Driving to the west of Norway
Soon after visiting a church in the south of Norway, we started to look for some camping (more on camping in Norway in my previous blog). Our plane arrived in Oslo in the afternoon and it was not possible to reach our next destination Lysefjord before midnight (there are about 400 kilometres between Oslo and our destination, no highways available). Generally speaking about Norway – it is like Scotland in terms of surrounding landscapes and nature (like in Scottish highlands you can even meet sheep on the road frequently), but Norway is very large country. Many hours you can just drive in the middle of nowhere to reach your next destination. Good news – there are many places you can stop, relax and enjoy fantastic landscapes and creations of nature.
On the next day after arrival to Norway we reached Lysefjord located in south-western Norway. Its rocky walls in to water are falling nearly vertically (over 1000 m), length of fjord is about 42 kilometres. Lysefjord is an extremely popular tourist attraction. Many cruise ships from Stavanger travel full distance in to the fjord. There are two major tourist attractions related to Lysefjord – the rock of Preikestolen and the Kjerag mountain.
Kjerag mountain is located at the end of the fjord, it is a popular hiking destination. Preikestolen is a massive cliff rising 604 metres above Lysefjord. The top of cliff is flat square 25 by 25 metres of size. It is one of the most visited tourist attractions of Norway (more than 100 thousand visitors every year).
To reach Preikestolen you should hike about 3.8 kilometres from the closest car park and visiting it (roundtrip) takes about 3 to 4 hours. It’s not an easy walk because because path al the time goes up and down, there are also small horizontal places during the way, however after reaching top you are fully rewarded – surrounding landscape and feelings are more than fantastic!
All western part of Norway is made of Norwegian fjords. There are some bridges and tunnels to cross water, but many times you can use ferry services to get to the other side of fjords. The largest fjord of Norway and second largest in the world is Sognefjord (we didn’t visit it during this trip because it is located more to the north).
The maximum depth of Sognefjord is 1308 metres below sea level (interesting fact – deepest parts of the fjord are located in the inland parts of the fjord). The average with of Sognefjord is also impressive – about 4.5 kilometres, it extends more than 200 kilometres inland.
Another impressive Norwegian fjord is Geiranger. Colours surrounding it are beautiful as in fairy tale – blue water, green vegetation and white snow on the top of mountains. Since 2005, the Geirangerfjord is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. But similar landscapes you can watch also visiting another fjords located more to the south.
Apart of Norwegian fjords, there are so many waterfalls all around Norway and many of them fall into fjords. We were prepared to visit (and visited of course) some of the most famous waterfalls, however very often after next turn you can face absolutely unexpected brilliant creation of vertical rocks with water falling down from them.