Published: June 16th 2008June 16th 2008
I'm just back from Preikestolen. This is Norway's number 1 tourist draw. An amazing bit of rock that sticks out above the Lysefjorden, just over an hour cycle (plus 20 mins on a ferry) from Stavanger. Yesterday, after a lazy morning, and the first rain whilst cycling since Germany (I waited it out in a bus shelter which there are loads of) I hoicked myself up the 300m climb to the end of the road at Preikestolhytte and was greeted by a huge car park with a mix of campervans and cars and a long queue to get out as the barriers didn't seem to be working. Haha. Well I had intended camping wild again, but a) they have special no camping rules for this area, b) I saw the lovely hostel overlooking a lake at the end of the road and thought I'd splurge (about 30 quid for a dorm bed, including breakfast though!).
So after getting my things together in the dorm, I hiked the 1hr15 mins up the trail to Preikestolen. And what a sight it is! I'll let the pictures do the talking, but truly it's an amazing place to be. And standing on the edge
really does give you the heebies. Lucky for me it rained on the way up which seemed to wash away most of the tourists, so for a couple of brief minutes I actually had the whole rock to myself - a rarity I believe. After that I was joined by two friendly Estonians who I later chatted to in the hostel. I reckon they were gay. I base this on the fact they were very friendly, sharing a room together, and the speed in which one of them striped off and jumped into the communal shower with me. Thankfully I was drying off at the time, so I could make a hasty exit.
I also got chatting to the very nice girl on duty there (a school girl i think maybe, but excellent english of course) and she convinced me into buying my most expensive beer ever i think. I local stavanger brew, reminiscent of Tennents Special and about 6 pounds a can!! She also told me that scientists have predicted that the wave caused by Preikestolen falling 600m into the fjord below will overwhelm much of Stavanger. And judging by the huge crack in it, in geological terms
at least, it'll happen quite soon (fortunately the strenuous hike up there puts of most large americans from making it).
Anyway, today I'm back in Stavanger and about to head north again towards Bergen. I'm doing internet for free in the library (internet cafe is about £6 an hour!) and praying that noones i touching my bike outside (there's nothing you can do but trust people - so far so good!).
When I get to Bergen eta 3 days there'll be another update and a rethink about how far up norway this trip is going. I'm hoping at least to Bergen it won't be too tough as the route I follow is across islands and lots of ferry hopping doing much of the distance!
Day 24- Stavanger to Preikestolen - 15/6
Dist (miles): 15.19
Ave speed (mph): 9.6
Max speed (mph): 25.0
Time on saddle: 1h34
There are more photos below