A wonderful holiday in Norway: Stavanger, Pulpit Rock/Preikestolen, Swords in Rock, Fargegata and the fjords

Norway is becoming more and more famous – not only for oil – but also for its wonderful nature and breathtaking landscapes , which are very reminiscent of those of the Lord of the Rings, this explains why is increasing by year after year as a destination chosen for their holidays . The wooden houses and the characteristic pastel colors are also beautiful. Mandatory at least one tour with ferries inside the fjords , and at least one excursion (hiking) in the mountains with a fjord view . The ideal would also be to combine one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world (see Norway in a nutshell ). I remind you that for your holiday in Norway, if you buy tickets on the internet in advance, you can get significant discounts (minipris) up to 50%.

Preikestolen – Pulpit Rock

One of the most famous and suggestive places for holidays in Norway is Preikestolen (or, in English, “Pulpit Rock“). The Preikestolen is located in the “Ryfylke” region, and is a flat rock at 604 meters above the “Lysefjord” fjord.

A fjord is a typical formation of Norway, and is basically formed when “ a glacier extending below the current sea level retracts, the sea fills the glacier-carved valley, with the typical valley at U-shaped. In this way indentations of the coast connected with the sea and the lakes were formed, sometimes up to 1300 m deep. ” (wikipedia)

Preikestolen – pulpit rock – stavanger
Ferry Stavanger => Tau
Autobus Tau => Preikestolen

Getting there is quite easy, if you take a room in Stavanger. Stavanger is the closest city, and in addition to being convenient for Preikestolen, it is also a beautiful city to visit, with the port, the “Swords in the Mountain”, various excursions by kayak or by ferry into the fjords.

From Stavanger, early in the morning around 7.30/8.00, go to the ferry port (not the tourist one) and buy a “ferry + bus” bundle “for the Preikestolen from around 400 nok (eg gofjords.com), take the first available ferry to “Tau” and then the bus, with very simple and well-organized changes (as always in Norway)!
Update 2021: I was told that the Stavanger-Tau ferry has been replaced by the tunnel “Ryfast“, and the round trip cost of the bus is about 329 nok. If you have more information (times, frequency, duration of the trip, etc.) let me know that I will integrate them!

Once you arrive at the car park, you will start the hiking path for about 1.5/2 hours for the outward journey, and the same for the return.
If you have to take a bus to go back – or you don’t intend to go down in the dark – calculate the times well, because running downhill on that path (personal experience) I do not recommend it at all! Unfortunately some people get hurt every year, remember that even if popular, it’s not a walk in the park.

Please pay attention to their advice on clothing and in general (hiking shoes, wind / rain jacket, food and drink). Check the weather conditions – which change very quickly in Norway, especially in this area – the day before and even before leaving on the Norwegian weather site (among the best in the world ) yr.no , if there is fog once at the top you will see nothing, if it rains at your risk and danger! The route is almost from the city, given the huge number of tourists who come every day, but it is not a walk, you must be in good physical shape and have done a minimum of training, because some points of the uphill are quite steep. You will also see 6-year-old children taking the route, but they are Norwegian, which is another story compared to us: they are born with skis and hiking shoes! Be careful not to go back to the car park too late: the last bus leaves around 18.30, so check the times carefully!

The Lysefjord

Here a view of the fjord “Lysefjord“, unfortunately the photos don’t make it, you should be there! The emotion is great! If you come on holiday to Norway, you can choose from many fjords, the most famous being the “Sognefjord” (the longest in Norway) and the “Geirangerfjord”, both UNESCO heritage sites. The “Lysefjord” is – they say – among the 5 most beautiful.
By the way, do you know the true meaning of the painting “The Scream” (“Skrik” in Norwegian) by Munch? The magnificence of the fjords and landscapes of Norwegian nature. Find a more detailed description at the museum on Munch, along with the original painting, in the Oslo museum.

One evening I was walking along a path, on one side was the city and below me the fjord … I stopped and looked beyond the fjord, the sun was setting, the clouds were tinged with blood red . I heard a scream go through nature: I almost thought I heard it. I painted this picture, painted clouds like real blood. The colors were screaming. This became The Scream.

The Stavanger’s harbour

In Stavanger you can enjoy the harbor, the characteristic Norwegian houses and a lot of restaurants all around. Every now and then you will see a huge cruise ship full of tourists invading the port and the shops!

We were lucky because we found the “Tall ships race” that every 7 years stops in Stavanger (The Tall Ships Race), so lots of sailing boats !

Eating

Do not miss to eat the classic fish soup at “Fisketorget” right in front of the harbor. Burgers are also recommended (they are not like at McDonald’s or fast food) as they usually make them at home, and the quality is usually very high. Anyway all the local food, especially fish, is of high quality, maybe not your taste, but all excellent and deserves to be tasted!

The oil museum

But also the beautiful oil museum, Stavanger being one of the most important points for extraction. I highly recommend the mini-film “The sons of oil” that they screen immediately after the entrance (in English or Norwegian), which conveys the atmosphere of the 70-80s very well, and the price that the Norwegians paid for the oil and the wealth derived from it. The museum is for the whole family, with lots of games for children as always in all museums in Norway.

The way of colors

Also in Stavanger you can go and see the “street of colors”, “Fargegata” in Norwegian (address: Øvre Holmegate) and drink their exceptional local beer.

Swords in Rock

If you have time, be sure to go to “Swords in Rock” (“Sverd i fjell” in Norwegian, see wikipedia), a couple of km outside the center, but with public transport from Kolumbus you will reach them in 10 minutes (ticket of 35 nok per person, valid for 1 hour). If it’s a nice day you can even swim!

The three swords are 10 meters high and are embedded in the rock of a small island near the fjord. The work [of art] commemorates the Battle of Hafrsfjord fought in 872, when Harald Hårfagre defeated two contenders thus managing to unify the territory of Norway into a single realm.
The larger sword represents the victorious Harald, while the smaller ones symbolize the two defeated kings. The monument is also intended to symbolize peace, as the swords are driven into solid rock, from which they must never be removed.

Have a nice holiday in Norway!

I hope I was helpful in organizing your holiday, or even just giving you some ideas! Happy holidays in Norway!

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