Tonje's Travelogue 3: An alternative view of Preikestolen
When Douglas and I arrived in Stavanger, glorious sunshine greeted us! The 30-degree heat shattered all preconceptions we had of the place. Stavanger was alive and vibrant and resembled a normal tourist hotspot before anyone had even heard of COVID-19.
Typically, Stavanger has a very Atlantic climate and is very exposed to the storms from the North Sea so this was a really welcome surprise for us. Stavanger is the fourth largest city in Norway and considered the center of the oil industry. The city is one of Europe's energy powerhouses often called the oil capital of the Nordics, but we were here for some adventurous activities!
We ran (typically short on time, another recurring theme for us) excitedly down to Vågen pier where we were to meet up for a RIB-boat safari. There we met our incredibly smiley guide who would also be our captain for the day. We each got our overalls, which felt kinda weird to put on in 30-degree sunshine but we were very thankful for them when jetting over the waves on our way to and from the Lysefjord.
As we departed the harbor at a leisurely pace on our 12-man RIB, our guide pointed out landmarks and buildings of note as the excitement built for what was about to come…
Whooooosh! The engines roared and the crashing of the waves underneath intensified as our guide showed off his skills and warmed up our sea-legs with a high-speed slalom out of the harbor limits. A number of guests took off their hats for fear of losing them and suddenly the cameras were out trying to capture the experience to show the folks back home.
The sea sprayed up and around us on both sides, while the boat jumped on the waves and the butterflies danced in our bellies. At times, we raced against another RIB, and it was even more fun than being on a rollercoaster!
Approaching the spectacular Lysefjord, the mountains towered several hundred meters above our heads. Lysefjorden, located in Ryfylke, Rogaland. is 42 km long and 422 meters deep at its deepest. The fjord was formed by powerful glaciers that excavated the rock as though it was as soft as butter. As the Ice Age came to an end the glacier retreated and the empty hollow left behind was filled up by the sea.
We explored some cool places in the fjord including a smugglers cave and driving under a waterfall but the coolest had to be seeing Preikestolen from below. From where we were, the iconic mountain top looked so tiny and it was hard to imagine that there were probably several hundred people standing on top looking down. Have you seen Tom Cruise fall from the rock in Mission Impossible - Fallout? He loves to shoot movie scenes in Norway, have a look:
Another well-known tourist destination in the Lysefjord is the Kjerag Boulder. This is a lot further into the fjord and unfortunately, we couldn’t see it but if you have the time it is definitely a world-class selfie spot not to be missed. To climb both Kjerag and Preikestolen, it is recommended to set aside a couple of days to really enjoy and explore what the local area has to offer. Although on the same fjord, they are not exactly close to each other with most people driving around or taking the ferry to connect the two.
Our amazing first trip was capped off by the guide pointing to a sea-eagle nesting up the mountainside. As if all part of an elaborate plan, the eagle took flight and after circling overhead it bent its wings back and dived towards the water. After a little clumsy looking splashing and flapping, we saw that the eagle was itself a master hunter and fisherman as it emerged from the wave with a fish between its talons. Wow, raw nature at its best!
We totally recommend Lysefjord Safari as an alternative way to visit the world-famous Pulpit Rock. You can find details and book the tour here.
Lysefjord, you were amazing!
Douglas & Tonje
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