This tour had a similar impact as our first tour in 2005. Then, I wrote the following:
"Indelible impressions. The final irritation on arrival in Schiphol did not diminish the wonderful memories we have of the tour and of Norway. The amazing light and vivid colours of sky and sea, the torrential summer downpours, still stay with me to this day. Not forgetting the range of roads and routes and landscape. I still have flashbacks of places that I did not photograph and have no idea where they were on the route."
The final irritation aside, this applied equally to the 2008 trip. It had been one amazing cycle tour. However, in 2008 we had a completely new set of indelible impressions. In the intervening three years we learned a lot about ourselves as individuals and as a couple. We had also learned a lot about cycle touring and what we were capable of.
Besides marvelling at such things as the big climbs, Vikafjellet or Gaularfjellet, the majestic interior on Routes 3 and 9 or the beautiful West coast, we were now looking at Norway as prospective residents, rather than just regarding the country as a great place for cycle tours. We liked what we found there in 2008 and it brought us a step closer to moving to Norway.
A few days after our return, Damae wrote the following:
"It feels strange to be back. It's dark in the morning and the evenings are dark. The weather is grey...........My basic feeling is that it's time to move on to Norway. Stan's had it here and I've seen enough and talked to enough people that I am ready to go. I know I would like it there."
We were tied to the Netherlands for another year, as Damae had to complete her Masters in Education. So far this had been pretty straight forward and it looked like the next academic year would go the same way. We could start planning another cycletour in the spring of 2009: Damae still liked the idea of a trip to the Lofotens. On the other hand, if we could find at least one job in Norway in the spring of 2009 then we could move in the summer, instead of going cycling. There would be no problem selling our house in Utrecht as the housing market in the Netherlands had continued to perform strongly through 2008.
What, after all could go wrong?
Or did 'Williams and Jongkind's 1st Law of Cycletouring' apply to the rest of life as well?