This trip has been on my Bucket list for a long time.
It’s also a triple hit for me as hopefully I’ll be able to tick off two items off my list and add Norway to my list of Countries visited.
I think this will take me up to 36. I’m aiming to hit 40 by the end of the year. I’ve already booked in Croatia, Bosnia & Montenegro and Morroco in June which will be a great way to spend out first Wedding anniversary. There’s a short trip to Bulgaria coming in up in August but before that a relaxing week in the sun in palma. Plus I’ve already booked a cheap flight to take the wife and I out to the Ukraine next year!
Oh, and there is the little matter of taking part in the Rickshaw Run across India in January 2018. That will mean being in India before New Year so that’s another one and some more bucket list items.
So, on to the bucket list items on my radar during this trip.
I imagine a cruisw along the Norwegian Fjords is on most people’s list as it is mine. Lysefjord near Stavanger is one of the best in Norway and it has the advantage of being home to my second item which also happens to be one of my most wanted bucket list sights.
Many years ago, I was reading an inflight magazine about the World’s most impressive sights. The number one spot was taken by Priekestolen which overlooks the Lysefjord. In fact, it was the image of Priekestolen that drew my eye to the article in the first place. I couldn’t believe that such a place existed when I first saw it.
Priekestolen means ‘Pulpit Rock’ in Norwegian and when you see it you will know why. The word rock is an understatement almost as huge as the its real-life size. This 604m high Granite block of granite precariously jutting out from the Fjords otherwise smooth Cliffside.
Seeing the rock from the Fjord below will no doubt be amazing but my dream is to hike to the summit to see what the Lonely Planet guide describes as; “A remarkable place, a vantage point unrivalled anywhere in the world.”
I wrote this post on the flight out to Norway and at that point I honestly had no idea if I was going to be able to make that dream a reality for several reasons.
I’m pragmatic when it comes to travelling, that is to say I want to travel everywhere so I keep an eye on flights and deals and my destinations are often determined by sheer luck.
Everything looked great when I first booked the trip, I’d got a great deal on flights from my local airport London Gatwick to Stavanger with Norwegian for £40 return. For those of you that haven’t flown with Norwegian I can highly recommend them. We fly to Spain every other month to visit my Wife’s parents and have used Ryanair, Easyjet & Norwegian on the route. In our experience, Norwegian, have less delays, a smoother running service and generally provide a comfortable journey.
It wasn’t until I started to research the hike that I realised that March was still very much Winter in that region of Norway so there would still be plenty of snow & ice to contend with on the trail and some technical gear like crampons & walking poles (A good excuse to by some lightweight, collapsible ‘Leki’ hiking poles I’d had my eye on for a while) would be required.
Normally I would say that this wouldn’t be a problem and I would be even more excited however I managed to fracture my ankle 6 weeks before leaving which presented a significant problem in those conditions. I still had my ankle strapped up in a brace as I flew out.
To be on the safe side we booked places on a guided hike with a local company called ‘Outdoorlife Norway’ who run special winter excursions. The guides were excellent and they promised they would get me up and back down safely.
So with fingers crossed I’m off to explore Stavanger! Part 2 coming soon.