Tuesday, 28 August 2012


One of the images permanently burned into my head from Norwegian travel posters is of a hiker precariously perched high above a green sunlit fjord filled with dark blue water.  While Cecilie, one of our friends from the Norwegian boat Opportune couldn't promise sunshine, she did offer to drive us to a trailhead and walk with us to the sort of spot I imagined.
Mary Anne and Cecilie on the trail

Since Cec was most free on weekends, our mechanical delay in Ă…lesund dictated a week of long days to reach Stavanger, her home town by Friday.  As this rushed travel took us through world class scenery along a different route than we had used northbound, the experience was not unpleasant at all.  Mary Anne even found time to swim most days in what I consider to be perishing cold water. 

The pictures tell the story of the walk. A 2 hour uphill trek leads to a large flat slab of rock, amply populated, defying gravity 600 metres above the dark blue water of Lysfjorden stretching away nearly forever.  Cecilie took us on a route above the usual trail so that our first view was of the Pulpit Rock [Preikestolen] rather than from it. The walk along parts of the trail produced a few nervous heartbeats but it was all worth the pain.
Cecilie and Mary Anne on edge

Christian Radich
It was a delight to be tied up in the very center of Stavanger with the Norwegian tall ship Christian Radich and a number of others adorning the quay.  Unfortunately the beauty of the spot came with an excess of popularity!  We had no sooner tied up than the authorities required that we point at the quay rather than lie alongside it to allow room for a large collection of visiting boats.  The day after our walk, a strong wind rendered the visitors' departure difficult and we were then required to move back alongside the quay.  On our third morning, a large petroleum conference led to our having to leave at 6am.  Mercifully, the wind and sea had calmed by then for our short trip to peaceful Tananger where we now await the [relatively speaking] perfect conditions for our departure back to England.

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