Oslo to Hamburg
700 miles across northern Europe

July 7 - 19, 2022 -- compiled by Jeff DePree
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Day 1: Oslo arrival

This 700-mile route followed EuroVelos 12 and 3 from Oslo down to Hamburg. For the most part, the ride was boring and expensive, but the cycling infrastructure was usually fantastic and it was delightfully cool at all times. So if it’s hot everywhere else, and you’re content to live on oats and pickled fish, this may be the route for you!


Bike

Bikes are really popular here, and I opened up Norwegian Craigslist to find about a hundred within two miles that were under $200. Most of the people I messaged nerded out for some time about bikes and the route I was taking. I eventually bought an $80 mountain bike - the guy was out of town, so he gave me his address and told me to grab it from his driveway and leave the money in his mailbox. This experience was quite different from any I’ve ever had on American Craigslist.


Route
The route is almost never signed with the EuroVelo number, but is consistently marked as some national cycling route. In Norway, it involved many ferries that only run some of the time, so I had to improvise, and once ended up on a busy, shoulderless highway for a while. The Germans are less amped on cycling, so many of the southern sections were harder to navigate and followed horse trails or tractor tracks through farms.


Traffic

Norwegian drivers are terrified of cyclists and will creep along behind you for miles until they find the perfect passing opportunity. Germans drive ridiculously fast everywhere they go. The route mostly keeps you out of traffic.


Food

On two occasions in Norway, I found a Thai food truck with curry for $11 and felt very lucky – even the cheaper restaurants tend to be about double this. I mostly just bought oats, raisins, and peanuts, which are reasonably priced. Denmark is similar, but things get markedly cheaper once you cross into Germany.

Norway is home to an impressive collection of Utah-esque blue laws, such that even in a grocery store, a beer will cost at least $4, and more often than not, can’t actually be purchased. Beer is much more accessible in Denmark and Germany.


Lodging

I usually had to dig a fair bit through Booking and AirBnb and extend my mileage to find anything below $80. But aside from the time that I paid $50 to sleep in a small box, the rooms were generally pretty nice.


Weather

It never actually gets dark in Norway in July. This is convenient for long days of riding, and not so convenient for sleeping anywhere without heavy curtains. I think the temperature hovered in the 60s for the entirety of the ride, so I was never too warm and never needed a jacket. And other than a single brief drizzle, there was no rain.
I think this came from Copenhagen
Yard couch in its native habitat
$60 might get you a room with breakfast, but it won't pay someone to put sheets on your bed.
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1zRoL_QCzYwLnoD4ik9-5x1p9Np_N-vRadiiT_TsJjmQ/edit?usp=sharing

Day 2: Oslo to Horten

https://www.strava.com/activities/7435666735

Day 3: Horten to Skien

https://www.strava.com/activities/7441988173

Day 4: Skien to Arendal

https://www.strava.com/activities/7447865397
A rather weak attempt at a capsule hotel

Day 5: Arendal to Kristiansand

https://www.strava.com/activities/7450668370
Bike gang to the ferry stowage

Day 6: Aalburg to Viborg

https://www.strava.com/activities/7457215050
Tower selling potatoes

Day 7: Viborg to Vandel

https://www.strava.com/activities/7462916409
No idea what these are.

Day 8: Vandal to Hjordkaer

https://www.strava.com/activities/7468664015
Viking "ship"
Essential AirBnb extra
I love Danish power outlets so much.

Day 9: Hjordkaer to Kropp

https://www.strava.com/activities/7473806704
Currywurst
Random knight down the hall from my room

Day 10: Kropp to Horst

https://www.strava.com/activities/7479575023
Scooter pump track

Day 11: Horst to Hamburg

https://www.strava.com/activities/7484972082

Day 12: Hamburg to Passau (9-Euro Train Day)

One of many random stations along the $9, 14-hour regional train ride across Germany

Day 13: Passau to Budapest (FlixBus)

Wandering the dark streets of Passau, awaiting my 4am bus to Budapest.
Day 1: Oslo arrival
Day 2: Oslo to Horten
Day 3: Horten to Skien
Day 4: Skien to Arendal
Day 5: Arendal to Kristiansand
Day 6: Aalburg to Viborg
Day 7: Viborg to Vandel
Day 8: Vandal to Hjordkaer
Day 9: Hjordkaer to Kropp
Day 10: Kropp to Horst
Day 11: Horst to Hamburg
Day 12: Hamburg to Passau (9-Euro Train Day)
Day 13: Passau to Budapest (FlixBus)