During our time in Southern Norway we did the areas three most popular Hiking Trails, Kjeragbolten, Preikestolen and Trolltunga.
For the most part we’ve been trying to stick away from the main tourist trail on this trip, however from seeing pictures of the views from these walks we knew had to do them.
Looking over Lysebotn after the clouds lifted.
After a night in Oslo we headed out into the wild countryside to begin the mammoth journey to our first hike, Kjeragbolton. All was going well and we were making great time until we decided to undertake some last minute hiking training by going for a small run, bad idea! Within 100 metres we had one sprained ankle and 5 days of ice and recovery ahead.
This delayed our start date somewhat, but did mean we got to explore Stavanger and the surrounding areas.
After a week of relaxing in the sun the day of hike number one finally came, we arrived at the Kjeragbolton car park at 6.30am for a nice early start to the trail. The only thing we hadn’t anticipated was the thick morning cloud that had now engulfed the entire mountain.
After putting on a few extra layers we started hiking, the going for the first 2 miles of this route is pretty tough, lots of scrambling and steps to overcome before it flattens out for the last few kilometres. We’ve since been told that the views along this trail are pretty magical, unfortunately the cloud meant we couldn’t see much further than a couple of metres, still it gave the hike a serene and eerie feel, especially as we only saw 4 other people on our way up.
After an hour and a half we reached Kjeragbolt, on first appearances, the sight of the boulder is enough to make your knees go weak, it rests suspended between two sheer rock faces over a waterfall that tumbles to the fjord far below, I’d like two say that once up close my fears of clambering on top were bravely suppressed, however this wasn’t the case, I was still terrified.
After a few minutes of psyching our selves up, Christie bravely volunteered to be first to clamber out onto the boulder, another kind hiker offered to take a photo of both of us on the boulder, this did mean that Christie had to perch precariously on top whilst I made my way up.
Christie striking her dancing queen pose, on the famous Kjeragbolt
Looking back now, I can recall the exhilarating feeling of balancing 1000m above the fjord, at the time however all I felt was fear, fear and a slight confusion as to how this was aloud to happen, it all seemed far to dangerous!
As we made the descent back to the car park, the sun decided to come out, allowing us to take in the magnificent views overlooking Lysebotnfjord.
Next up was Preikestolen.
This is by far the easiest hike of the three, unfortunately this makes it also the busiest, we decided to try and bypass the … of tourists who hike this trail every day, by setting off at 6pm.
Preikestolen took us around 3 hours in total with an hour spent on the rock itself. The climbing isn’t too arduous, the only part we found tough was the heat, at 6pm it was still 26 C.
The views from the pulpit itself didn’t disappoint, unlike Kjeragbolton there wasn’t a cloud in the sky when we arrived, meaning we could see for miles in all directions, including down!
The view from the summit of Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock)
We camped near by Priekestolen that evening and woke early the next day to make our way to our 3rd hike, Trolltunga!
For around 3 years I’ve known about this mysterious place and after looking online at countless photos of the gravity defying rock jutting out from the side of a mountain, I was quite excited to get this trek under way.
My excitement would have to take a back seat for a couple of days, as this was the length of time we took to drive over to the town of Odda, where Trolltunga starts. This was partly down to wanting to see as much of Norway as possible, and partly down to the fact that our van can only muster around 15 miles an hour going up hill and there were a lot of hills!
When the day off the expedition finally arrived we woke incredibly early at around 5am, this was due to the rumours we’d heard along the road that Trolltunga isn’t as quite as a mysterious and secretive place as I’d been lead to believe, in fact the queues to get out onto the tongue itself can at times exceed 3 hours! Safe to say we weren’t to keen on that idea.
The hike got off to a bad start, we were misinformed by a road sign instructing us to park our campervan before ascending the mountain road to the start of the hike, we thought this a little odd but presumed the starting point must only be a few hundred metres ahead. Over 40 minutes later we were still walking, at this point we were ready to turn around and forget the whole idea, that was until we decided that the only option was to stick our thumbs out and hitch hike, luckily an unbelievably kind family stopped and gave us a lift to the start.
A quick pit stop to admire the panorama before we reached Trolltunga itself.
Once finally on the trail the views were breathtaking, looking around all you can see is snow capped mountains in every direction encircled by huge fjords of the bluest water.
After two and half hours we reached Trolltunga, despite our slow start we managed to make up time and only had to queue for 20 minutes for the famous photo.
After watching other hikers strut their stuff out on the rock and a few rounds of much needed cheese and pickle sandwiches we made our way back down.
We completed the hike in 6 hours and ended up covering over 32 kilometres, including the additional 4km we did to start with.
The views of Trolltunga (Trolls Tongue) are definitely worth the mammoth hike.
In total we spent 5 days doing the 3 hikes, this also allowed plenty of time to meander from one to the other.