From my past trip to Norway in the spring, there was too much ice and snow to hike any of the amazing spots close to Stavanger. I was only able to take a boat through the Lysefjords which was still beautiful, but I knew the next time I come back to Norway, I HAD to go hike the cliffsides. It was breathless from below, so I could only imagine how amazing it would look from above! Petter and I made plans in Malaysia to go hike Kjeragbolten during my stay in Norway but with the limited time we had, we decided that hiking Preikestolen would be better. The drive to Preikestolen is about a 1.5-2 hour drive (including the ferry ride) and the hike round trip is about 3-4 hours, whereas the drive to Kjerag is about a 5 hour drive round trip and a 5-6 hour hike up. We picked up my other favorite Norwegian, Jeanette, and her cute dog Milo and started our journey out to Pulpit Rock!
The hike started off with paved roads and clearly marked paths, but the further up we went, the less regulated and rockier the paths were. This really shows how Norway values the nature of the trail, but this also means more risk for the hiker. For me, it is more fun and adventurous since you can make your own trail and take the road less traveled (really reminded me of Frost's poem on nonconformity, how poetic!). With Viking long legs, Petter climbed even the steepest of rocks along the trail like it was nothing. Even Milo was able to catch up (Viking dog haha)! I was the slow American taking my time climbing up the trails. Slow and steady !
There were so many great little green valleys, ponds, and rivers along the way where you can catch your breath and admire the scenery. Here in Norway, all the running waters come from melting glaciers, so any running water you find, you can drink! The water is crisp and cold... and perfect during the hike up!
In Norway, there is a "no man's land" law in which you can camp anywhere just as long as it is not private property. So throughout the trail, you can see people tented up and camping out! I would love to come back and do the same :).
When we finally got to the top, there is a narrow trail right along a very steep cliff. Take caution of all the cracks! You definitely do not want to fall here... There are no barriers whatsoever to protect you if you slip or fall. This gives an marvelous, unobstructive view of the cliffs below. Once we made it to the to, Petter had surprise ice cold beers and Norwegian chocolates to have while we take rest and enjoy the view. Seeing Lysefjord from below was great... but the perspective from the top... Speechless. I was seriously astounded by what I was seeing. God truly is good! It is far better from above than below. The sun came out and the clouds cleared up right as we were at the top as if it was meant for us to enjoy.
Preikestolen is called "pulpit rock" because of its distinctive square shape jutting out of the cliffs. In order to see the actual shape, there is another trail up for an extra 45 minutes to 1 hour to make it to the top. With the little time we had, we decided to stay on the main rock and just relax. There were many people BBQing and lunching it up here. There are one time use BBQ sets you can purchase at the grocery just for situations like this!
The trip down was much easier and quicker (hard on the knees though for people who have knee problems). The scenery was still amazing and quite different since the sun was out and shinning! On the ferry back, we had this potato mush with meat and veggies... doesn't look so appetizing but it was perfect for after a hike! Hot, creamy deliciousness that warms my soul.
Experiences like this, I am so consumed by God's grace... to be able to be immersed in the beauty that has been created. It makes me humble and thankful to be able to enjoy what life has to offer! There is so much to see in this world! Norway is a breathtaking country. This was something I quickly realized with just a few days in this country and really accepted after hiking up Preikestolen. I want to be able to fully appreciate the beauty of Norway by taking more time exploring and hiking all the spots this land has to offer! I know one day I will be back, especially with Kjeragbolten and Trolltunga on my life bucketlist ;) Thanks to my favorite Norwegians for letting me experience with you guys! YOU GUYS AREE DEE BESTTTT! :)