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Along the shores of the northern seas

Magazine “4×4 Club” № 12 (199) December 2013 Authors of the article: Yuri Zhupan, Vitaly Fedoseev

The restless Land Rover Defender and its brave crew set off on a journey every year. Last winter they traveled to Africa, and this year they visited the cold, northern seas – the Baltic, Barents, Norwegian, and, in fact, the North. Natural beauty and unique views, interesting roads and kind trolls – all this met along the way.

With a polyurethane suspension, you go wherever you want!

Of course, you shouldn’t embark on such a journey without preparation. The well-known Russian manufacturer Polyurethan LLC, specializing in the production of parts for car tuning, fasteners and much more, gladly volunteered to help organize the expedition. The resistance of polyurethane to temperature fluctuations has already been tested a year ago in the African desert, which was the reason for choosing this manufacturer.

Yuri Zhupan, organizer of the expedition: “The guys from the Polyurethan company are our old friends. When I got the Defender, the question of where to go for suspension parts did not even arise. I just found an old contact, called and ordered everything I needed. It was, by the way, more than two years ago, and everything that was sent to me from Novosibirsk is still alive, even the stabilizer bushings, which are traditionally considered “consumables”. These are wonderful people who supported us with a new project, for which special thanks to them. For the second time our partner was, thanks to which I am confident in my harness. Thanks guys!”

Norway and its beauty

If you look at the map of Norway, it is all blue: rivers and lakes occupy a huge area. Especially beautiful lakes are found in the mountains, where snowy peaks are used as a background. Below, when a lake or river is surrounded by rocks and hills on all sides and protected from the wind, it is as if you find yourself in a looking glass, where any species has a reflection in the purest water.

Having seen enough of the life of Norway, the travelers even got a little bored, but all doubts were instantly dispelled, it was worth seeing the first fjord!

It is simply impossible to convey in words the whole scale and all the power of this incredible combination of the sea, which cuts into the depths of the coast, sometimes hundreds of kilometers, and rocky mountains. It took more than four days to drive the central part of Norway along the North Sea coast, and in total our heroes moved several hundred kilometers northward, because the movement consists in detours of the fjord, first along one coast, and then in the opposite direction along the other.

Yuri Zhupan: “At first we thought it would be a rather tedious task because of the monotony of roads and landscapes, but it turned out quite the opposite – we even began to choose those roads that went as close to the water as possible. Sometimes this idea gave the route very original features, such as driving along an abandoned road, which has a long time ago a great tunnel, which is fast, short, but boring to travel along, in contrast to a completely secluded trail with picturesque tunnels right along the coastline. “

There was only one fjord left to go around, after which the shores of the North Sea will be replaced by the coast of the Norwegian Sea, which means the transition to the northern part of the country. The last point here was a glacier, which it was decided to definitely look at. The way to it lay along the famous “Snow Road”. After a small serpentine road, the view changes dramatically, creating a feeling of the far north, although it is still very far to the Arctic Circle. At the end of the “climb” the clouds remain somewhere below, and it becomes clear why the visibility sometimes did not exceed five meters. The density of the clouds is so high that they are simply not able to crawl over the ridge, and they hang over the road. In comparison with such exoticism, the glacier itself no longer seems to be something outstanding.

Once in the impromptu Arctic, we rejoiced once again for the durable suspension made of modern plastic. Polyurethane is generally a unique material. Its wear and abrasion resistance is many times superior to those of rubber, and its performance remains up to -50 degrees Celsius!

In Norway it is much more difficult to find a regular road than a road marked as “unique”, “interesting”, “tourist”. Each of the paths is filled with its own specifics. The alternation of road types is further confirmation that Norway does not get tired of the monotony of any traveler. You will not have time to get used to the unreal landscapes of the fjords, and the last and most famous Geirangerfjord has already appeared on the map.

It was Geiranger who put a beautiful and large-scale point on the journey through the fjords. But the roads, one more unique than the other, continued further. For example, to get to the seashore, you need to overcome the pass, while it was decided to go along the old abandoned highway. Almost immediately after the pass, it goes up sharply only in order to then descend into the valley again, but along such an intricate trajectory that the locals called it the Troll Road.

Heavenly miracle

The team of travelers arrived by ferry to the Lofoten Islands. The night port of the town of Buge did not look as friendly as in Stockholm or Helsinki. And, if not for the Pole grandfather, who reported that the nearest ferry leaves in a couple of hours and at 7 am already arrives in the Lofoten town of Moskenesøy, the journey could have gone completely differently …

By that time, it seemed to our heroes that there was no more room for new impressions – it seemed that they were filled with this beauty and tranquility so much that the last day in Norway would be simply superfluous. A cape appeared on the horizon, beyond which there is no more land, there is only the sea, the Arctic Ocean and the North Pole.

Yuri, traveler: “Imagine, we are sitting in a warm car with a cup of cocoa, watching the schedule of the northern lights, still hoping to see it despite the scanty chances of such luck in early September. A northern lights forecast is not looking out of a weather forecaster’s window to promise rain or sun, it is a bunch of diagrams and diagrams, which are not so easy to delve into when looking at a phone screen. Something pulled me to look out of the window, and a completely inexplicable desire for no reason at all. And there …

I now understand all those who describe the sensations of what they saw. We really ran and screamed, jumped in one place and around the car, ran with a camera and a tripod, trying to capture everything at once. Meanwhile, something incredible was happening in the sky. “

This is how an unusual natural phenomenon served as a catalyst for emotions and impressions.

The next morning the travelers woke up as if they were different people, all the bad and difficult things about the trip had already been forgotten, and all the good things only intensified. With such a feeling, the surrounding landscapes, people and roads seemed to be something very close and familiar for a long time. Therefore, leaving this wonderful land of fjords and trolls was very sad.

Once again, our heroes had a long, hard road home to Nizhny Novgorod.


For such a long and difficult journey, the car has experienced very severe loads, but it got out of all the vicissitudes without any problems.

The polyurethane suspension remained safe and sound, once again confirming the properties promised by the manufacturer (Polyurethan LLC, Novosibirsk), complementing the previous high-temperature African test with the current frosty Norwegian one.

We hope that the brave Defender and its equally brave crew will have new adventures ahead!

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