around Norway on a bicycle.
“Just picture to yourself calmly leaving the top of a high mountain clothed with fir-trees for the distant valley. There is the vast fjord or lake expanding distinctly without a wave or ripple to the feet of the blue mountains. A few boats are just perceptible, rocking idly by the shore ; the scene is as silent as the grave.
It needs very little to fancy yourself in a new world realising your childhood’s conception of fairyland.”
~ A Bicycle Trip Through Norway and Sweden – Alfred M. Bolton (1883).
My Life and Times
by Jerome K. Jerome
June 1882 – published in 1883.
A Bicycle Trip Through Norway and Sweden.
As well as “Over the Pyrenees”, Alfred Bolton had previously written “The Rocky North; a summer holiday among the fjelds, fjords and fosses of Norway”. He would revisit “the land of the fair-haired Norsemen”, with his “trusty bicycle as sole companion”, in June 1882, recounting his trip from Gothenburg to Vänersborg in Sweden, and from Christiania (Oslo) to Bergen in Norway for a brief three part series, published in the July 1883 pages of The Boy’s Own Paper.
- by Alfred M. Bolton.
- published as a series within The Boy’s Own Paper.
A BICYCLE TRIP THROUGH NORWAY AND SWEDEN.
“Quitting Oilo, where I tasted reindeer flesh for the first time, I traversed some wild scenery and it was pretty evident the district of the great Fille Fjeld had been struck.
Proceeding along a winding road that skirted a lake considerably overflowed, consequent on the late rains, I became hemmed in by huge mountains.
The prospect was as wild as could be imagined ; masses of solid grey rock rose almost perpendicularly from the water on every side.
One would scarcely believe a roadway could be constructed through these rocky regions. Winding in and about I reached a path that had been made with infinite labour and difficulty, chiselled along the brow of a dark frowning precipice called the Kvamsklev (ravine cliff), so steep and dangerous that two vehicles could hardly pass if they happened to meet in the narrowest turnings.
There was one spot where I had to pass, hewn out of the solid rock covered by a wooden roof to protect travellers from the fragments that often in wet weather become dislodged.
Several cataracts poured across the defile, wetting me with their spray as I passed underneath.
On the opposite side of the lake were dotted some peasants’ habitations so high up the slopes that they seemed almost inaccessible to human beings!”
~ Alfred M. Bolton, A Bicycle Trip Through Norway and Sweden, 1883.