Riding to Stavanger
As my ferry docks at the bustling port of Kirstinstand, I bid farewell to the comforting rhythm of the sea and prepare ourselves for the next leg of our journey. The transition from the calmness of the ferry ride to the hustle and bustle of disembarkation is jarring, a stark reminder of our return to civilization after an idyllic voyage.
The skies, as if sensing my reluctance, mirror my sentiments. Dark clouds roll in, casting a sombre shadow over the city. As I set out on the road on my motorcycle, the first raindrops fell, dotting the windshield with their cold touch. What was supposed to be a pleasant ride to Stavanger now becomes a battle against the elements.
The Norwegian rain arrives.
The rain comes down harder, transforming the streets into glistening ribbons of asphalt, reflecting the city lights in a kaleidoscope of colours. Despite the protective shell of my overalls, I can feel the chill of the rain seeping in, a stark contrast to the warm sun that lulled me to sleep on the ferry deck.
Navigating through the winding Norwegian road in the pouring rain is no easy task. The once clear views are now obscured by sheets of rain, the vibrant colours muted by the grey veil of precipitation. It’s a test of my resilience, a challenge that adds an unexpected twist to our adventure.
Yet, amidst the downpour, I find moments of beauty. The way the raindrops dance on the rooftops, the sound of the rain against my helmet creating a soothing rhythm, and the sight of locals going about their day undeterred by the weather all serve to remind us that even in the most challenging conditions, there is joy to be found.
Riding to Stavanger
And so, I press on, navigating to the rain-soaked streets of Stavanger. It’s a journey that is designed to test your resilience. It offers a unique perspective of the charming Norwegian landscape. As I draw closer to my destination, I can’t help but look back at the day with a sense of accomplishment. Despite the rain and its challenges, I was ready to get my head down.
A kiss from the cold,
a whisper from the breeze,
The scent of pine trees,
dancing with the seas.
A quest for the unknown,
a journey for the soul,
Across the Nordic landscapes,
to a distant, unmarked goal.
Through icy winds
and summer’s warmth,
through joy and through sorrow,
The quest goes on,
For it’s not the destination,
but the journey that unfolds,
The Story of the Heart,
in the land where the North holds.
Arriving in Preikestolen
In the rugged heart of Norway, where the mountains kiss the sky, and the fjords carve their way through the terrain, lies an extraordinary marvel of nature – Preikestolen, also known as the Pulpit Rock. Rising majestically 604 meters above the serene waters of the Lysefjorden fjord, this cliff is a testament to the raw beauty and power of our natural world.
The journey to this imposing monolith is a saga, a hiking endeavour that takes around 4-5 hours to complete—a journey which I would not be embarking on at this time. As I traversed along the verdant roads, each turn of my tyres brought me closer to the towering rocks, seemingly carved by the hands of the giants of Nordic folklore.
If one were to climb the pulpit upon reaching the pinnacle, one would be greeted with an unspoiled, panoramic vista of the fjord snaking its way through the mountains. The view from here is nothing short of breathtaking, a sight that has drawn intrepid explorers and nature enthusiasts from all corners of the globe.
Yet, Preikestolen’s beauty is as thrilling as it is serene. With no safety barriers at the edge, the cliff’s sheer drop into the fjord below is a stark reminder of the formidable power of nature and the respect it commands.
Camping at Preikestolen
In the grand tapestry of Norway’s natural wonders, Preikestolen stands as a towering testament to the timeless allure of the wild and the unyielding spirit of adventure that drives us to explore it. This evening, I was riding to the area’s base to set up camp after a recommendation I found online.
I hopped back onto my bike and departed the ferry, only to be greeted by a vast, looming bridge. Suspected across a fearful fjord, one that would strike fear into any man who fears heights. The calm wind sang a strangely familiar song along with the roar of the engine beneath me, one that was lonely yet loud.
I continued to ride all afternoon throughout the hash heavy rainfall, eventually arriving at the water. After a second short ferry ride across the water, I went to Preikestolen. The ferry trip was brief but breathtaking as it cut through the pristine waters; the view of the looming cliffs and the vast expanse of the fjord was a sight to behold.
As The stunning Norwegian landscape unfolded around me, a vibrant tapestry of deep blues and lush greens, I eventually reached my camping spot. Two fellow riders from France greeted me. Like me, they were on their adventure, exploring the beauty of Norway on two wheels. They shared with me water and tea, and we sat talking about our lives back home and sharing our journeys so far.
Our camps were set up by the water, offering a stunning view of the fjord. As the sun set, painting the sky with hues of orange, pink, and purple, we sat in silence, taking in the majesty of the moment. As soon as the sun had set, the temperature began to drop. With my gear still soaked from the afternoon’s ride, I decided it was best to climb into my sleeping bag and take full advantage of the sleepy, peaceful mountains.
Walking up in Preikestolen
The following day, my French companions packed up and rode off, leaving me alone with my thoughts and a cup of freshly brewed coffee. As I sipped the warm drink, I took in the view, sitting beside the water for another hour. Yesterday, although a beautiful rude, had not afforded me the luxury of time to take it in. This was my first moment to see Norway, and I wanted to savour it. The tranquil water, the towering cliffs, and the peaceful silence all added to the serene ambience.
Finishing my coffee
After finishing my coffee, I washed my cup in the river, the cool water running over my hands as the sun began to warm the day. It was then that I noticed the Norwegian heather and bluebells dotting the landscape. Their delicate blossoms added a burst of colour to the otherwise green landscape, a beautiful reminder of the natural beauty surrounding me. I couldn’t help but think how strange it was that this time, two years ago, I embarked on my very first camping trip. I wondered if I would think about this moment in 2 years and where I would be thinking about it.
As I packed up my camp and prepared to continue my journey, I looked at the fjord, the flowers, and the spot where I’d shared stories with fellow riders. With a heart full of gratitude and a spirit eager for the road ahead, I mounted my bike, ready for the next leg of my adventure to Bergen.
Norwegians Travel Network
This was the sunniest day I had experienced in Norway throughout the trip. Ironically, I spent a significant chunk of it venturing along the country’s underground road network. No one builds underground roads quite like the Norwegians. I’m confident that if there is a rock, they can chisel straight through it.
The underground Roads
Riding through Norway’s underground roads is like being swallowed by a gigantic granite whale. First off, the smell! It’s a unique blend of the scent of dirt with a dash of ‘metallic tang’, like someone left an old pound coin collection in a sandpit.
And the air? It’s so thick you could slice it with a knife and serve it on toast. Breathing here feels like trying to suck a golf ball through a garden hose. It’s a challenge, but hey, who doesn’t love a good lung workout while cruising on their motorcycle?
The dim lighting makes everything look like a poorly developed photograph, and the echo of engines sounds like a rock concert where all the musicians are playing different songs. It’s a bit chaotic, a bit claustrophobic, but mostly, it’s like being in the belly of a mountain having a disco party.
But despite the dust cocktail and the symphony of random noises, there’s a certain charming stubbornness that comes with them. The idea was that someone once stood looking upon the cliff face and decided they wanted to create an underground roller coaster rather than simply riding over the tops of the hills.
Between the insanity of Norway’s underground tunnels, you’re greeted by a second road network consisting of ferries. The ferry service feels somewhat daunting as a visitor to the country. You inherently associate ferries with high prices and a lengthy booking process.
However, jumping aboard a Norwegian ferry is like stepping into a massive floating bus service; only this one’s got the scenic route nailed down. These behemoths of the sea are the unsung heroes of Norway’s commute scene, stitching together the mainland with a sprinkling of islands like a giant knitting project.
The ferries themselves have the elegance of a walrus on roller skates – all bulky and a bit clumsy, but somehow, they glide across the water with surprising grace. It’s as if they’re saying, “Yeah, I know I look like a refrigerator with a motor, but watch me dance!”
And let’s not forget the seagulls! They’re like the unofficial welcoming committee, squawking and flapping like they own the place. Between you and me, I think they’re just there for the free fishy aroma that wafts up from the sea.
Every time you hop on one of these maritime juggernauts, give a nod to the captain, toss a salute to the seagulls, and settle in for a ride that’s part scenic cruise, part aquatic ballet, and 100% pure Norwegian charm. Just remember, no matter how tempting, do not feed the seagulls. Trust me, those guys never forget a face!
The Twisty Roads
And once you’ve braved the maritime ballet, you’re greeted by Norway’s scenic twisty roads. These are less “road” and more “roller coasters designed by a thrill-seeking squirrel”. With their crazy speed limits, they give you the perfect opportunity to test your vehicle’s (and your heart’s) performance capabilities.
The best part about riding along the Norwegian roads is that you never know what you will discover. The most beautiful iconic scenes frequently appear from nowhere. Finding Latefossen is like playing hide-and-seek with Mother Nature. You’re driving along Norway’s scenic roads when suddenly, you turn a corner, and there it is! Latefossen, all gushing water and rainbow mist, putting on a show that would make any Vegas fountain blush with envy.
Stumbling across Latefoss Waterfall in Norway is like walking in on Mother Nature while she’s in the shower – it’s breathtaking, beautiful, and a little bit awkward. You mind your business, maybe humming a tune or two, when suddenly, BAM! There she is, all cascading water and misty spray, looking like a commercial without the shampoo.
The waterfall is a double-barrelled spectacle, splitting its flow over two cliff faces like Mother Nature couldn’t decide which way was best. It’s like watching a nature documentary live, only without the soothing voiceover from David Attenborough.
And let’s not forget the old stone bridge that arches across the falls. It looks like it’s been plucked straight out of a fairy tale – you half expect to see trolls lounging about, grumbling about tolls. So, whether you’re a fan of geological wonders, fairy tales, or just perfect Instagram backdrops, Latefossen is a must-see on any Norwegian adventure. Just remember to pack a raincoat – those spray clouds have a reach that would impress an octopus!
Wild Camping spot
Wild camping is an experience like no other. It’s just you, the wilderness, and the stars above. But on this particular day, time seemed to have a mind. One moment, I was leisurely packing my gear, and before I knew it, the sun was tipping its hat goodbye, leaving me with the daunting task of finding a wild camping spot in the dwindling light.
The phrase “time escapes” never felt more natural. It was as if hours had turned into minutes, and the minutes were sprinting away from me. I found myself in a race against the setting sun, with the stakes being a comfortable (and safe) place to lay my head for the night.