DAY 1 - flight from Prague to Stavanger
DAY 2 - Preikestolen (the Pulpit Rock)
DAY 3 - Lysefjorden, Stavanger
DAY 4 - flight from Stavanger to Prague
DAY 1-2 - flight from Prague to Stavanger, Preikestolen (the Pulpit Rock)
This trip to Norway was one of the spontaneous ideas that came to our mind when we found cheap flight tickets to Stavanger. We had only two days at our disposal, but it was enough to see famous Preikestolen, Lysefjorden and to explore charming old town of Stavanger.
When we arrived to Stavanger, there was a heavy rain and weather forecast for next two days was not good. After waking up one look out of the window was telling us that the forecast was not lying. We walked to the port where the ferry to Tau was waiting for us. We changed ferry for bus and continued our way to Preikestolen Fjellstue - the starting point of Preikestolen trail. Preikestolen is a steep cliff that rises around 600 metres above Lysefjorden ("the Fjord of Light"). It offers phenomenal view of the fjord assuming that weather and visibility is good. But it was unfortunately not our case.
The rain was getting stronger, but the trail led us through beautiful Scandinavian nature. The nature is known for its mixed forest, rocks, wetlands, lakes and waterfalls. You can expect all of these things on the way to Preikestolen. Gloomy weather with misty views all around made it more authentic. However it didn't discourage many people to start the trail. As I was saying, this trail is quite famous in Norway, so it attracts many people. I have to say that a lot of them were unprepared for such a miserable weather and on the way back, when there was a lot of water everywhere because of strong rain, they had problems with slippery path. The whole trail takes around 2-2.5 hours one way.
When we reached the top we had to laugh. Where was supposed to be amazing view of Lysefjorden, there was just thick mist instead, so we were able to see only couple of metres around us. You can compare our view with views you are used to in travel magazines. Nevertheless we didn't regret to go there at all, even the trail itself was beautiful and varied. Just be prepared for crowds of people and possibility of bad weather.
When we got back to the starting point of the trail, there was even sign announcing that the trail is not safe this day due to bad weather and it is not recommended to make it.
DAY 3-4 - Lysefjorden, Stavanger, flight from Stavanger to Prague
Our plan for next day was 3-hours long boat trip to Lysefjorden. The boat took us through many small or bigger islands with private houses. It was parade of Scandinavian architecture. We saw many different types of typical wooden houses with amazing nature all around them. They were reachable only on boat, so it was paradise for people who love relaxing in peaceful and quiet atmosphere.
When we approached the beginning of Lysefjorden, it made us speechless. Steep cliffs falling into the water were majestic. The weather was still not good, but at least it was not raining anymore. Clouds were sitting at the top of the cliffs and it made the atmosphere of fjord gloomy and mysterious.
We were able to see Preikestolen from below. It was still covered with clouds, nevertheless we could have seen people sitting at the edge of the cliff. Their visibility at the top was perhaps the same as we had yesterday.
We stopped by amazing waterfall and encountered seals as well. All in all it was great cruise, even though the weather wasn't good.
When we got back from the boat trip, we had finally time to explore the city of Stavanger. We were roaming through picturesque Gamle Stavanger (Old Stavanger) with its amazing white houses decorated with many blooming colourful flowers. Only thing that was a little annoying was omnipresent noise from huge steamboat that was at anchor in port. I totally understand the discussion about the problem of huge steamboat anchored in the centre of towns. Not only the noise is annoying, but it also ruins the panorama of towns.
Our walk continued through port to Øvre Holmegate - street with colourful and cheerful houses full of great café's. We picked up Bøker og Børst on the basis of our friend's recommendation. We love those Scandinavian cafés, they have such a cosy atmosphere I haven't seen anywhere else.
On the way back to the hotel we visited Stavanger domkirke (cathedral) and relaxed for a while in Byparken. It was the end of our short but intense visit of Stavanger and Lysefjorden. Next morning we only had to get up early to catch our flight back to Prague.