Tour Reports

By Gerry Casey

Nordkapp (North Cape) has been a mystical place for me since I was a boy. I remember reading a book about a car journey from North Cape to the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. It was probably written in the early ‘50s. I never dreamed then that I would travel there myself by motorcycle just weeks away from my 70th birthday.

An Irishman at the Top of Europe

The scenery at Sildpollnes, Sjocamp, Austnesfjord, and Lofoten was just out of this world.


Dublin – Oslo – Köping, Sweden


Gerry Casey

Gerry Casey

Saturday, July 17, is “D” day. Having checked in online, I derive great pleasure passing the queue. My luggage is packed on the bike, so I’m only carrying a small haversack. I join Peter, a fellow biker on the same trip, and while chatting, we arrive at Rygge Airport in no time. There, we share a taxi with Walter, another biker, to meet up with Derek at the shipping truck. In little more than an hour after arriving in Oslo we are heading east toward Sweden. Unfortunately, after traveling 250 miles, and with darkness falling, the campsite we try is fully booked. We ride on to Köping and get a room at the Best Western. Luckily, we just check in and the heavens open.


Köping – Umea, Sweden


Route Map

Route Map

The sun wakes us early, and we pack the bikes around 6 a.m. Breakfast isn’t until 8, so we make our way down to a petrol station nearby to fill up the bikes first. The plan is to head north along the Swedish coast, taking our time and enjoying the spectacular scenery. We travel up the E4 and pass through Sundsvall, and we wait for Derek to catch up before moving on to Umea. We get a cabin at a campsite there for approximately $40 each. The food is good, and there are great facilities for children.


Umea – Vittangi, Sweden

Leaving Umea at 8 a.m., we are back on the E4 until we arrive in Tore where we hit E10 to Vittangi. Well into our journey, we have passed the 1,000-mile mark and reach the Arctic Circle. We take it as a good omen when we sight our first reindeer along the roadside. We stay in a comfortable cabin again, and the farther north we go, the cheaper they become. The Midnight Sun is becoming obvious.

Morning in Sweden

One of our early morning starts in Sweden.


Vittangi – Honningsvag, Norway

Every day on this trip is special, but the ride today on deserted roads from Kautokeino to Alta is out of this world. Lots of twisties keep me on my toes, and riding behind Walter is truly an exhilarating experience. To the Deauville’s credit, it keeps pace with the other bikes without complaint. The stretch from Alta to Honningsvag is slow with intermittent rain. The weather isn’t ideal for camping, and since we are only a short distance from Nordkapp, we opt to spend the night at a hotel.


Honningsvag – Nordkapp – Burfjord, Norway


The North Cape

Erected in 1978, the Globe monument has become the symbol for the North Cape.

Peter is up around 5 a.m. It’s daylight, so I join him on the few miles to Nordkapp. There’s a cold Arctic wind blowing, but thankfully the rain has stopped. We arrive so early that there is no one to collect the hefty admission charge. We have the place to ourselves and photograph the Nordkapp Sundial Monument. With the icy wind still blowing, we return to the hotel for a warm breakfast before commencing the long trip south. The E6 is the only road this far north. Passing through Alta again, we notice a beautiful old house located on the water’s edge in the village of Burfjord. The rates are very reasonable, and Walter is also able to borrow a rod from the lovely proprietors to do a spot of fishing from the jetty across the road. Derek and I take a good long walk to exercise some weary leg muscles.


Burfjord – Sortland (Lofoten)

Despite rain today, we motor toward Narvik. Walter bought his own telescopic rod and is fishing in the rain. Derek finds accommodations in Sortland, which is on the Lofoten Islands and can be reached by a high suspension bridge. There, we shop, and we feast on fried chicken, mixed vegetables, and spuds.


Svolvaer Lofoten

We travel to Svolvaer Lofoten in sunshine, and Derek locates a stunning campsite on a fjord. Small problem—no cabins. With nothing available until the following day, our only option is to pitch our tents for one night. The spectacular scenery convinces us. Everything goes well for the first couple hours, but since we are still north of the Arctic Circle, the cold hits with a vengeance. We put all the riding gear back on, and we are very glad to see the morning. We spend time exploring more of Lofoten and discover the Lofotr Viking Museum at Borg. It is well worth a visit. Later we dine on traditional Viking food with mead (a mix of wine and honey) to wash it down.

Tundra region

Still in the Tundra region and heading south through the treeless landscape of the Arctic.


Svolvaer – Bodø

We catch the ferry from Svolvaer to Skutvika on the mainland. The two-hour jaunt features jagged mountain peaks rising out in all directions. From there, we hop on the 81 to E6 to Fauske and detour to the Norwegian Aviation Museum at Bodø, where a WW2 Hurricane fighter plane sits by the roadside. As I mount the bike again, my GPS starts to give me trouble. Luckily Derek’s is still working, but we do find that being so far north of the Arctic Circle, all our GPSs are acting strangely. South of Bodø we secure accommodations in a house where we each have our own room, and the owner even provides us with WiFi. Dinner is another fine home-cooked meal to sustain us weary bikers.


Bodø — Trondheim

The weather is fine and prompts Peter to make another early morning departure for Trondheim. Derek and I cover 435 miles to a campsite south of Trondheim. Luckily, the weather holds for us on the journey south to Oslo.

WW2 Hawker Hurricane Mk 11 fighter

A WW2 Hawker Hurricane Mk 11 fighter at the Norwegian Aviation Museum in Bodø.


Trondheim – Geiranger — Lillehammer

Today’s trip involves catching two ferries to get to Geiranger Fjord, one of Norway’s most popular tourist destinations. There are quite a few hairpins approaching the village, but the views are awe inspiring. We meet up with Walter later in Lillehammer and relate stories about our different incidents en route.



We’re happy to take a break from the bikes today and enjoy the short time remaining in Norway. Walter and I rent a boat and go fishing. Derek goes shopping and gets a disposable barbeque, so we have chicken, sausage, tomatoes, and cucumbers with fresh strawberries and custard for dessert.


Lillehammer — Oslo

Derek is first to leave for Oslo as he wants to ensure all is in order to reload the bikes on the truck. We head out shortly afterwards and meet at the Marche Rygge Vest Airport Hotel. We load the bikes and go to have our last coffee together before Derek catches the ferry at Gothenburg. Our flight doesn’t depart until tomorrow.




The total roundtrip mileage of 3,464 miles in just less than two weeks came as a surprise. Every mile of the ride was enjoyable. This trip was one of those all-too-rare experiences that gave me the feelings and excitement of being a 10-year-old boy on his first bike riding around Scandinavia.


Route Rating



Spectacular, mostly in Norway. Sweden is used as a quick means of getting to Nordkapp with more relaxing riding on the journey south.



Norway is crammed with historical gems, especially pertaining to WW2. Also plenty of places dating back to Viking times.



Both countries have very strict rules on speeding. One Norwegian claims he was tagged at only 2 mph over the limit and was fined $100.



Lots of curves on the secondary roads. Had one of my best riding days ever!


Road Conditions

Excellent, except where you encounter road work. They seem to dig up quite long stretches (10 miles) at a time.


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