby waters. From here the route headed further north along “The Whale Route” with more great driving roads, tunnels through the mountains and modern bridges or ferries to cross the fjords when there was no tunnel underneath …the last one on this day 37km from Ardenes to Gryllefjord with snow capped mountains everywhere.

    On to Tromso then to Hamn for the night at Senja, a great location that also included a very quick swim in the fjord (about 4-5°C!). Next day drove further north over some more mountains and a lot of serious road works to Alta to prepare for the next evening after a day exploring the local area. From Alta the journey to Nordkapp starting at 22:00 was 240km over a good sealed road through fairly barren undulating territory with light rain but in daylight all “night”. Nordkapp is actually on an island but a 6.7km 2 lane tunnel has been built to join it to the mainland going down to a depth of 212m, to go below the fjord. This joins the road to the main Norway highway system confirming Nordkapp as the most northern place on a main road system.

    01:00, daylight but overcast, some rain and quite cold but everyone got to Nordkapp for a photo session and a quick look around before retracing the route to Alta over the next 2-3 hours. Biggest concern …staying awake and avoiding the reindeer on the road …they are more or less the same colour as the sealed surface.

    The next day left Alta to catch the Coastal Express from Skjervøy south along the coast to Trondheim. 20 cars all loaded into the hold with no problems and then 3 days and nights on this most professionally run service visiting many ports on the way. There are nine ships on this service …at around 10,000 tonnes all slightly smaller than the Cook Strait ferry’s but light years ahead in terms of comfort, cleanliness, food & service and with good cabins too. A ship calls at each of the 22 ports on the route every day …a great journey to add to the bucket list.

    From Trondheim drive back to Oslo, and the next afternoon an overnight ferry to Kiel. This was MV Color Magic…a large (world’s largest cruise ferry?) 75,000 tonne drive on drive off floating hotel with a retail precinct like Dubai Airport and amazing food …they even served Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc in the restaurant. A drive from Kiel to Rotterdam and then the somewhat ordinary P&O ferry back to Hull.

    A not to be forgotten (TRmendous maybe?) TR adventure driving over about 5800 km (including about 60km in tunnels) plus another 2800km over 7 nights on various ferries with a fleet of classic cars. However, not without incident with blocked fuel lines, the odd puncture, under-body gravel rash, a couple of shock absorbers that had to be repaired by welding, fuel pump failures, overdrive incidents, carburettor dilemmas, pending gearbox catastrophes and, surprise surprise, the odd Lucas PI system misbehaving. But it was worth every minute of it! And, you may ask how did the diesel TR6 work out? About 45mpg overall and amazing acceleration …very handy for passing.

    Images: Crop etc to suit

    British cars under the German gun at Austrätt Fort

    Panoramic view of Nusfjord

    Part of the car graveyard at Båstnäs

    Downhill on the gravity go-kart …heaps of fun!

    IMG_6884.JPG & IMG_6885.JPG
    The TR3 with the flat tyre (Linda & Mick Forey who were at NW2015)

    15 of the cars on the tour …nearly all TRs in this view at Nusfjord village in the Lofoten Islands.

    A well laden British TR6 on a coastal road well north of the Arctic Circle

    At Nordkapp, 01:00 in the midnight “sun”. Kick & Linda’s TR3, Alan Wilkinson with his diesel TR6 and others celebrating the moment

    These images are stored on DropBox: (Just bypass sign in window)

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