On the opposite side of Lysefjord is Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock) which is said to be the top tourist attraction in Norway and one of the best views in the world. So we got a car ferry across from Lauvvik to Oanes and took the road up to a carpark. What a difference from our hike the day before at Kjerag boulder where there were about 40 cars, here there were a few hundred, plus tour buses. Half of Norway’s population seemed to be hiking up, from old people that stumbled over every rock to parents carrying babies, toddlers and chihuahuas.
It wasn’t a great day for the hike as there was low lying cloud everywhere, sweeping past us like ghosts. But the more progress we made, the clearer it became. By the time we reached the top all the clouds had dispersed. We walked along the cliff edge route which had a very wide track, yet people still hugged the rock walls like geckos.
Pulpit rock dominated the landscape, a sharpe edged, clean cut wall sticking out the mountain side and dropping into the fjord. There was a huge flat section at the top covered in tourists, all trying to out do one another with brighter clothing. Lot’s of people were sitting on the edge with their feet dangling 600m above ground level. We opted for the safer commando shuffle, lying on our fronts and crawling along to poke our heads over the edge and peep down.
It’s one of those areas where the rock is the photo op, not being on it – so it surprised me that everyone just lounged on the rock while only a handful of people climbed around the back. We were rewarded with a spectacular view, the slab of rock covered in people, a steep drop down to the water, boats cruising along and the fjord narrowing and curving into the distance. The rock really stood out as the surrounding mountains were all curved and circular.
The Chinese groups were as daring as ever shouting in awful sync “Norway, Norway, NORWAY irbrhckwohyd!!” – I didn’t quite understand what they said at the end. Then they’d all jump together right by the edge. Another group of people brought along a remote controlled helicopter with a camera attached to it, they flew it over the crowd of people, circling up and over the cliff edges. When they landed it everyone applauded the performance.
Two days, two epic hikes and views. Norway, you are truly spoiling us!