I woke up at 7:00 on a Saturday morning, which was early by any standards. The weather forecast was fantastic and I peeped outside pulling apart the window blinds to see the sun shining and blue sky. I told myself, today is the right day to go hiking to Preikestolen
. I knew that I had to take ferry to Tau and then a bus to the Preikestolen parking, but I as not aware of the timings and also if the buses were operated between Tau and Preskeistolen Base, as its not the peak season yet.
I reached Fiskepirterminalen to try my luck and was informed that there was a ferry at 9:30 which had the connecting bus to the base. I had got 90 minutes to take that ferry as it was only 8:00 then.
To while away my time I just went around the port and finished a chocolate muffin that I carried. It was a sunny day I was sure there will be quite few like me who would be heading to Preikestolen. There were a couple of Asian guys who were typically in hiking attire, sun glasses, outdoor wear, and huge SLRs, where else can they go? Then came a tall guy with a 1.5 length inch beard and looked like a hiker as well. I was not looking so much like a hiker, as I was in jeans, t-shirt and a laptop bag. At about 8:30 a ferry arrived at the dock to Tau. I saw the Asian guys rushing to the ferry, I decided I will take the ferry to Tau and wait at Tau for an hour to take the bus. I started a conversation with the beard guy and he confirmed that the ferry goes to Tau and I told him I was heading to Preikestolen.
Meanwhile a girl came in who also looked like a preikestolener. J She looked caught up in a decision to make, who to ask for directions, a group consisting a South Asian and thick bearded shabby guy or couple of guys who looked more touristy. She decided with the Asian guys. J. We boarded the ferry and I was still wanted to check if there is any bus apart from the connecting bus at 11:30.
I asked a middle aged couple, if they knew of any bus to Preikestolen Base from Tau, they had a small discussion in a feeble voice which I decided to ignore considering their privacy. After the conversation, they said they can give me a ride to me till Preikestolen and gleefully accepted the offer and they saw me with the beard guy and reserved a place for the beard guy as well. The ferry is already in the move, and me and beard guy started a conversation.
I came to know that he is a student in the Stavanger
University and passionate hiker from Romania. On the way to Tau, he showed me most of the Islands and said he has been on them. When we reached Tau, I told him the couple offered us a ride to Preikestolen, He said he is not going to Preikestolen but going to explore some other parts of Tau. He said he has been there few times and does not like the marked trails.
So it was me and the couple, we headed to Preikestolen in their Volkswagen. The journey was about 25Km from Tau. And at around 9:45 we reached the Parking place at the base. They said I can join them while hiking and I can join them on the way back. At around 10:00 we started to hike and they both were pretty fast and disappeared in few minutes.
The information board at the parking place showed that the hike is about 3.8Km and terrain varied across the whole trail. The total displacement in altitude is about 600meters. Initial part of the hike was over a long stretch of big boulders and then through a short valley. It was demanding at short stretches and easy over some parts. Overall it was easily doable. On the way I refilled my half liter bottle with water from a small stream. This is something I learnt from the Kjerag hike where I carried a 1.5liter water bottle and made my backpack pretty heavy. The trees in the woods haven’t got their leaves completely as it just early May. That was a really good as it was really bright and warm due to the sun rays.
It was only 10:30 and I saw a lot of people already coming down after hiking, while hiking you were never alone and will receive a warm smile and a ‘Hi’ from most of the people as we all there for the same purpose.
And the easiest word that one can say while panting heavily through their mouth is ‘Hi’. J
At about half way to the pulpit rock there are a couple of small water bodies, it could also be called as lakes. Needless to say it looked really beautiful. Close to the rock, there were some wooden bridges and barricades looking over the cliff. It gives a scary feeling when you realize that next piece of rock under the wooden log is few hundred meters below. A small almost flat path leads to the Pulpit rock and you can see the steep edge and I already started feeling funny in my tummy. The view of the Lysefjord was terrific from here, with dark blue still water.
I met the couple there said hello they took 1 hours to reach here and then I looked at my mobile phone, I took almost 1 hour fifteen minutes.
The guy helped me take couple of pictures of mine. I slowly crept in to the edge of the cliff to see the water down and the few birds flying below me. It looked fantastic. After a few minutes the couple decided to start hike down, they were kind and nice and once again reminded me about the ride back. I gratefully accepted the offer and told them if I catch up with them I will join them. There is a trail from the pulpit rock which takes you to the hill on the right hand side. I just climbed a few meters to have good view of the pulpit rock. I then ate the bananas I had and started the decent. The decent was quite fast and made use of the gravity quite well. J Half way down I saw the girl who I saw at Stavanger port, she was with a group and recognized me as well. Further way down I met a colleague of mine and stopped by, to have little chat and further way down almost got bitten by a dog, before the master pulled him away from me.
It took little less than 1 hour on the way down, and as I was strolling close to the parking place I saw the lady smiling at me from the VW and they stopped by me.
I felt I was so lucky on that moment and we reached the Tau port right in time to take the ferry back to Stavanger. On the top deck we had some discussions about work, Norway, Australia, Cricket and reached Stavanger at around 14:15. I said good bye and thanks to them and started walking back to the apartment, fully satisfied about the trip visiting the landmark of Stavanger or even Norway itself.