Troll hunters (hiking to Trolltunga)

21 August 2013

After 5 days of relaxing on a small isand it was time for an adventure. Before 6 AM we were on our way up north to Odda to start our hike to Trolltunga. We had about 350km to drive so we were hoping to arrive there at lunchtime.

First we stopped at a petrol station for a quick breakfast (of waffles with Brunost - Norwegian carmelised brown cheese, very sweet and delicious). We drove through small roads around dark blue lakes, countless tunnels and valleys with beautiful post-glacial landforms. Before going to Norway I read an article in Lonely Planet Traveller, which begain with a statement that "Norway didn't do nature on a small scale". It's certainly true, the scenery was just breath-taking and the landscapes spectacular which made for an interesting drive, even if a bit long.

We stopped for lunch at a small tourist cafe right next to a massive waterfall.

 We arrived in Odda at about 2PM and started the hike.Trolltunga is a rock shelf hovering horizontally 700m above a lake Ringedalsvatnet in Skjeggedal. The hike is supposed to be around 11km one way and is recommended for experienced hikers. Even though we did a fair number of hiking trips in Poland's Tatra mountains, I was a slightly worried that I wasn't going to cope. Luckily we didn't have to do the whole hike in one day. We had camping equipment and decided to sleep somewhere along the path.

I'm not sure if I mentioned this before but my Mum is a geographer. When we were little we would go to the Polish mountains at least twice a year for hiking holidays and to ski. My Mum would always tell us about the different rock types and explained how glaciers shaped the landscapes. I've never seen a more spectacular post-glacial landscape that on our way to Trolltunga - it's absolutely beautiful. First you climb up a rather steep (and muddy) hill in the forest, and then then path takes you to a large U-shaped valley full of erratics and smallsummer houses.  Then the walk is up and down hills, around a couple of small lakes and along a big ribbon lake Ringedalsvatnet.

 We walked for what seemed like hours and hours and at around 7PM we decided to pitch our tent and have dinner. At that point I was very tired and cold. I didn't think to take a woolen jumper with me and I was freezing in my GAP hoodie. Then it started to rain. Luckily my friends and my husband took control of the situation, pitched the tent and started cooking dinner. Kathrine's dad has kindly given us instant stew packets (which Kathrine said consisted of reindeer meat mainly), which were delicious. The world started looking a bit friendlier after our stomachs were full but we decided to have an early night before the second part of the hike.

We slept like logs and woke up to a cloudless sunny day. After a quick breakfast of hot dogs and spreads on crispbread we hiked for only another 15 minutes or so and we reached the Trolltunga.

It was a spectacular view but also looked very scary. People took turns at having their picture taken on the tip of the Tongue but I couldn't do it. I couldn't even look when my friends went to have their picture taken, my heart stopped a little when they did.

Our hike back was rather uneventful. We admired the views and got a little sunburnt. We made it to the car at around 5.30PM and then drove back to Oslo with a couple of stops for ice creams and hot dogs.

Was it worth it? I think so. Did I think I wasn't going to make it? Yes.Would I do it again? Maybe...with better clothes and without a drive before and straight after the hike. It was a very memorable experience and yes, I would recommend it. The views are simply spectacular and there are few better picture taking opportunities in this world.

Our trip to Norway this year: 

Part I | Part II  (this post) | Part III

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