A cliff hanger holiday

Nature in Norway – A cliff hanger holiday

Ut pa tur, aldri sur is a Norwegian phrase that translates roughly into ‘Out on a hike, never gripe’. The fjord an the lakes appeared as strips of hazy blue in the distance. Ahead of us a scene played out that would have made it to Fifty Ways to Kill Your Mammy (an adventure series on British television that revolves around a 70-year-old Irish mother and her intrepid son). A portly British mum was toiling away. And her teenage son fielded her questions, which ran along the lines of “Where is the lift?’’. He kept a straight face and in a chiding tone said: “Well, you asked for Norway. This is it, mum!’’

The prize was Preikestolen, or Pulpit Rock, in Rogaland County, Western Norway, which just out over the beautiful Lysefjord below. Getting to Preikestolen involves an almost 4 km trek but it still gets about 200,000 visitors every year. Local says that preikestolen, a giant rocky outcrop, will crumble and fall off the mountain into Lysefjord that it towers above the day that seven brothers marry seven sisters from the area  around the fjord. The improbability of it happening? An English writer Richard Dawkins puts it:

“By all means let’s be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.’’

But even if the seven brothers marrying seven sisters doesn’t happen, there’s always the chance that geological forces will triumph – one day. Along the plateau of the rocky outcrop is a deep crack that might lead it at some point to break off. Still the geologists assure us: Not in the immediate future. After a couple of hours into the hike through the scenic Norwegian wilderness, in sight of the flat bit of rock jutting out about 600 m above the fjord.

The occasion demanded a daredevil stunt, or a mini one at any rate. First the edge of Pulpit Rock above the Lysefjord. It was shrouded in its smoky blue hues with the striking granite cliffs standing like silent witnesses to it beauty. Large wads of white clouds were rolling off into the horizon.

It is easy to be one with nature in Norway. Everyone sat around quietly munching on their packed lunches or scampering to the edge of Preikestolen for photo ops. Preikestolen was carved out naturally by frost during the Ice Age, about 10,000 years ago, when a glacier came up next to the cliff. It has sensibly been left in a pristine condition by the Norwegians. There are no fences and none of your usual paranoia about safety.

If there is a place for a prfect moment f peace, its up on Pulpit Rock.

A little earlier we had been taking a blustery cruise on Lysefjord. The 42 km long lysefjord has only two villages along its length, Forsan and Lysebotn. Both of which are lightly populated.

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