Stuif's Adventures

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Norway June 2014
A few months ago I came across a picture of the Pulpit Rock in Norway. I was fascinated by this piece of rock, rising 604 meter above the water of the Lysefjord. Searching the Internet I found that it was a major tourist attraction and that access from Stavanger was relatively easy. So Aric and I decided to make a trip to Norway, for both of us a first..:-)
Our plan was to take a flight to Stavanger, climb the Preikestolen as the rock is called in Norwegian, then travel to Bergen. From there to Oslo, using a combination of train, bus and boat with an overnight stop in the small village of Fløm. FInally fly back from Oslo to Amsterdam. A 11D10N trip.

We booked our accommodation thru Airbnb. In Stavanger our host, Knut, had just decided to rent an apartment using Airbnb, we were his first guests. He was very eager to please, even picked us up from the airport!

As we arrived in the morning, we had a full day to explore Stavanger. It has an interesting historical district with the characteristic wooden houses. Large cruise ships in the harbour. As the apartment had a fully-equipped kitchen, we decided to prepare our dinner ourselves!

Our host Knut

The apartment

The harbour of Stavanger

Huge cruise ships

Old Stavanger


Beautiful houses

Not easy to lift :-)

What we bought in the shop

And the result

Start of the cruise

We had two full days in Stavanger, so we studied the weather forecast to find out the best day for the Preikestolen trip. For the first day some drizzle was expected, so we chose the second day for our hike. Hmm, when we woke up the next morning, there was a blue sky! But we kept to our plan, which was to make a cruise in the Lysefjord so we could see the Preikestolen from below.
It was a pleasant half-day trip with nice views of the fjord and the pulpit rock. We had lunch near the harbour and in the afternoon we visited a memorial for a battle fought in 872. That's what I call history!

Eating out in Norway costs you a bomb, and the quality is only so so, we had a simple dinner with a bacon hot dog...:-)

Passing a bridge

The Lysefjord

Romantic countryside

Beautriful weather

Steep cliffs

Approaching the pulpit

Notice the red arrow


Still snow in the hills

A gull

Back in Stavanger

The famous fish soup

Tasty mussels

Stavanger cathedral

Sverd i fjell

Our hot dog dinner

Ferry crossing. Dark clouds

The next morning we discovered that we had been cheated by the weather forecast. A dark, clouded sky. What to do...:-)? To reach the Preikestolen trail head, you have first to take a ferry and then a bus. The trail is well maintained and climbs 330 meter over a distance of about 4 km. We reached the pulpit rock just before it started drizzling and raining.
What a spectacular rock it is! Worth the effort, pity that the weather was bad. We spent quite some time there, taking lots of pictures, before we walked down in a downpour. That evening we rewarded ourselves with a delicious dinner. The only really good meal we had in Norway. It came at a price, about 140 Euro.

Map of our trail

Well maintained trail

Interesting erosion patterns

Almost there

There it is, the pulpit rock

A bit of sun

Then the rain started

Look at them

Another view

Yes, this is Aric!

Looking down

It became cold

We were soaked

A well deserved dinner

Delicious food

By bus and ferry to Bergen

The next day we traveled to Bergen. Traveling along the coast in Norway is a slow process because of the many fjords you have to cross. But the landscape is nice and the ferries have a canteen where you can buy drinks and food.
Bergen is a big town, crowded by tourists. It is also a very old (Hanseatic) town, with many historical buildings. We stayed three nights here in another Airbnb apartment with a nice view of the harbour.

Bryggen, the old wharf of Bergen, is a world heritage site, there is a lot to see. Near the harbour there are many seafood stalls, we decided to have a seafood platter, delicious, but 99 Euro (including two drinks) is really too much. We had splendid weather, surprisingly, because Bergen has the reputation that it always is raining there. We watched beautiful sunsets from our apartment. At 11 pm, it was almost the Summer Solstice.

A Room with a View!

Near the harbour

Old houses

Seafood lunch

Old warehouses

Nice weather in Bergen!

Bright colours

The Stadsrat Lehmkuhl

Entrance Bergenhus castle

Rosenkrantz tower (~1560)

Just a nice house

The Sailor's monument

Near the harbour

Sunset at 11 pm !

Edvard Grieg

One morning we visited the villa where Grieg composed several of his masterpieces. Beautifully located at one of the fjords. Included in the ticket price was a piano recital, with compositions by Grieg of course...:-)

His villa

The studio where he wrote his music

Inside the studio

A nice concert hall with view of the fjord

Bergen is surrounded by hills, and two of them are easily accessible by public transport. The Fløyen can be reached directly from the town center by a funicular, built in 1918! A popular tourist attraction with a nice view of the town. Much more impressive are the views from the Ulriken mountain. An extensive maze of hiking trails, pity we had only time for a short walk.

The Fløibanen funicular

Going up

View of the town

One for the album

A crowd of tourists

The Ulriken cable car

Making the hill higher

Impressive landscape

Barren hills

Far away the snow

For our travel from Bergen to Oslo we used the Norway in a Nutshell program. We booked at the tourist office a combination ticket for train, bus and boat, with an overnight stay in the small village of Flåm. Impressive scenery with a lot of waterfals!

From Bergen to Oslo

Many waterfalls

Beautiful landscape

Another impressive fall

Cruising the fjord

The bird kept us company

Tiny villages


Another fjord view

My fan club

Flåm is an idyllic village at the end of a fjord. We had booked an apartment there and fortunately there was a supsermarket in the village, so we prepared our own dinner. It would be no problem to spend more days here and relax. In the afternoon we hiked to an impressive waterfall, the Brekkefossen fall.
The next day we took the famous Flåm Line to Myrdal. Over a distance of 20 km it climbs 863 meters. It has ten stations, twenty tunnels and one bridge! Halfway it stops for a few minutes, to let the passengers admire a spectacular waterfall.
In Myrdal we took the train to Oslo. Amazing landscape, lots of snow.


On our way to the waterfall

Brekkefossen fall

The Flåm railway to Myrdal

Train stop to admire the fall

From Myrdal to Oslo




In Oslo we had booked another nice Airbnb apartment, conveniently located not far from a Metro station. We spent the last days of our Norway trip, exploring the capital. Our first impression was not really positive, it is a big town, but there was enough to see. We paid a quick visit to the National Gallery, mainly to have a look at the famous painting "The Scream" by Munch. The Akershus fortress is a huge complex, we could only visit the outside, as there was a military function going on.
Another big complex is the new Oslo Opera House (2008). Interesting, but not as iconic as its counterpart in Sydney...:-)

Our apartment in Oslo

The town hall

The parliament buildings (Storting)

National Gallery

The Scream

The Cathedral of Oslo

Storting Plass

Just nice

WWII monument

Akershus castle

Another view of the castle

Changing of the guards

Friendly Military

Oslo Opera House (2008)



Probably the most popular tourist attraction in Oslo is the Vigeland installation in the Frogner park. Gustav Vigeland (1869-1943) was a Norwegian sculptor. He created a huge collection of sculptures of athletic naked people. Most famous is the Monolith in the center of the park. We had beautiful weather, sometimes a bit too much contrast to take good pictures. Here a collection.

Vigeland Installation

Many school trips

Collection of sculptures

The angry boy










The monolith



The Viking Ship museum

Another popular attraction is the Viking Ship museum, where three Viking ships are exhibited. The most famous one is the Oseberg ship, discovered in a burial mound in 1904. The burial mound is dated AD 834(!), the ship itself is older. It is considered one of the finest finds of the Viking Age. Remains of two females have been found in the mound, they must have been of very high status. Sledges, beds, cooking pots and other grave goods were also found in the mound, to support the ladies in the afterlife. Fascinating.

The Oseberg ship

Very elegant

view from above


one of the sledges


So beautiful!


Another Viking ship


There were two more attractions we wanted to visit before we took our flight back to Amsterdam. The Ice Bar and the Nudist Beach...:-)! The Ice Bar was really cold, we were given a welcome drink in a glass made of ice. A nice contrast with the sunny beach just at the outskirts of Oslo.
Norway is more interesting than I expected, it was a very rewarding trip, but also tiring. Back home in Amsterdam, we needed two days to recover!





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