The trip to Norway, Part 2: Dead cars

On our way home from Norway we decided to stop by a place I’ve read about online. It’s the old wrecking yard of Båstnäs. It’s located in Sweden close to the border of Norway and was originally run by two brothers. They collected numerous cars from the 1950s and on, and ran the whole dang thing as a scrap-yard. Post-war Norway had a lack of spare parts and easy money was to be made. The brothers grew old and the site started to deteriorate as they didn’t reclaim parts from the cars. Both brothers have since died and the only memory of their business is the hundreds of old wrecks, now slowly being reclaimed by nature.

It’s free to visit the site but you’re expected to be respectful. This is after all private property, so don’t go plucking parts off the cars. I personally feel the site should be treated as you would a cemetery. Watch, enjoy but don’t mess with anything. This is a place of remembrance and reflection. Like elephant graveyards, these cars came here to die in peace/pieces.

The trip to Norway, Part 1: Nature

This will be a two-part since it’s just too dang much to fit into one post. Me and girlfriend went on a roadtrip to Norway. The plan was vague – basically end up in Bergen at some point and then make it home. How we got there was up in the air since we decided to take every day as it came. Thus, we made no bookings for lodging, no plans for driving each day. Just roadtrippin’ it. I brought cameras and it was spectacular.

First leg of the journey went from our home in Södertälje to Oslo. Apart from a short stop to say hi to friends and stopping at KFC (one of only two KFC’s in Sweden) to eat chicken, we motored to Oslo pretty much non-stop. We arrived at the hotel we had booked during the drive and were mostly too tired to take in Oslo except for a short walk around the blocks.

The next leg of the trip was from Oslo up along the E6, final goal was to be Ålesund but as usual nothing was decided. We passed Lillehammer, and since the E6 goes in some wildly scenic country, the drive was often interrupted in order to let us jump out of the car and shout “AMAZING!” at the scenery. What should’ve been a 6-7 hour drive quickly turned into a 9+ hour drive. We pulled into Vestnes for dinner and on the spot decided to make camp there rather than drive another hourplus to Ålesund, which would have compeltely drained our energy and mood. This was a smart move.

Next day we headed into Ålesund. First off to the Alnes-lighthouse. The lighthouse itself was interesting, but the drive out was even more so. Loads of tunnels literally going under the seabed between the island. Weather was gray but it was nice and warm and the scenery as usual was spectacular. After we got tired of hanging out in near the ocean, we drove back into Ålesund and walked around town for a while. When we felt satiated with the city, the car was pointed south. The final stop wasn’t decided but around Geiranger we decided to find lodging. We rented a room from a local and enjoyed sleeping to the sound of Geirangers sound and numerous waterfalls.

When we awoke, we quickly loaded our gear into the car and took off south. The final stop was decided to be Bergen-ish, or somewhere around there. Energy was good and we got an early start, so most of the day was spent on the road. We made numerous stops, especially in the highlands to take in scenery, and had fun driving up and down the serpentine roads. Since our energy was good, we got all the way to Bergen where we arrived at a hotel we’d scouted during the trip down.

Next day we drove into Bergen proper and walked around the city. We were a bit overwhelmed by the noise and crowds, so we didn’t spend more than a few hours in Bergen.

When we felt finished with Bergen, we loaded our car and headed south. The original plan was to return to Oslo and take in some sights, but we realized that cities wasn’t really what we wanted. Museums and pavement didn’t hold our interest, and instead we aimed for Drammen, a smaller city south of Oslo. We found art on walls there, and a very relaxing and cozy hotel room.

With Drammen done, we decided to head back home and set the GPS for Sweden…