In the spring of 2013, I embarked on what would become a quite memorable bicycle journey to the North Cape in northern Norway and back to my then home in Belgium, a loop of more than 10,000 kilometers that took me 85 days to complete.
Starting off in the flat fields of Flanders, I pedaled across the Dutch and German lowlands, before spending a couple of days in Copenhagen, Denmark, a city that completely blew me away. I still consider it the most beautiful city I’ve ever been to. From there on, the road led toward Stockholm and continued north over the undulating hills, through the vast forests and along the beautifully calm coastline of eastern Sweden.
I then crossed the border into Finland, where I spent a day or two exploring the city of Rovaniemi, located almost exactly on the Arctic Circle. A bus – I was serious need of a rest by then – took me across Finnish Lapland, an empty expanse of tundra, lakes, rivers and mountain ranges, and dropped me off in Karasjok, a town in the far north of Norway and the capital of Norwegian Lapland.
The Northernmost point of Europe
Two days of cycling through the most spectacular landscapes later, I found myself standing at the North Cape, the northernmost point in Europe that can be reached on wheels. It was 12.30am, I was all alone and the midnight sun was shining on a perfectly still Arctic Ocean. In retrospect, that was one of the best days in my life so far.
On the way back south – I had literally run out of road to cycle on – I spent some time on a Hurtigruten ship, which must be one of the most brilliant ways of traveling around in Norway, and explored the stunning Lofoten Islands on my bike.
During the trip, I took plenty of photos – more than 3,000, that is, not including about 350 selfies.
Other fantastic places that I visited in Norway included the cities of Trondheim and Bergen, the breathtaking Geirangerfjord, the Trollstigen and the Sognefjord.
Back in Sweden, having covered the entire length of Norway, in Gothenburg I hopped on a cargo ship that took me to the industrial port of Immingham on the east coast of England. After crossing the North Sea on a ship, I then crossed England by bicycle.
The last major highlight of my once-in-a-lifetime bike trip was celebrating the summer solstice at Stonehenge, a day that I know I will never forget.
Allow me to take you along on my ride in this photo essay! Snapshots From a 10,000-Kilometer Bike Ride
Bram is a freelance writer, translator and travel photographer. He was born and grew up in a small town in Belgium and currently lives in a small town in Vermont, USA. He likes to try different travel styles and he has backpacked across Australia, cycled from Belgium to the North Cape and back, spent three months emerging himself in the Irish culture, hiked across England, climbed numerous mountains in New England, and visited many a handful of European cities. Besides writing and traveling, Bram spends his days reading, working out and trying to live a healthy life.