Slartibartfast Rally 2017
August 23 to September 7, 2017
The Rally That Follows The ‘lovely Crinkly Edges of Norway’
The Slartibartfast is a two week rally which brings together the best of Scandinavia including Denmark, Sweden, Finland and the Norwegian fjords from its starting point in The Netherlands.
Slartibartfast was a character in 1980’s best seller The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. He ‘designed’ the fjords of Norway for the mice who created the earth as a giant computer to find out the meaning of life. Unfortunately the earth was demolished to make way for an intergalactic by-pass moments before it was due to give the answer.
We are honouring his great work with a new rally from The Hague in The Netherlands to Kirkenes, the most northerly town of Norway from where we take the Hurtigruten ferry to Bergen, following the crinkly bits, as they were described, all the way to Bergen. But, we don’t just sit on the ship as each morning we disembark and rally around the great roads of the north, catching up with our floating hotel in the evening.
The rally starts in the administrative capital city of The Netherlands, The Hague at the Louwman Motor Museum, which is an ideal collection point for cars from around Europe. From here we will head to Bremerhaven one of Germany’s most historic ports.
To get to Roskilde, our next night stop, we cross the Fehmarn Bridge then take the Puttgarden to Rodby Ferry which has 48 sailings per day. From here we cross into Sweden where our first overnight is in Jonkoping, once famous for its matchstick industry.
Our journey through the lakes of Sweden take us to Mora, famous for its clocks, scenery and Mora Witch Trials in 1669. Now it’s a peaceful town better known for its scenery and tranquil lifestyle.
After Mora we head for Ostersund on Lake Storsjon which resisted the industrial revolution in order to keep its clean air and becoming a centre of outdoor activities and education.
From Ostersund we continue north to Arjeplog which is the home of automotive winter testing. Very close to the Arctic Circle it has long days and short nights in the summer.
Arjeplog to Kiruna takes us through the Arctic Circle into Swedish Lapland. Kiruna is the northernmost town in Sweden and is best known for the huge iron ore mine and its underground visitors centre which has an exhibition on mining. It is also the home of Sweden’s Space centre.
From Kiruna we go to Finland’s most northerly town, Iruna which lies on Lake Inarijarvi. Can’t promise it but you are quite likely to get your first sight of the northern lights from here.
The following day we drive 200kms on easy roads to Kirkenes where we join the MS Nordlys, our floating hotel, for the next week admiring the work of Slartibartfast on our way to Bergen.
Your Ship: We will be on the MS Nordlys which is 123.3 metres long and has a capacity of 35 cars. There are the usual amenities on board but we will have our own dedicated dining area.
Our schedule will be as follows:
Board the MS Nordlys in Kirkenes by noon on the 1st of September. We then set sail for Bergen, a voyage that takes six days as the ship visits a number of small towns and ports on the way. Once on board you don’t have to pack and unpack your bags for five more nights as we drive the coast and catch up with our moving hotel in the evenings.
Hammerfest to Skjervoy
At Hammerfest we disembark from the Nordlys and take a journey of exploration along the northern Norway fjord coast admiring the fine crinkly edges of Norway. We rejoin the ship at Skjervoy in the early evening twilight as it doesn’t get dark here until well into the night.
Harstad to Svolvar
Up early on arrival in Harstad we disembark for a glorious morning’s drive on a coastal bonanza through some of the most amazing scenery of the journey. Here the roads are quiet and the going is spectacular.
Ornes to Bronnoysund
Another amazing day of driving sees us dip inland to experience some of the great mountain roads that give scale to the fjords.
Trondheim to Molde
Here we take the famous Atlantic Road, one of the world’s most incredible drives. From Molde the Nordlys steams through the night to our final destination at Bergen where we arrive early afternoon. You can depart immediately or the next morning.
We spend a night in Bergen before departing the next morning. We include the from Bergen to Hirtshals or if you prefer a ferry from Oslo to Kiel.
Quotes from Slartibartfast:
Slartibartfast: “Science has achieved some wonderful things of course, but I’d far rather be happy than right any day.”
Arthur: All my life I’ve had this strange feeling there’s something big and sinister going on in the world.
Slartibartfast: No, that’s normal paranoia. Everyone in the universe gets that.
About Norway: “Pity,” said Slartibartfast, “that was one of mine. Won an award you know. Lovely crinkly edges. I was most upset to hear about its destruction.”
Note: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is the first of five books in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy comedy science fiction “trilogy” by Douglas Adams. The novel is an adaptation of the first four parts of Adams’ radio series of the same name. Copies can be found at online sites. The radio series is also available from the BBC.
Aug 23rd Day 1- Arrive The Hague. Scrutineering and Paperwork
Aug 24th Day 2 – Drive to Bremerhaven, Germany. 458kms – 8hrs
Aug 25th Day 3 – Drive to Roskildee, Denmark. 446kms – 8hrs
Aug 26th Day 4 – Drive to Jonkoping, Sweden. 349kms – 6.5hrs
Aug 27th Day 5 – Drive to Mora, Sweden. 441kms – 6hrs
Aug 28th Day 6 – Drive to Ostersund, Sweden. 329kms – 5hrs
Aug 29th Day 7 – Drive to Arjeplog, Sweden. 445kms – 6.5hrs
Aug 30th Day 8 – Drive to Kiruna, Sweden. 411kms – 5.25
Aug 31st Day 9 – Drive to Inari, Finland. 462kms – 6hrs
Sept 1st Day 10 – Drive to Kirkenes, Norway. 200kms, 2.5hrs – Board the ferry.
Sept 2nd Day 11 – Hammerfest to Skjervoy. 354kms, 5hrs driving (10:45 to 19:45)
Sept 3rd Day 12 – Hartsad to Svolvaer. 382kms, 7.5hrs driving (08:00 to 18:30)
Sept 4th Day 13 – Ornes to Bronnoysund. 420kms, 6.5hrs driving (07:15 to 17:00)
Sept 5th Day 14 – Trondheim to Molde. 498kms, 8hrs driving (09:30 to 21:30) – The Atlantic Road
Sept 6th Day 15 – Bergen (arrive 14:30) Disembark. Option to depart immediately or stay overnight in Bergen before taking the ferry from Bergen to Hirtshals, Denmark the next day.
Starting in the Hague we find great accommodation all the way to Kirkenes where we board the ferry for six days and five nights which means you don’t have to unpack and pack your bags again before the end of the event.
We will provide mechanical back-up and, of course, the services of our great team to make it all as smooth as possible.
All roads have been checked and the route is completely open. It is a mix of tarmac and a small amount of dirt so is suitable for all types of vehicles.
Picking the right time of year to do everything is difficult but the end of August/beginning of September gives good weather and a chance to see the Northern Lights and spectacular marine life. It should also mean that there is no frost overnight which would make the roads tricky. Being out of the main tourist season also makes the journey more pleasant.
Twin or double room in all hotels
5 nights on MS Nordlys (or similar)
The crinkly edges of Norway
Our experienced team
GPS and Roadbook
A unique experience
An incredible journey