The hike to Pulpit Rock

Getting there is half the fun!  :-)

Approaching the town of Tau as the ferry ride comes to an end

Usually my posts are about somewhere in particular, but today's post is about what I saw while trying to get somewhere in particular.  The somewhere in question is Pulpit Rock, known locally as Preikestolen, and now known to me as "totally kick ass place overlooking a fjord in Norway".  I doubt that's the translation, but it fits.  It may actually translate to "this climb will make you hurt", which is also very accurate.

So as I said here before, I was in Stavanger, Norway recently and had a little bit of free time one afternoon to go explore.  Having done my research before leaving home, I knew that Pulpit Rock was not too far away, and let's say my interest was piqued.

just something beautiful I saw while riding on the ferry

I've seen pics of it online for years, and always thought it looked awesome.  Knowing I was within striking distance, I had to make a go of it.  You never know if you will return.

So I took the ferry from Stavanger to Tau, which was about 40 minutes, and the views were fabulous on the ferry ride.  Then I got on the bus at the ferry terminal in Tau and rode that for about 25 minutes, along the coastline and through Jorpeland, ending up in the mountains at a lodge overlooking a huge alpine lake.  Yes, all of this was as pretty as it sounds.

Then, the hike began...

...and it kept going, and going, and going.  I had read that it was about a 2 hour hike, but I assumed that was a worst-case estimate, or perhaps some over-estimation to account for the fact that not everyone is an elite athlete (and no, I'm not one either, but am in decent shape).  I figured it would be a reasonable hike that would take me a good hour or so.

Wrong.

A lake I came across while on the hike - yes I took a rest here!

I hiked for more than an hour and a half at full speed.  I was moving as fast as I could stand to move, considering I had a backpack with a camera, tripod, two lenses, accessories, water and snacks on my back.  And I was in jeans (not exactly an ideal setup for speed).  But I was motivated by what I hoped was waiting for me at the end of it all, so I kept pushing myself.

Plus, when I am getting close to a spot I am dying to photograph, I get a little hyper.

Since the hike started up in the mountains already, I assumed a lot of the elevation gain was already done by the bus ride, but that wasn't so.  There are many spots on this trail that you climb what looks like a stairway straight to the heavens.  It's punishing, people.

The total hike is about 5 miles roundtrip, and you gain over 1000 feet in elevation.  It doesn't sound like much, but there are several spots where it is flat and wide open, then you hit a stretch where you basically go straight up.  So when you gain elevation, you gain a lot in a short amount of time.

So after a huge effort, with some much-needed stops along the way, I finally made it to the end of the hike and was able to gaze out over Pulpit Rock and the fjord below, Lysefjord.   So what did it look like?  Well, that's the next post - so come back in 2 days and see for yourself!

And yes, I would do this all over again, at a moment's notice.  It was so worth it!

(and all pics here today were shot with my new camera, the Sony A7II - I am loving this thing and the amazing detail and dynamic range of it are fabulous!)

Thanks and hope you enjoyed the hike - I am certain you will enjoy the views I share on my next post! Come back Thursday to see them, you will be glad you did!

yay!  a flat part of the trail, leading through an alpine meadow

see what I mean?  that is a serious climb!

isn't this just a beautiful spot?  I stopped here to rest and fire a few shots!