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Review 2013

 

Chiltern Run
Click here for Pictures
In June of this year Sharon and I joined Richard Webb and Jonathan Kimble, of MG Travel and the Owners Club, together with 30 other assorted MGs ranging from a 1952 MG TD to a MG ZR and every model in between.  After a 250 mile trip commencing from our home in Aylesbury we joined the rest of the party in the embarkation area for the ferry at Northshields, Newcastle for the 22 hour crossing to Bergen.
Our guides Richard Web and Jonathan Kimber
Queing for the ferry - Newcastle
Having been located right at the front of the ferry it was our dubious honour to lead the party off into the rain that greeted us on our arrival in Bergen to our first hotel, Hotel Rosenkratz in the heart of the city.  From our sixth floor hotel room we had an uninterrupted view over Bergen harbour and over Bryggen, all that remains of the ancient wharf east of the harbour that burnt down in a fire in 1702.  If you look closely at the pictures you will see that the remaining timber buildings are protected by sprinklers located along the ridge lines of the roofs.

We arrived in Bergen during the midst of a folk festival and were treated to hundreds of the young folk dressed as Trolls.  These were arranged in teams racing traditional Viking Dragon boats in the harbour.

A stage with a full pop concert sound system had been erected on floats in the harbour treating all in the market and harbour to a free pop concert.
Bryggen, Bergen viewed from our hotel window
'Trolls' on the quay side Bergen
Once settled in we were met by a contingent of the Norwegian MG Owners club who escorted some 20 or more cars from our party to their headquarters to meet more of their members and their cars for coffee, Danish Pastries, etc.  The rest of the evening was taken up with a tour around their very impressive workshop and meeting room facilities and the comparing the MG experience in Norway and back in the UK.  The evening ended with an escorted run back to our hotel.  The long line of UK registered MGs caused quite a stir as we threaded back through the streets of Bergen.
Bergen MG Owners Club's Head Quarters
Contingent from MG Bergen
The following day was taken up with a 135 mile run up to Skie and to our second hotel.  On the Monday as we prepared to leave on a 182 circular run that would take in Sognefjord, Norway’s deepest fjord, a Norwegian TV crew turned up and several of the party were interviewed, their cars filmed both in the car park and crossing a nearby bridge.  It’s the first time I’ve been filmed checking the oil and water.  Whilst we didn’t see ourselves on the television we did meet others later during the week that had.
About to board the ferry at Ytre Oppedal
Clive Mills interviewed by Norwegian TV
Photo stop
Yet another photo stop
Another photo stop
On the Tuesday we were treated to a 145 mile circular run that included a visit to the Brikdalsbreen glacier that was reached after a steep hour long exhausting climb on foot at 1800 meters.  However the effort proved to be well worth it, the views and scenery at the top were nothing less than breath taking.  For those less energetic ponies and traps where available.  
Brikdalsbreen Glacier
Brikdalsbreen Glacier
Wednesday we packed our bags again for a move to our next hotel in Ullensvang, a trip of another 145 miles during which we traveled above the snow line passing lakes that were still frozen.  During this leg we had a lucky escape. When we came up against a line of stationary cars we learnt that there had been a rock fall up ahead.  The road was cleared after an hour and when we passed the scene we were amazed to see that the falling rocks had completely demolished the Armco safety barrier on the far side of the road.  What a fall of this significance would have done to a car doesn’t bear thinking about.
Rest after a long climb
Frozen lake
Our hotel in Ullensvang was right on the shores of the Sorfjord with magnificent views of the lake available directly from our room.  A helicopter club was also staying at the hotel and five of their two seater machines were parked neatly in line on the quay in front of the hotel.  They made an impressive sight as they flew off line astern during breakfast the following morning.

Grieg, Norway’s national composer, did his stuff in a wooden hut on the banks of the fjord and this was still there in the grounds of the hotel.
View from our window Hotel Ullensvang
Hotel Ullensvang - Grieg's 'composing hut' to the left
Thursday was taken up with a 95 mile drive around the Eidfjord and a visit to the 300 metre plus water fall at Vorrinfosseb, the Hardangervidda Nature Centre and the pewter factory in Kinarvik.

The climb from the fjord floor up onto the Hardangervidda Mountain Plateau included passing through yet moor tunnels cut directly into the rocks forming the mountain ranges.  The most impressive of these formed a cork screw within the mountain its self.

The 145m falls from the top of plateau were nothing else other than spectacular.  
145 m Voringsfossen water falls
145 m Voringsfossen water falls
Friday we packed our bags again to returned to hotel Rozenkratz in Bergen, a trip that added a further 120 miles to the odometer taking in more breath taking Norwegian scenery.

Saturday was a free day in Bergen making ready to return to the ferry for a late afternoon sailing.  Having taken to the hills above the city via the Ulriken Cable Car railway to take in the sights from on high we returned to the market on the quay side that is famous for the sale fish, fruit and traditional fare.  Many of the people manning the stalls and the fishing boats were dressed in traditional dress.  The fisherman so dressed who stopped serving a customer to answer his mobile phone seemed a bit incongruous in this setting.
Traditional fares, Bergen market
Selling fish directly off fishing boats in Bergen harbour
Having boarded the ferry we were treated to two further stops along the Norwegian coast at Haugesund and Stavanger that was still visible in the midnight sun before retuning over night to Newcastle.

On behalf of our fellow MG travelers I would like to thank Richard Webb and Jonathan for all their efforts in organising the trip and for the Norwegians, especially the Norwegian MG Owners club for their hospitality.

The words and few pictures included in this missive do little to describe the scenery and the experience of the previous week.  I have produced a DVD that contains 90 plus photographs taken during the trip that more demonstrates the beauty and serenity of the Fjord Region of Norway.  If anybody would like a copy then drop me a line.

Alan Cumming    
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