Trip to Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock)

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Welcome sign at the parking lot at PreikestolenPreikestolen is one of Stavanger's most popular tourist attractions (together with the equally amazing Kjerag). In the following trip report I will give some details about my trip to Preikestolen (or Prekestolen as it is also refered to) on the 25th of May 2003. Preikestolen is known as the Pulpit rock in English by the way (which is a translation of the Norwegian name) and I think you will understand why when you see the pictures on this page (or when you get to see it with your own eyes :-)

Caroline on the ferry and with the view of Stavanger in the backgroundFirst of all a little bit on how you can get there: you have to take a ferry from Stavanger to Tau (time tables can be found on norled.no). The trip takes a maximum of 40 minutes and it costs about 140 kroner for a car (including the driver) and about 45 kroner (8 USD) for each person. When you get to Tau you should take route 13 towards Sandnes and then follow the brown signs leading the way to the Preikestolen parking. I think the parking costs about 80 kroner for a standard car (there are different prices for motorcycles, RV's and so on).

It is great to see the profile of the hike before you startI got in touch with a Canadian girl named Caroline on Lonely Planet Thorn Tree and I bragged about how beautiful my hometown Stavanger is and the great view that you can get from Preikestolen. To make a long story short I ended up being a tour guide for Caroline when she came to Stavanger and the first thing I wanted to show her was Preikestolen of course. We had to get up pretty early on Sunday morning because we wanted to catch the 07.20 ferry to Tau but it was worth it...when we came to the parking at Preikestolen I think we were the first ones there :-)

The path on the way to PreikestolenThe trip from the parking to Prekestolen is not really that far. In distance it is about 3.8 kilometers (2.4 miles) but it can take about 1 hour and 30 minutes to the top. The parking is at about 270 meters above sea level and Prekestolen is at 600 meters which means that there is a 330 meters (1080 feet) height difference. The path leading up to Preikestolen has been improved a lot since the first time I went up there but you still need a pair of good shoes (or boots). As the height difference suggest it is a bit of a climb at some places so bring some water, some snack and maybe even some dry clothes. Finding the way to the top is not a problem at all - just follow the path and if you can't see a path then you can look for the red T's :-) The path varies from gravel path, rocks and wooden paths. On the way up you will also find some benches and tables that can be used if you want to take a break and enjoy some of the food that you have brought along.

Getting close to Prekestolen. And getting a view to LysefjordWe started walking at about 8.30 and we walked alone all the way up to Preikestolen. I was quite surprised that we were alone because this is one of the major tourist attractions in the area and it can be pretty crowded in the summer time. But I guess it was a combination that it is early in the season, it was early in the morning and the weather forecast was not great. But I'm not complaining...in fact it made it into a really special experience. When we got up to the top we were more or less alone there (a couple had spent the night in a tent there) so we could enjoy the view and take some pictures of the place.

Caroline is enjoying the view from the edgeSo what is unique with this place? Well, as the name indicates (and the pictures show) this looks like a pulpit when seen from below. The rock itself is something like 25 by 25 meters and when you stand on the edge it is basically 600 meters (1970 feet) straight down. And on clear days you get a great view of the Lysefjord. The path leading up to Preikestolen is also very scenic -  especially the last part when you start getting the first glimpse of the Lyse fjord.

It is the first time that I have experienced Preikestolen emptyThere was a big debate a few years ago in the local community by the way. Some people suggested that a pier should be constructed in Lysefjord and a lift should be built from the fjord to the Pulpit rock. I am sure that this would have attracted quite a lot of cruise ships to the Stavanger area but on the other hand I think it would have spoiled some of the experience. A few years ago there used to be a little "shop" on top of Prekestolen. The girl who worked there walked up every morning carrying some of the supplies on her back. I guess that is the kind of summer job that makes you fit :-)

Pulpit rock panorama

People living on the edge of PreikestolenOn the way down we met quite a few on their way up and some had the traditional question "How much longer to Preikestolen?" :-) It is always fun serving a white lie telling them that there is still 3 hours to go just to see how people react :-) Or even telling them that there are so many people there that you have to get in line to take a picture. But we did of course set the record straight before we said goodbye to people. We met a lot of different nationalities on the way: Norwegians, Danes, Swedes, Dutchmen, Germans and so on. I guess that proves that it is truly one of the major attractions in Stavanger.

Prekestolhytta seen from the path to PreikestolenThere are quite a few other trails in the area so if you like trekking it is possible to stay at the youth hostel Preikestolen fjellstue which is located near the parking lot. And if you don't want to stay there you can just stop by to get some Norwegian dishes...like komle (it is a mix between potato and flour made into balls - potato dumplings in other words :-). Well, for more information please check out their website.

There are a lot of candles to choose from hereWhen going back to Stavanger you have the option of going back the same when as you came. It is also possible to follow route 13 to Oanes. At this place you can make a stop at Lysefjordsenteret ( http://www.lysefjordsenteret.no/) where you can have a meal or just look at the view. From here you can take a 10 minute ferry over to Lauvik and from there you can drive back to Stavanger. We decided that it was too early to quit so we took a left turn and drove towards Oltedal. Our destination was Byrkjedal and the Byrkjedalstunet. This is a former cheese dairy but now it has been turned into a place where they make candles (kids can even try to make candles themselves) and sell souvenirs. There is also a pretty good restaurant here.

View of MånafossenFrom Byrkjedal it is only a short drive to Frafjord and another attraction: Månafossen. Månafossen is the highest waterfall in the Rogaland area if I'm not mistaken. It was a scenic drive there by the way. We got to signs saying "Drive carefully...the lambs are playing" and soon we saw sheep and their lambs walking around on the road. Enjoying the lunch on PreikestolenAfter parking (and paying 20 kroner for the parking) we walked the short walk to the lookout point to see the waterfall. Unfortunately it had started raining so it was not the best view. But it was still a very nice experience.Well, I hope that this has been of some help to people that want to see Preikestolen and the surrounding area. I had great fun showing all of this to Caroline because she seemed to be very impressed with the mountains, the scenery and so on. For me this was a super nice trip :-) If you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch with me.

Here is a video that shows a couple of scenes from the walk up to the top and from the top itself. I took this video when I walked up there in 2011.
 

 
 

 

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