Trip duration: 2 days | Approx cost: £250 | When: Summer
Doinit factor: One of Norway’s most iconic spots!
Preikestolen (or Pulpit Rock) is one of the iconic images of Norway and it is no wonder why. A pleasant three hour hike accessible to any novices, rewards you with some of the most spectacular fjord views in the World. It makes for a great weekend getaway, a weekend Dan Nusl fully intends to enjoy.
We start our hike at 11am amongst all the other tourists that are also about to descend on one of Norway’s most iconic natural landscapes. While planning my short adventure I had read that Preikestolen attracts in excess of 300,000 visitors, and that’s only within the first six months of the season! Today it seems they have been driven away by the dismal weather. Yet I can still see several coaches already in the car park full with eager tourists, some drawn here from as far as Japan. So not wanting to get bogged down behind the crowds we waste no time in setting off.
From the car park by the trailhead we venture out into nature with half a kilometre of uphill gradient before the terrain levels out. Our route takes us along a well paved path through thick pine forests only occasionally giving way to the sight of the fjords below. Upon reaching a plateau the forest begins to thin, and our path takes us along a story-like wooden boardwalk through the marsh lands. To our surprise, the trail is still quiet and the weather is rapidly improving.
Above: A pleasant hike through the lush green woods meeting a few people along the way
The next part of the hike see a noticeable change in vegetation, its more exposed and rocky and the steady climb begins to feel more difficult – in part due to the volume of hikers which have suddenly appeared. No longer are rocks and vegetation the only obstacle. Rather than join the crowds as they rest, we decide to press on to see if we can overtake a few of the weary ones. But the path becomes narrow, funnelling lines of hikers in both directions close together. Fortunately it’s not too long before another plateau provides an opportunity for people is disperse and I can once again begin to enjoy the my surroundings.
By now, the mist and drizzle has disappeared and sunny intervals brighten up our route. With the temperature rise, sweet dripping down my forehead we reach the highest point in our journey and are rewarded with spectacular views of the valleys and fjord below. Dramatic cliff faces, only interrupted by the tranquil waters surround us in panoramic postcard. This phenomenal landscape will now be with us as we hike the list kilometre to Preikestolen, and our goal for the day.
Above: The spectacular Pulpit Rock with a crowds
By now the sun was fully out and the clusters of people were once again getting denser. The massive 25 meter square rock finally comes into sight, as do yet more crowds; having that thrill seeking selfie and sitting on the 630 metre cliff edge. Of course we are no exception, dangling our feet over the edge of what I could only describe as the World’s stage and a perfect spot to eat our packed lunch. After about an hour wondering around we decide it’s time to return. Unfortunately there’s no alternative route and we have to backtrack down the same path we ascended on.
Pulpit rock certainly lived up to its reputation, earning the iconic status it receives. It’s inevitable people are drawn to it, I can’t blame them but I do wish that it was slightly less iconic and slightly harder to get to so I could have it all to myself.
Above: Even with the crowds it’s still worth a visit and it has been great weekend getaway