It’s strange. It seems as if our road trip was such a long time ago yet at the same time, looking at the pictures, I could go back in time and relive it all again in a matter of seconds. We’ve been back a couple of days already. Sometimes I swear I could smell the air of Norway here, whatever it may smell like. I miss the sound of mountain streams that you could hear practically everywhere, especially in the tent in the night, when you’re about to sleep. I miss the vast landscapes, the valleys, the mountains, fjords and waterfalls. I miss our car, packed with our necessities, from tent to food to loads of maps. Our little home on the road. I do not miss the cold. It was freezing sometimes. One night it was so cold, I was tempted to take away K’s blanket and put it on top of mine. I’m not proud of it, not my best moment. I miss the white snow tops on mountains, the glistening waters, the blues, reds and yellows, colours so true to nature. I miss drifting off with Eddie Vedder on the back-
ground, very cliche, and the Norwegian radio. Norwegian rap, an upcoming scene in Norwegian music. I could not make out one word but it blasted through our speakers. All of this though, though grand it is, is minor compared to what you’ll feel. Because most of all, what I miss most, is the freedom. Not just the freedom to wander and explore what felt like beautiful (understatement here) unchartered territories but freedom in the broadest sense of the word. The freedom to cut loose from society’s expectations. The freedom to roam. The freedom to do all that you’re not supposed to do. And to not give a sh!t about anything else in the world. God I miss that. So! Where did our road trip take us? I wanted to make a detailed map of the route we took, but as you can see, it does not at all look that detailed. I’m just going to walk you through it all with pictures. That ok with you? Yeah? Let’s go.
1. Hirtshals We left Amsterdam and drove all the way to Hirtshals (Denmark) to take the ferry to Stavanger. We took the Fjordline and it cost about EUR 100 per person, which was alright. It included the ferry ride and a cabin with shower. We took a little stroll on the beach in Hirtshals before boarding.
2. Fjordline Leaving Hirtshals; the view on board.
3. Øvre Holmegate in Stavanger Stavanger, a municipality in the Rogaland county, is considered today’s centre of the oil industry in Norway. Scandinavia’s largest company, Statoil, has its headquarters at Forus in Stavanger. This picture shows Øvre Holmegate, a colourful street in the centre of Stavanger where all buildings have been painted in fresh colours. With its charming colours, it has been called Stavanger’s “Notting Hill”. The colours weren’t painted randomly. The colour scheme was designed by artist Craig Flannagan. In Øvre Holmegate you’ll find shops and several restaurants and cafes.
4. Preikestolen The Preikestolen sign. I was psyched. I had been planning the trip for weeks and here I was, in front of the actual sign. We drove our car from Stavanger to the Preikestolen car stop. The sign marked the beginning of a very long (4 hours return) and exhaustive hike up the steep and massive cliff Preikestolen (also known as the Pulpit’s Rock or Preacher’s Pulpit). We packed our rain coats, fleece jackets and drinks and snacks. We encountered some people on our way to the top who had run out of water and who were asking other people to help them out. Don’t be that person and pack enough for yourself!
5. Cairns A cairn is a man-made stack of stones. Cairns are found all over the world on mountaintops, in valleys, water cliffs and barren desert and tundra areas. For trekkers and hikers, a cairn can be used as a trail mark or as a mark to signify a certain point reached. These cairns I found on my way up 2/3 the Preikestolen.
6. The Preikestolen Hike I don’t exercise. I rather spend my time watching movies or reading books. During the hike, I regretted not having a better physique. The days that followed were paired with an enormous muscle ache in places I didn’t know I had muscles. Nevertheless, I do not regret doing the hike. It was a great experience. Crowded, yes, but still something I’m glad I did. And the view was amazing with every stop that we made. When you go, try to go early. The later you go, the more crowded it will get.
7. The Top The first real view of the Lysefjord. The fjord was carved by the action of glaciers in the ice ages and was flooded by the sea when the later glaciers retreated. Lysefjord means ‘light fjord’ and is said to be derived from the lightly coloured granite rocks along its sides.
8. Daredevil Stuff I could not get myself to stand near the edge of the cliff. There had to be at least 10m between me and the edge of the cliff. K was less terrified and was dancing all around the edges.
9. The View ..was amazing to say the least. Coming from an almost all flat country, this view felt almost supernatural. We decided to have our lunch here and enjoy this view. It was cold and it was raining. But we didn’t care. And how could we with such a majestic view in front of us.
10. Lysefjord Norway, could you get any uglier? Back down we were greeted by another beautiful view of the Lysefjord.
And with that I end my first travel post about our Norway road trip. Tune in for more this weekend. Thank you for reading!