600 Metres into thin air, alone on the Preikestolen (Norways Pulpit rock)
I stood alone on the edge, peering downwards at the 600-metre vertical drop into Lysefjord. Legend has it that when 7 brothers and 7 sisters marry on the same day in the area, the rock will break free and drop into the fjord below, creating a wave that will destroy all life in the area! Harsh! But this was Norway’s most famous attraction, and here I was in Tourist season standing alone on the edge..
How? The early bird catches the worm!
I left the car at 7am, for what was supposed to be a 2.5-hour ‘hike’ to the top. 45 Minutes later, I was standing alone with my toes hanging over the edge of the abyss, and feeling the adrenaline building in my body. It’s not a hike. Its a walk. A fit and healthy person should have no problems matching my time to the top.
For the best picture locations looking down onto the rock, one should climb up behind the Preikestolen where another cliff slightly higher, looks down upon the formation.
The views over Lysefjord and Ryfylke are world class, selected by Lonely Planet as one of the top 10 viewpoints in the entire world! But personally, I think the Hike to Trollstunga is a much better day out, and a better alternative if pressed for time.
After an hour at the top, I headed down, which took another 40 minutes. Along the way I ran into almost a hundred people all struggling to the top, my worst fear.. Bus Tourists! Day tours leaving from Stavanger begin to arrive around 9am, and beating them is the trick to a peaceful time at the top.
Season: April – October
Getting there from Stavanger – Boreal bus service, 232 NOK (including ferry) Round trip. http://www.boreal.no/pulpit-rock-rogaland/category845.html
If you have your own transport there are wild camping opportunities at the sea you drive along, before the main turn off to the pulpit rock.
Other options – For a cruise along the fjord below Preikestolen, see the timetables at www.norled.no and www.rodne.no