What an amazing place. Norway is spectacular. I wish I didn’t have to take the night train to and from, so I could see the incredible countryside, but the weekend was still incredible. We arrived in Stavanger around 8 am, right in time to see the morning sun shining through the clouds. The ferry ride from Stavanger to Tau was one of the most beautiful experiences I have ever had. The way the sun rays were shining down over the green mountains with the fog illuminated- it was like a dream. The short bus ride from Tau to the Priekstolenhytta (our hostel) was beautiful as well; a great taste of what our weekend was to be about. We arrived to our little abode for the weekend and it was astonishing- it sat right in the middle of this beautiful valley, right on the lake. The view was stunning; it was easy to sit there for an hour just looking.
We decided to the actual hike to Pulpit Rock the day after we arrived, to give our bodies a good rest. So, we decided to walk around the lake, which we were told was about a 3 hour endeavor. The walk turned out to be more of a mission- the “trail” was not always a nice gravel path. Most of the journey was a flooded swampy marsh area that you had to weave your way through from rock to rock. I had my Chaco’s, so I led the way most of the time, trying to find the driest points for the other girls to hop to. It didn’t really matter though, because about a quarter of the way through, both of their shoes were completely soaked. We stopped about halfway to start and finish a sleeve of tea cookies, admiring the beautiful view.
The second half of our journey was a bit more challenging- we had to cross at least two waterfalls and the trail was completely submerged at one point. After the worst of it, we came upon a nice little meadow complete with a small cottage and a cherry tree with three swings- you couldn’t ask for a more perfect scene. So we sat on the swings for a bit, admiring the glorious moment we were partaking in. The incredible view of the lake and the surrounding mountings, the swaying grass all around us, and the wonderful company made the scene ideal. If there is a heaven, this is the place you want to go after it.
Our hike took us about 5 hours, and afterwards we were all starving. As the girls showered up, I started the pasta. And we devoured our meal. After dinner I introduced Aisha to toasted bread with Nugatti on it (Norwegian brand of Nutella)- she loved it, of course.
We had free breakfast during our stay, and it was incredible. All the three days we stuffed ourselves full of bread, marmalade, tomatoes and cucumbers, brown cheese, boiled eggs, meat and cheese, muesli with this yogurt that was much thinner than normal yogurt, and of course lots of coffee and tea. The breakfast before our hike to Pulpit Rock was our biggest. We just kept going back to the line to get more and more bread and all the fixings. Marie had a food baby that lasted throughout the hike. Actually, after we ate, we went back to the room and it took considerable motivation on Marie’s part to get Aisha and I out of our food comas. But, alas, we trekked.
The hike proved to be challenging, but very doable. The views along the way were incredible, as you could imagine. As we got to the top, all of our breaths were taken away by the sheer beauty of it all. We sat at the top for a while, taking pictures, inching our bodies to the edge, and eating our packed lunch. It was quite an incredible experience- the view of the fjord was so so beautiful. (Forgive my lack of word choice- there are too few words in the English language that mean ‘beautiful.’)
The girls had to head back earlier than I did on Sunday because there wasn’t anymore tickets left for the night train I had booked before them. I spent the day reading, napping, drinking tea, and doing a bit of homework, all while taking in the beauty that was that place. I don’t think you could ever get used to a view like that. I couldn’t stop taking pictures of the incredible landscape, even though I knew a picture could never capture how awesome the sight was. I headed back to Stavanger in the evening, and the ferry ride back proved to be just as beautiful as the first one, just with the sun setting on the other side of the fjord. I spent some time in Stavanger walking around and sight seeing a bit before I caught my train home.
After a long train ride back (although it didn’t seem that long, I slept the whole time), I arrived back in Oslo. What a spectacular weekend! I’m so happy I got to have that experience- now for more planning to explore this beautiful country even more!