Stavanger - Jørpeland - Preikestolen

West coast Norway

40 km by hitchhiking
in 2 cars
at 2 days of traveling

Norway's main attraction

Von Stavanger ist es nicht weit zu einem absoluten Natur-Highlight des Landes. In 600 Meter Höhe ragt der Felsvorsprung Preikestolen über den Lysefjord. Wir wollen uns für diesen Ort mehr Zeit nehmen, heißt mehr als einen Tag bleiben. Camping am Preikestolen ist offiziell nicht erlaubt. Aber entlang des Weges ist fein. Wir entscheiden vorerst den angebrochenen Tag im nahen Jørpeland zu bleiben, bevor wir uns frisch und vorbereitet dem Aufstieg zum Preikestolen wittmen. Ich habe eh noch etwas Arbeit zu erledigen und so finden wir uns Nachmittags in der öffentlichen Bibliothek des Ortes wieder. Aylin kümmert sich um den Einkauf, während ich einem Systemadministrator aus Hamburg eine neue Website baue. Um 18 Uhr schließt die Bibliothek und wir maschieren zu einem Bach etwas außerhalb des Ortes. Wir haben Glück und finden schnell einen schönen Platz am Wasser. Die Geräuchkulisse ist zwar erheblich, da der Bach an einigen Stellen eher einen Wasserfall gleicht, aber dafür gibt es ja Ohrenstöpsel. Wir kochen über dem Feuer und freuen uns auf den kommenden Tag.

Die Wanderung zum Preikestolen mit ihren 4 km dauert für jede Richtung ca. 2 Stunden. Da wir eh mit Sack und Pack den Fels erklimmen werden, entscheiden wir, dass wir entlang des Weges unser Zelt aufstellen wollen. Folglich füllen wir unsere Rucksäcke noch mit Proviant für 3 Tage und stellen uns in Jørpeland an die Bushaltestelle.

It doesn't take long before a young man in a Tesla pulls up next to us. He doesn't want to go to the Preikestolen himself, but he wants to help us and willingly drives us the 10km to the parking lot where most people usually start their hike. We are very happy about the willingness to help and after a short drive we are at our destination. For us it is now time to shoulder our backpacks and climb the mountain with around 18 kg of luggage. Not necessarily what you wish for every day, but the route is manageable with its four kilometers and we are not in a hurry. We line up in the steady stream of people who are also pushing their way up the mountain. The amount of people is quite forbidding but one has to be careful with judgment as we have to count ourselves among the tourists. From the parking lot to the actual destination, 500 meters of altitude await you. However, since the distance is not particularly long, the incline is quite steep. The path consists of a large number of stone stairs that line up next to each other.

After three kilometers we reach a plain with some fresh water lakes. The search for a campsite is more difficult than expected, as the rocky ground means that all the grassy areas are under water. But we find a nice place that is not visible thanks to a small ledge from the trail. After all, we don't have to look far for stones that we use instead of groundhocks to fasten the tent to the ground. After a short rest we tackle the last kilometer. We usually hate to leave luggage unattended anywhere, but we doubt anyone would want to lug their potentially stolen goods down the mountain for the two hours. The last meters of the path are quickly mastered, because now the excitement of the spectacular view is increasing. And suddenly there it is:

We are standing in front of an abyss, below us the Lysefjord. You step up to look over the edge and feel the adrenaline suddenly rush through your body. The path leads along the abyss for the last hundred meters and is only a few meters wide. Definitely not for the light hearted. 

As we reach Preikestolen, some low clouds hang in the fjord. We look for a spot a little off the edge and let the place work its magic on us. Again and again we disappeared into the clouds and visibility dropped to a few meters. Not very conducive to the view, but this place has its charm in all weather conditions! Just before the ledge, people patiently wait for everyone to have their photo taken at the top of Preikestolen and for the next one to take their 'lonely' photo. A bit bizarre, but that's the way things work in the age of social media. Luckily we have more time than most and can come back in the coming days when it's less busy. We trek back to the tent and enjoy the slowly decreasing stream of people.

In the distance the trekking poles clatter while we sit comfortably in front of our tent. We plan to see the sunrise at Preikestolen in the morning. In Norway this means getting up at just before four! So we set the alarm for 3:30.

But in the evening a dense cloud cover gathers and we are right in the middle of it. The humid air settles over the tent and clothes and sleeping bags get clammy inside too. A short time later it starts to rain. We already suspect that our morning plan will probably not bring much joy. When the alarm clock rings at 3:30 a.m., little has changed outside the tent. But we are surprised, because in the distance we hear the familiar clacking of some hiking sticks. There are actually crazy people who start a hike in the rain and without visibility well before sunrise. We turn around again and postpone the plan to the next day.

In the morning the cloud cover breaks up and a short time later we have a blue sky as far as the eye can see. We enjoy the peace and doddle through the day. Our place is far enough from the path that none of the hikers get lost here. We still get visitors: three young Britons are also looking for a place for their tent. We are always happy to meet like-minded people. You flew from England to Stavanger with hand luggage only. The idea of camping at Preikestolen came spontaneously and so they quickly bought a tent and a sleeping bag. You read that right: one sleeping bag. No sleeping mat. A two person tent for three people. We have to smile about this poor preparation. We spend the evening together around the campfire.

Gemeinsam mit drei Engländern sitzen wir am Lagerfeuer

Finding enough deadwood in a place where almost no trees grow was not that easy, but together we scour the area and unite our finds. We still have some flour and baking powder in our backpack and prepare a stick bread dough. Oliver, Daszy and Kate are super nice and we have a lot of laughs. We honestly enjoy our company.

Sunrise at Pulpit Rock

We decide to go through our sunrise plan together. And in fact, by half past three the next morning, everyone is up and ready. The weather is playing along and we have clear skies. The horizon is already glowing orange when we reach Preikestolen. Unsurprisingly, even at four in the morning you are not alone in a place like this. A good dozen people have gathered to watch the sun rise over the Lysefjord. Some are lying on the 25 x 25 meter plateau with sleeping bags and mattresses and seem to have spent the night here. It takes a while until the first rays of sun finally fall on the rocks. Getting up early was worth it – that much can be said. I think the pictures speak for themselves. After about an hour, most of the early risers have left and we are actually almost alone. Tired and happy, we also make our way back to the tent to sleep a few more hours before we dismantle our camp and descend again.

Am Parkplatz ist es leicht eine Mitfahrgelegenheit zu finden und es geht zurück auf die Hauptstraße Richtung Norden.