Friday, August 01, 2008
For almost a year, we have been trying to organize a hiking/ camping trip to the western side of the country. Our goal was to make it to the trolls tongue, which is a long prowl shaped rock that jets out over a fjord near the town of Odda. This past weekend we finally headed out with three other friends.
We rented a car and drove 5 hours to the other side of Norway. The entire journey was filled with the most amazing scenery. The road was a simple two lane highway that passed waterfalls, lakes, forests, and drove through some amazing tunnels including a "cork screw" tunnel. The inside of the tunnels were were left unfinished, so you actually felt like you were drive threw a mountain (which you were) .
Once we were in Odda, we drove up the mountain to the base of the funicular railway. This railway (when running) takes you up the side of the main part of the mountain. It is on a 42 degree slope and raises you 960 meters. All our information told us that the train was not running this summer, so we had no choice but to hike up the very steep adjoining path, with backpacks full of camping gear.
The two hour hike up was completely exhausting especially when we realized that the past two hours simply got us to the start of the real hike. We continued walking for another hour before making camp by a stream. We had a fantastic view of the sun setting behind snow covered peaks. The clear mountain water was extremely refreshing as we ate a quick dinner before collapsing in to our tents for the night.
We awoke to beautiful clear blue skies, perfect for the long day ahead of us. We broke down camp and hid our gear in the rocks near the stream, so we would not have such heavy bags to carry all day. With lots of water, we headed out. The landscape was absolutely amazing.
We walked though snow.....
we filled our water bottles in mountain creaks and then we came to the fjord itself.
It was breath taken. The sheerness of the cliff sides, and the clearness of the water made for an awesome spectacle. There was no direction you could look towards with our stopping in awe of the landscape.
After we had hiked for about four hours, we suddenly came upon the Trolltunga.
Walking out on the prowl was quite the experience. I impressed one of the guys by walking all the way to the edge with out crawling (something he could not do) . I was not until I was sitting on the edge of the rock dangling my feet, that I looked down and was suddenly a bit uneasy about what I was doing. It was a very long way down. We all had turns on the edge, and took many photos. While we were eating our lunch we heard from other hikers that the funicular rail would be running at six o'clock that night. So with the incentive of a free ride down the hardest part of the mountain, we made great time back to our campsite to retrieve our camping gear. We were able to make it to the railway in time to ride the three car train.
Ben and I were in the first car, and the view of the tracks reminded me of the top of a roller coaster. It was very steep, and I kept expecting to accelerate forward with extreme speed. In reality the ride was slow and smooth, taking about ten minutes.
We loaded back in to the car and headed home, arriving in Oslo at around two in the morning. Ben and I ended up with twelve blisters between us, sun burns, and very sore legs. We had walked about eight miles along uneven and rocky ground. The original idea of our trip was to just see the one little site (the Trolltunga), but the actual experience was so much more then we could have hoped for. Not one moment of out journey was with out exceptional scenery and beauty. It was a hard hike, but an unparalleled adventure we will always treasure. If you ever have the chance to go on this exceptional trek, take it. You will be sore, but never sorry.