We had been planning this trip to Norway with the girls (Lena, Rachel & Mel) for almost 6 months as it was the Bank Holiday weekend which meant prices for flights and accommodation were likely to sky rocket! Having just returned from our trip to South America, we were somewhat jetlagged but still very much excited to see what one of the world’s top hiking destination had to offer.
We landed in Stavanger just after midnight. One of the first things we did at the airport was use the free shoe shining machine, just because we could. As we were leaving the airport we noticed a massive line of about 100 people at the info desk, all of whom had just come off our flight. We didn’t think anything of it until we left the airport and realised there were no taxis. After some slight panicking at the thought of having to wait for hours, we stood outside and saw a parked taxi in the distance. We sprinted to it as soon as we saw it, hoping to get there before anyone else caught sight of it. It was a station wagon and we were almost certain it wouldn’t fit all of us, but low and behold it did! Crisis averted!
We arrived at our apartment in about 20 mins and hit the hay. The next morning we awoke to find that the fridge was packed with enough food for both breakfast and lunch. By about 10am we left Stavanger in our rental car and made our way to Pulpit Rock. It was about a 90 minute journey which took us through postcard perfect scenery. When we reached the Pulpit Rock carpark, we put our backpacks on, took our group photo and made our way up.
It was an absolutely perfect day for a hike, warm but not too hot with clear blue skies all round. There were plenty of people on the hike with us, but not too much that we were held up. We all kept wanting to take photos as everything was just so damn beautiful! But we did use a bit of restraint and managed to get to the top in just over 2 hours. It was a relatively easy hike with a few steep points along the way.
By the time we’d reached ‘Pulpit Rock’ it was lunch time and there were hundreds of people there admiring the few of the Fjords. It was absolutely incredible. We of course took a few more group photos and hiked up a little higher to get away from the crowds and were able to enjoy our pre-packed sandwiches overlooking what could possibly be one of the most amazing views we have every seen. After lunch we did a little bit of exploring and scrambled off the track to get different perspectives of Pulpit Rock and eventually made our way back down to the carpark. It was close to 5pm by the time we got back to the car which we were very surprised about mainly because the sky was still so bright.
None of us were particularly hungry so we decided to just head straight to our Airbnb in a tiny town called Kvinnherad. The journey was going to take just over 4 hours …. or so we thought. We knew at one stage or another we’d have to take a ferry, as much of Norway consists of islands which are not linked by bridges. By about 7pm our stomach’s started to rumble and we knew it was time for a bit of a driving break. So we decided the next place we’d find would be our dinner for the night. We drove for what seemed like forever but only encountered small towns where everything was shut. By about 8pm we were getting worried that we might have to starve but with a bit of luck there was a Pizza shop open in the middle of a ghost town. I don’t think I’ve every been so happy to see a Pizza shop before. We raced in, ordered 4 large pizzas and sat patiently as they started making them. It was at that point we realised, do the ferries run 24 hours? We asked the Pizza store staff member and they weren’t sure but they didn’t think so. So the excitement for Pizza quickly became anxiety as we all got our phones out, connected to wifi and searched for the final departure time of the ferry. Rachel managed to contact our Airbnb host who said the last ferry was to leave at about 10pm. By this stage it was already 8.30pm, so we quickly changed our orders to ‘take-away’, grabbed the boxes of pizzas and ran straight for the car.
Jason had the difficult task of getting us through 40km of winding roads in under an hour. With the smell of pizza wafting through the car, we ate and discussed the high chances of us having to sleep in the car that evening. This then progressed to talks about whether someone sleeping in the boot would make for a more space efficient arrangement. By this stage we were delusional full up on pizza and high on adrenaline. After plenty of twists and turns and only 15 minutes before the ferry departed, we made it to the port! Jason parked the car behind a couple of others who were also waiting. We got out of the car, high fived each other and enjoyed the view of the sunsetting along the horizon. We were absolutely elated.
When the time came we got on the ferry for the 30 minute journey and started making our way to the Airbnb until Rachel received a text from our Airbnb host who said ‘I hope you took the Ferry A, as Ferry B adds another hour to the journey’. We turned around, looked at the sign and yep you guessed it, we took Ferry B. Shit. Ok we’ll deal with it. We got going using our trusty Google Maps, which unfortunately took us to a dead end after about 30 minutes of driving. Whilst on the wrong path the song ‘Maybe Tomorrow’ came on the radio and at this point we all burst out in laughter at how perfect that timing was.
By about 12.30am we reached a tiny town and found the yellow barn house we had been longing to see for the past 7.5 hours. We made it … finally!
Til next time
Ann & Jason xo