The weather is officially changing here in Bergen and fall is in full swing. The rain has picked up, along with the wind, and the temperature is hovering somewhere between 40 and 50 degrees. It feels like most of the trees lost their leaves in one weekend, before they even had a chance to turn yellow. In light of the onset of this dreary fall weather, I want to look back on a trip I took to Stavanger back in September!
In a previous post, I talked about hiking the Vidden Trail here in Bergen, and I think I’ve mentioned before that Bergen is the city of seven mountains. As cool as those seven mountains are, they are only a small taste of the hiking experiences to be had here in Norway. Two of the most famous of those hikes, Priekestolen and Kjeragbolten, can be found near Stavanger, a city just a few hours to the south. Most hikes close in the beginning of October, depending on snow conditions, so a few flatmates and I took a long weekend to check these two off our lists while we could!
To get to Stavanger, we took a ferry. I’ve never been on a boat so big before! The trip took about 5 hours, but it was only 25 euros and we got to see the Norwegian coastline on the way there, which was awesome. However, it rained most of the way, and when we got to Stavanger we had to walk 20 minutes in the rain from the ferry port to the nearest bus stop! Hiking for six hours in the rain the next day was not something any of us wanted…..
But luckily the next day dawned clear and beautiful! We were up bright and early to catch the bus to Kjerag at 7:30, which drove for three hours along the fjord up to the base of the hike. The scenery was breathtaking. Pictures can’t do it justice. The weather was still holding when we arrived, and the guide on parking lot duty told us we had the best hiking conditions in weeks. All we had to do was make it up the mountain.
Kjerag is rated as a very challenging hike. It consists of three steep ascents, followed by a trek along the top of the mountain that leads to the crack where Kjeragbolten itself lies suspended between two cliff faces, 1000 meters over Lysefjord! On several sections, you have to haul yourself up or down with the help of chains that have been bolted into the rock face. It takes most people 5 to 7 hours, and we had to do it in six to catch our bus back. All that said, as long as you are decently in shape and make sure to keep yourself on pace, this hike is totally doable. We took about 5 hours to hike up and down, and spent an hour at the top for lunch and pictures. Don’t worry, the rock is bigger than you think, just don’t look down!