Dramatic fjord viewpoint in Norway

26 May 2015  Preikestolen

Climbed all the UK 3000ft mountains – where next?  Answer: Norway!

It had been a long-held ambition of mine to sail up the coast of Norway on a Hurtigruten voyage, perhaps to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.  But 2005 came and went, and life got a bit busy with work and family (and climbing a few Munros!).  However, we decided to go for it in 2015.  As usual, plans developed and grew legs.  Why not add a few days in Stavanger at the start of our trip, and hike to the iconic Preikestolen?

Stavanger Harbour

Stavanger Harbour

We had booked ahead with Tide, which included the ferry to Tau and the bus to the start of the walk.   And so, on a blowy but bright morning, we boarded the 09.20 ferry from Stavanger Fiskepiren (the pier was only 5 minutes walk from our hotel).

map of route from Stavanger to Preikestolen

route from Stavanger to Preikestolen

The ferry took 40 minute cross to cross to Tau, where a coach was waiting to take us through Jorpeland, then up a winding road through forest to a car park in the hills at Preikestolen Fjellestue, the starting point for the walk.  On the way, we were befriended by a French girl, Solange, travelling alone, who was glad to have companions who could speak a little French!

It was around 10.30 when we started on the walk, following a good trail leading uphill form the carpark.

At the start of the walk

Anne and Solange ready to start

 

It was a lovely 2 hour walk up through woodland, up stone staircases, across boggy bits on duckboards, past some mountain lakes.

stone steps on the Preikestolen path

stone steps on the Preikestolen path

 

view back down to Fjellestue, with Stavanger in the distance

view back down to Fjellestue, with Stavanger in the distance

crossing the boggy bit on duckboard path

crossing the boggy bit on duckboard path

then up more stone steps - about halfway there

then up more stone steps - about halfway there

path junction, and first view of Lysefjord

path junction, and first view of Lysefjord

nice signs to show our progress towards Preikestolen

nice signs to show our progress towards Preikestolen

getting nearer to our destination

getting nearer to our destination

nearly there - Preikestolen appears in the distance

nearly there - Preikestolen appears in the distance

Now we were nearly there, with the 600m drop to Lysefjord right at the side of the path. No barriers – this is Norway!

walking along the cliff edge path towards Preikestolen

walking along the cliff edge path towards Preikestolen

And, finally we arrive – what an amazing place!

Preikestolen - "the pulpit rock"

Preikestolen - "the pulpit rock"

is that Anne, getting a bit too close to the corner?

is that Anne, getting a bit too close to the corner?

We spent a full hour up there, daring to dangle our feet (just) over the edge, watching braver (or more foolhardy) individuals sitting or standing right on the edge. Must be one of the mpst amzing places I have eaten a picnic lunch! The whole top is almost level, and it was swarming with people. We stepped across the great crack, hoping that today wasn;t the day when the whole rock would plunge down to the fjord below!

brave souls peering over the edge

brave souls peering over the edge

picnic on Preikestolen

picnic on Preikestolen

it's a long way down to Lysefjord

it's a long way down to Lysefjord

this is as close as I'm getting

this is as close as I'm getting

I couldn't do that!

I couldn't do that!

a seat for the brave! not me!

a seat for the brave! not me!

view of Preikestolen

view of Preikestolen

Finally, we managed to tear ourselves away, and climbed up the crag behind for dramatic views down on to the top of the rock.

Preikestolen from above

Preikestolen from above

Preikestolen from above

Preikestolen from above

With a final glance at this dramatic place, we headed on over the hill behind to descend by a slightly different route, away from the crowds.

on the plateau, above Preikestolen

on the plateau, above Preikestolen

We donned our cagoules for a few minutes as we scrambled over rocks while a shower swept over us, but the air soon cleared again as we descended on the other side. Son we rejoined the main path, and continued down to the mountain lake, where we were entertained by a group of young people leaping into the cold water.

mountain lake on the Preikestolen path

mountain lake on the Preikestolen path

looks a bit cold to me!

looks a bit cold to me!

The path down gave us great views as we descended back to Preikestolen Fjellestue. We had time to explore the hostel and souvenir shop before boarding the coach at 4pm to take us back to Tau.  Lovely evening for a sail back to Stavanger.

view from the ferry on the way back to Stavanger

view from the ferry on the way back to Stavanger

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