Thursday, August 28th was the day I was going to go to the Pulpit Rock!
The day started off pretty bleak and foggy. I had to beg 10 kroner to use the public restroom (paying for public restrooms is apparently fairly common practice in Scandanavia and possibly Europe -_- ) and missed the first ferry to Tau but managed to make the second.
By the time I got to Tau around 830am the day had cleared up significantly and I hopped onto a bus to head to Preikestolen. The bus got delayed due to the bus company forgetting to send an 830am bus (apparently that bus was supposed to be the 920am departure) but I just nodded off for a bit until we headed off. We were at the rock by 10am and I was really surprised at how many people were there. Bus after bus was in the parking lot and a steady line of little dots were climbing the trail in front of me.
I knew that Preikestolen was an easier and therefore more popular hike but I was really unprepared for this. It wasn’t even a hike and I would struggle to even call it nature. It was just tourism. I did my best to set this feeling aside by getting onto the trail but this only proved to make it worse.
Maybe if there had been a trail it would have been better but it was more or less a path of stones complete with steps. Drop some people who have never climbed higher than the step stool to reach the cookie jar onto said path and you have completed the nightmare.
No trail etiquette. No trail. In a few years there will just be an elevator.
Now, obviously the conditions of the hike were very frustrating to me. I was just coming off a wild four days in Iceland and an adrenaline pumping day at Kjerag so to now be doing such a tame and manufactured experience was a let down for me. But I will take the time to acknowledge that it is important that places like this exist. Places that give those too young or old or injured or ignorant a chance to be exposed to the magnificence and beauty of nature. I know it is important and I did my best to keep that in mind but I had a very hard time doing so.
I got to the top of Preikestolen in an hour. I was even surprised at this because it is advertised as a 2.5 hour hike. I usually beat trail times but never have a more than halved it.
My early arrival meant I had much more time up top than I had planned on. I ate lunch, dangled my legs over the edge, and had some fun trying different stuff with the GoPro. But the rock was crowded and didnt provide nearly the rush of Kjerag so I turned back down the trail.
After the 40 minute descent, I rode the ferry back to Stavanger and wandered through town trying to kill time until my night train to Oslo at 10:30.
My advice for anyone doing the two hikes I did in the Stavanger area is to do Priekestolen first followed by Kjerag. That way, you are constantly seeing something more massive and incredible than the last. But that is just me.
All my love.