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Great Britain - Norway / Storbritannia - Norge (May 2022) [PART 3 / 3]


Jack P
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The loooong overdue part 3!! 😂

Being a driving instructor who works until 23:30 in the evening, and travels to Norway often enough to raise eyebrows at the border force desk, time has been a little tight since I wrote parts 1 & 2. But here we are, time for Part 3. So where did I leave off?

I’m pretty sure we’d covered the Mai 17 celebrations (pictured below), and had moved on to the ferry trip from Kristiansand to Eeimshaven on the return leg of the trip.

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So the night before the ferry trip, I had one last sleep in the back of the TT in a car park just off of the main highway into Kristiansand. I didn’t really get much time to explore Kristiansand on the morning of my ferry crossing, so I flew back out to Kristiansand later in June - and I can say it’s a very nice city in the summer, although it was a little windy and rainy when I revisited it again in September. The ferry crossing itself was now about to begin!

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The ferry itself was a Holland Norwegian Lines ferry, named “MS Romantika” - originally built in 2002 for an Estonia-Latvia-Finand-Sweden route. Back when I used it, the ship had not long been acquired by HNL and had only been operating on the Netherlands-Norway route for around a month or so. Amenities wise, it has several bars and restaurants, a concert hall (which had an OK-ish Dutch covers band performing on my crossing), and a fairly sizeable open air star deck; although it was a little chilly and practically deserted once we left the fjord as the North Sea can be a little cold and windy.

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Although I’m in Norway a lot, and at any given time I’ve always got my next trip (or several) planned ahead, its always pretty sad for me when I see my favourite country disappearing into the distance as I head home! Wether its watching the ant-size cars get smaller as the flight from Oslo Gardemoen lifts off over Edvarg Griegs Veg, and ultimately the E6, or the coastline of Kristiansand disappearing into a spec on the horizon of seemingly infinite ocean - I think the realisation of going home to Birmingham is enough to make anybody shed a tear; Or maybe it was the ok-ish Dutch cover band, I’m not sure 🤣

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The crossing took 18 hours, and came with a comfy and clean inside-cabin (I paid for the cheapest possible option as by this point my bank account was pretty devastated by the absolutely insane fuel consumption of the TT. I did actually try to use my other bank card on the ferry, however my bank sent a security SMS that I had to respond to before they’d unblock it (as it was the first time using that card outside of the UK)… the only problem with this was that I couldn’t actually reply to the SMS, as there are no 4G masts out on the North Sea oddly- I only got the initial security SMS delivered by chance as I briefly picked up 1 bar of signal for about 20 seconds as we passed the very tip of Denmark. Off of the record, a friend of a friend told me that their friend of a friend knows a guy who said the 4G signal from a plane is pretty good for the first half of the flight between Oslo and London… Although of course I’d know nothing about that as I use flight mode of course! (Although I can say Norwegian Air Shuttle does have good free Wi-Fi on some of their domestic flights).

 

Once the ferry landed in Eeimshaven, and I’d had a very good nights sleep on the ferry (the feeling of the boat moving around in the water, and the hum from the diesel engines, is oddly quite sleep inducing when you’re in an inside cabin with no outside light), it was time for the last stretch before hitting UK soil.. The drive through the Netherlands, Belgium and France was pretty flat- not too much to look at scenery wise, but was a good time to go into full hyper-mileing eco driving mode (well, as much as is possible in a 3.2L VR6 anyway). From memory I topped up to about 1/2 a tank in the Netherlands, as I knew if i could just make it across to Belgium without needing any more fuel, I’d get a much better price (and I did). Once I reached Belgium I headed straight for the gas station and brimmed it at a price of £1.59 per litre, cheaper than anywhere else on the trip (including the UK at the time) by a considerable margin. I knew that once I got home I’d be paying upwards of £1.80, and later in the summer it peaked in my area at £1.99- I’m quite glad that as of December 2022 i’m starting to see £1.45 again.

 

Shortly after this, I made it to Calais wayyy ahead of schedule. So I did what any Brit would do in France. I bought some Baguettes and headed for the beach

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I could just about see the white cliffs of Dover peaking over the horizon- although it would be dark by the time I got there as I had several hours time to sit and watch the ships go by from the beach before it was my turn to cross the tunnel.

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The eurotunnel crossing was fairly smooth, although at border control I was directed to go to a left-hand-drive HGV passport lane, which was a little interesting to reach over to in a RHD TT, as the hatch was about 1m above my roofline and on the passenger side 😂

 

Once back in the UK, it was pretty plain sailing… until I reached the M1 heading north - BEEP, bright red on the LCD display was “STOP”, flashing intermittently with an oil can icon. By this point I was well aware that the TT likes to consume its coolant over time, and then magically regurgitate it several weeks later and overflow… but oil? That was a new one to me. So I tentatively continued to the next services, where it took almost a litre of oil to get back to the dipstick level, and a little more to reach the full line. It was a little concerning at the time, but looking back, the car had just traveled several thousand miles - some of which was sitting at the Vmax of 256kph (160mph) on the Autobahn - and it hasn’t consumed too much oil since (it drank maybe 100ml drag racing at Santa Pod in August), so I’m not overly concerned by it at this point. After this hiccup though, the drive back to Birmingham was pretty smooth, other than the endless average-speed checks through motorway construction, which I definitely hadn’t missed whilst I was gone 😂

 

All in all, it was a nice trip! I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to explore Scandinavia from the comfort of their own Audi. One thing to consider though is the cost! Throughout the whole trip, which was around 3000 miles round-trip, the entire fuel spend was around the £1800 mark. Average fuel prices for the trip worked out to around £1.85 - for those of you playing along with a calculator, the entire average real world MPG for the trip works out to around 14 UK mpg (20.18 L/100km). The TT is officially a gas guzzler 😂 This is why I took the ferry from Kristiansand to Eeimshaven - as it cut out about 500 miles of driving, and several fuel stops!

 

After this trip, over the summer, the TT was displayed at several car shows and went to Santa Pod, in the footsteps of the A3 it replaced. I also acted as Navigator for Steve in his A6 for the London to Brighton run (I’m sure he has a post about that, go check it out, it was a very fun day with its own twist of events!). As of now, the TT is all tucked away for the winter- so that it can’t cost me any money. I’ll awaken it again in the spring.

 

The next time this car goes to norway, if all goes to plan, in August (with Steve in convoy in his A6), will be a one-way trip for the car. Updates on how that goes will surely follow at the end of 2023.. so check back then to see if my big plan (or my inherent complete lack of useful planning) works out 😂

 

But for now, and one last time for this 3 part series:

Ha det bra! - sees til Someren ☺️

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9 hours ago, Trevor said:

Hi Jack, thanks for the update on your trip....your road trip reviews always makes interesting reading, although I almost fell off my chair when you quoted the overall fuel costs :shocking:

 

The fuel cost was astronomical 😅 almost 1/3rd the value of the car!

4 hours ago, Steve Q said:

Great write up Jack. Looking forward to our Norwegian road trip in August 🙂 fingers crossed my old A6 makes it there and back! 🤞

 

Yes!! I can tow you there, but that won’t work on the way back as mine will be staying 😂

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39 minutes ago, Jack P said:

The fuel cost was astronomical 😅 almost 1/3rd the value of the car!

Yes!! I can tow you there, but that won’t work on the way back as mine will be staying 😂

Hoping my A6 was not need a tow lol not all that way 🤣

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