It was early December and my wife and I along with a couple of friends were taking our regular year-end boat cruise. In our warm clothing(the weather was freezing cold), we - my wife and I along with Eric and Beth, our family friends - made our way to Stavanger’s port
where out boat was ready to charter to begin our cruise to Lysefjord. You could see the excitement on our faces as we anticipated the adventure ahead. Having read about the dramatic and wild and fjord that stretch some 40 km into the country, all the while meandering in between steep mountains, we had every reason to be. We learnt that the Lysefjord was carved and formed during the Ice Age by the glaciers, and that for thousands of years, people have scratched onto the mountains and hills. That is some feat considering the wild and brutal nature of the mountain area. As we discovered on the trip, the area is not as uncharted as one would expect, as there are many places where signs of human activity can be seen.
As we often do whenever possible, we hired a private boat exclusive for our group to have an exclusive
experience. Eric and I both have experience sailing and boat licences, as we co-owned a small but thriving fishing company. Of course, we had to get approval from the authorities to get a boat to ourselves. We anticipated this and knew this could be tricky so we got help from Båtførerkurset
who assisted us in smoothening the process. They are experts in gaining your boat licence so you are free to set sail.
We met up with our guide Freddie, got on board and made ourselves comfortable. There is a sun deck on boat and we sure took advantage of it to keep warm. Of course, our warm clothes helped as well. When you decide to take this cruise, ensure you bring along warm clothing, as the wind can be intense. So intense that you may consider leaving the deck, but you will surely be giving up having the best views as the deck is from where you can have them.
After leaving the port, we passed by rocky, beautiful, islands. On some, we saw lovely wooden houses perched on the hillsides. Every curve in the coastline is a new idyllic scene waiting to mesmerize us. Before long,
the mountains began to appear in the distance; some were as high as three-thousand feet above sea level. Freddie told us that if it had been during summer, we may have found some mountain goats that moves toward the edge of the water.
We soon came up on Jettegrytten, which means pothole and looks like one. It is shaped by a stone that dropped into the flow of water that erupted when the ice melted, and thus have made the hole keeps getting bigger. Freddie told us that people from further up the fjord came to bathe here.
Soon after, the boat entered Fantahålå
, which means “vagabond’s cave”. It is a small mountain cave that was named after a group of vagabonds who took refuge there as fugitives.
Sadly, we were unable to see Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock) as it was misty but the views of the steep mountains, the many waterfalls and the fjord made up for it. It was just all beautiful, serene and scenic. The views were like scenes from Pandora in the Cinematic movie Avatar. (I wouldn’t be surprised if they drew inspiration from here).
We had a final stop at Henjane waterfall. Yes, we practically stopped and got the boat as close to the waterfall as possible. After drinking in the sight of the thundering waterfall which plummets 400 meters down into the fjord, we took pure, crystal clear water from the waterfall to drink. After which it was time to go back.
This trip was one of the most fairytale-like trip I’ve ever taken. It was littered with paradisic and picturesque views all the way. If you love beauty in nature and serenity, you will certainly love a boat cruise up the fjord. Of course, the private boat is an option, not a necessity, but if you chose to go that way, consider getting help from relevant agencies and companies.
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