from kayj_prod 2015 trip (above)............
I'm back! Well, I got back mid-day on Saturday and then headed straight out for a gig at 3pm, so was quite a hectic day. A strange coincidence that the client happened to be Norwegian!
I spent yesterday editing about 500 photos down to the 190 I have kept on my computer and the 40 highlights I have posted to Facebook. Maybe just a select few here!
Elsie behaved perfectly and any problems were either predictable or mine. I had one morning where she wouldn't start, having been out in the rain... just left her to dry while I spent more time in the hotel pool. Then there was the extra 154 miles due to me leaving the fuel cap at a petrol station! Maybe things are rattling a little more, but considering some of the roads travelled up in the mountains, she has done fantastically well.
My prediction of 3500 miles was almost spot on (well, I suppose if I hadn't have left the fuel cap behind, it would have been a little less). Fuel wise, my average over the whole trip looks like 50.5MPG! My best tank was 55.5. This was roof off but a steady 60MPH mainly, but also included 2nd 3rd gear sprints up hair pin mountain roads! My worst tank was 45.6 which correlates with my second worst tank; both through Germany doing 70+. So 3544 miles on 319.2l is pretty damn good!
Elsie got lots of attention throughout the whole journey. Of course, the further north I went, the more surprised people were by my point of origin, but people were taking photos of the car on ferries, in car parks and all sorts. I could hear people asking each other 'what is it' and then recognising the badge. "Ahh, Lodus."
The most boring part of the journey had to be the section from Rotterdam up to Odense in Denmark. It is pretty featureless. I was also a little underwhelmed by the Oresund bridge... Maybe it would have been more exciting if I hadn't been over it in a train last year, but I thought the transition between the tunnel section and the bridge section would be a little more thrilling.
The journey became more exhilarating once north of Lillehammer. Gradually the scenery became more and more stunning and I had to keep stopping to take in huge vistas. I was also pretty blessed with the weather so I had to stop often for water. (I topped up Elsie once, though I think she was just at her normal level which seems to sit just above the minimum mark anyway.)
Trollstigen was blissfully quiet as I headed up. I would have loved to have heard the sound from the bottom as I headed up. I wasn't being too aggressive with the throttle and brakes considering the whole journey, but I certainly enjoyed the road! (Clearly other people with a lot more horse power than me enjoy leaving Ss all the way up!) I met one HGV on another mountain section and I have no idea how we got past each other. I swear I had half a tyre left on the tarmac as there was too great a drop off on to the verge for me to leave the road. Must have been a couple of centimetres between the lorry and me and the lorry and the armco.
The Lærdal tunnel was a bizarre experience. 15 miles in a tunnel does rather feel like a journey through the earth. I was actually able to see it from both directions as the next tunnel on my route to Bergen was closed. I will never ever complain about detours here again. The detour route took about an additional 3 hours... BUT allowed me to see another mountain pass where I was driving with snow on either side of the road and massive blocks of ice still floating in the water.
Two things I was very glad to have done to the car before this trip. Firstly, I had my seats refurbished with Probax design at Allon White. The seats felt firm but not hard and the shaping to the back really helped with hours behind the wheel day after day. I would really recommend any S1 owners with standard seats to get this done. Secondly, I fitted the VW really to be able to alter the intermittent wipe speed. There was a lot of fine drizzle at altitude so being able to put a slow wipe on was invaluable.
Three slightly hairy moments: One night after a particularly hot day I was struggling to find a camp site and was getting really tired, I did a U turn and forgot to drive on the right for 50 m or so! It took a worryingly long time for me to work out why the car coming towards me was on the 'wrong' side. Second hairy moment joining a main route from a slip road and a small car was completely invisible in all my mirrors and hidden by the rear shell 'buttress'. Fortunately the driver was alert and moved over. Third hairy moment was on the ferry returning to the UK where a Swedish 1950s Mercedes (that looked like it might weigh about 2 tonnes) began reversing towards me after we had been packed in. Suffice to say my horn sounds quite loud inside a ferry!
It was certainly the trip I had hoped for. I wouldn't have changed anything on my itinerary. I could have covered more miles per day, but this way I was able to stop and walk places. It was a shame I resorted to two extra hotel nights than I wanted due to a couple of days stormy weather, but the downside of an ultra small tent is that it just doesn't work if the weather is bad.
It would be possible to reduce the overall driving distance by getting a ferry from Kiel in Germany up to Oslo, but half the fun is the journey! Obviously doing it in a Lotus is going to be the ideal for all of us, but the trip was made by the outstanding scenery and that looks the same from any car window. Besides, we all know hire cars are the fastest cars.
bump. I hope you don’t mine. I figured that during lockdown, these were just the sort of pictures and memories we needed.