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#ThrowbackThursday Goes To Norway


 Here goes with another #ThrowbackThursday! Bit late today sorry. I’ve mentioned before how a regular job of Virginia was taking a Jewish group from Irelands food with them wherever they went, it had been blessed by their own Rabbi. It was a good job as it took you many places trucks might not necessarily go. Took me to Greece a couple of times, including the isle of Crete but the best one was somewhat unexpected.

Information I had been given was after loading head to Denmark, Copenhagen and meet a cruise ship in the port. 8am Monday morning, great stuff, easy run up and could have a 24 hour weekly rest on the way. Got as far as I could and parked up in a service station just outside Copenhagen ready for Monday morning. 7am, up I get, and drive to the cruise terminal. Oh, that’s worrying, no cruise ships! Ring office……’who told you Monday morning?! I should have been Sunday morning!’. I’m not commenting who made the mistake but thankfully it wasn’t me!

Bugger, the cruise ship has a 25 hour head start on me! So where do I need to chase it to I ask……’Flåm, Norway’! Brilliant! My favourite country. I can easily get there before the ship! Or so I thought. I knew obviously Norway isn’t in the EU and tried to sneak across the border……that wasn’t to be as a customs man stops me! I’m good at doing the worried and confused act, often comes in hand in situations like this so he was nice and polite as he directed me to the customs parking. But then in my quite extensive experience Norwegians are naturally polite.

Issue is it wasn’t sealed, had no customs documents etc, in fact only had a hand written by me CMR with no mention of what load was beyond food, so it was enormously hard work trying to find a customs agent who would take us on and help. I spend 7 hours answering the phone and walking from office to office before I think someone took pity on me and sorted it all out. A risk on their part as they didn’t know us from Adam and needed to trust we were who we said going where we said we would. But after 8 hours woosh! Into Norway.

Only year before I had driven my old VW camper the length of Norway to Nordkapp and my first time driving abroad on my own as a professional driver was Norway so I knew what to expect. I’m also from West Wales and we have main roads to rival anything Norway has! I got to go through the longest road tunnel in the world, Lærdalstunnelen, 24.5km. It even has stopping places at regular points, I did stop and take pictures but I can’t bloody find them so here’s a random one from Google.

So onward to Flåm and a great relief to see the cruise ship still there. Well, a relief to others maybe as I was secretly hoping it would have left and I’d have had to chase it northward! On the coach tours I’d spent a lot of time in Flåm as it was a regular visit and where passengers would head off on a spectacular train journey and I’d pick them up at other end. 

Virginia did try and get me a reload from Norway but not being one of our regular destinations proved impossible, which I was sort of happy about as I’d had enough of customs officers for one trip! So down to Copenhagen we went for our reaload with some great memories of one of my careers more unusual trips.

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