After the southcoast of Norway, we rounded the westtip of Norway and started our sailtrip up the westcoast. We immediately noticed a change: the rolling green hills of the southcoast now turned into more steep rocky mountains.
We sailed into the harbour of Stavanger, that was a milestone for us. When we prepared our sailingtrip starting the 1st of May 2021, we definitely wanted to see Stavanger. And we were happily surprised to find a spot in the middle of the center at a very popular harbour we thought we might not find a place! But it is the middle of August now and for the Norwegians their summerholiday is usually over in the second week in August.
We loved the city of Stavanger! We cycled through the old center with wooden houses, we visited ‘Fargegaten’ which literally means ‘Paintstreet’ with houses and shops painted in bright colors. We ate the famous Norwegian shrimpsandwich at the fishmarket in the harbour where our boat was. Although Stavanger is city nr 3 in Norway, it’s center is very cosy and feels more like a village than a big city.
And Stavanger is the starting point to sail the Lysefjord. For both of us, our first fjord ever to visit! And to do this with your own sailingboat, like a private cruise, feels like a dream come true! And it was. The mountains on both sides of our boat were up to 1100 meters high, the water in the fjord sometimes was 900 meters deep. Unbelievable, we kept looking around at the many waterfalls along the way and the little villages on the hills sides. The harbor at the end of the Lysefjord was beautiful: it was almost 360 degrees surrounded by the mountains. We were very much impressed by the nature here and also how quickly the weather changes in a fjord: from cloudy and no wind to 20 knots wind and very sunny in just 10 minutes time. So, interesting to sail in fjords as well!
Preikestolen (‘The Pulpit’) is a famous mountain plateau in the Lysefjord. It is called the pulpit, because the rock towers 600 meters over the fjord. Straight above the water. So 1 step too far and you will fall down 600 meters of this cliff. The movie Mission Impossible Fall Out (2018), starring Tom Cruise, has it’s spectacular final scene here, with Tom Cruise hanging over the edge while fighting his enemy. Of course, Norway is proud of Cruise shooting the film here. They also advertise with it: ‘Be like Tom Cruise, stand on top of Preikestolen, it’s a Mission very Possible!’. Well, I wonder if Tom also did the 4 hours walk (roundtrip) to get on top of Preikestolen….:) because that is what it takes to get there! Quite some climbing and a lot of steps up (and down), but it’s also a beautiful route to walk before you get on top of Preikestolen. There are no fences and security fences along the way and on top of the cliff: you stand 600 meter high on this mountainplateau the size of 25 meters by 25 meters. It took some courage, but I managed to walk to the point of the mountain, close to the abyss. It was an impressive view up there, looking over the Lysefjord and the mountains!