First things first…Aija is a lifesaver. She discovered that we would not be able to make it to our bus stop in time to get to Stavanger from Kinsarvik so she picked us up and drove us 45 minutes to the bus stop we needed to go to. She is definitely my favorite person we met along our trip and she will be invited to the wedding! This entire day was just travelling to get to Stavanger. Car. Bus. Bus. Boat. Bus. Bus on a ferry. Another bus. Then we walked about 10 minutes, finally arriving at our destination which was an Airbnb home.
This was our first experience with staying with someone through Airbnb. If you aren’t familiar, it is basically people renting out a room in their house as an option to not stay at a hotel. It may sound a little scary, to stay at a stranger’s house, but we had great experiences with each one we stayed at. Our host’s name was Tommy. He showed us around to our own bedroom and own bathroom, answered our questions, drove us in to town (saving us on a bus fare) and let us use his umbrella since it was raining. So we got there, showered, and let him drive us into town to explore a bit even though it was pouring rain, and have dinner. As you can imagine, walking around in the pouring rain is less than enjoyable, especially when hardly anything is open despite it being only 1900 (7 pm). We found a little pizza place where we split one pizza and one beer and spent 244 NOK. Everything is ridiculously expensive in Norway so be prepared to blow through money if you go there. We walked around a bit more but being cold and wet with nothing really to be able to go in and see we headed back to Tommy’s before too long. It wasn’t the most exciting day, but we made it to Stavanger and spent most of the rainy day travelling so it wasn’t too much of a loss.
We slept in a bit since our hike was nearby and not too long of a trek. We made eggs and headed back into town where we had to find a ferry to Tau. You could do a guided tour but it was 420 NOK and we much prefer doing our own exploring. Well let me tell you, there aren’t exactly signs ANYWHERE to indicate where this mystery ferry to Tau is, but after asking 6 different people to point us in the right direction, we made it to the dock just as the ferry was approaching. We rode the ferry across the fjord only to get to the port/bus stop and discover the next bus to the Pulpit Rock hike wasn’t coming for 2 hours. (Have I mentioned that I HATE public transportation???) So we waited. For 2 hours. Finally a bus toward Pulpit Rock arrived and every other human at the bus stop got on that bus. Lucky for us, we asked before hand and found out that bus doesn’t make a return trip late enough to do the hike. (Several of those people got screwed over because they bought round trip tickets when there wasn’t a bus back for them to take). Our bus came a few minutes later and took us to Pulpit Rock.
Of course, right before we started hiking it started pouring rain again. Of course we hiked anyway because in Josh’s words “We didn’t come all the way to Norway to NOT hike!” (and lucky for me, I’d brought my trusty poncho) We trekked up a path…I’d say it was more of a mildly challenging walk than a hike…for about an hour before it finally stopped raining. It was cloudy and gray when we got to the top but the rain had stopped and we were very thankful for that. Pulpit Rock, officially named Preikestolen, is over 1800 feet of straight down cliff. The view of the actual rock is better from a little bit before you get there because you can see more of the huge formation. It is quite impressive. Once you are on Pulpit Rock, you can look over the edges, straight down or just out over the fjord. Both are breathtaking. The view is fabulous no matter which way you look. We hung out up there for a while, took some cool pictures, and ate lunch before proceeding back down. The hike/walk was more enjoyable when it wasn’t pouring rain as I could actually look around and enjoy the beauty around us.
When we got to the bottom we had to wait for over an hour for the bus to come pick us up, then waited again for the ferry back to Stavanger, so by the time we got back to town, everything was closed again. We went to a deli for dinner (trying to save $$$) then headed back to Tommy’s house to go to bed. I was chilled to the bone between being wet from the rain and cold from the continually decreasing temperatures. A long, hot shower and a comfy bed was exactly what I needed. On the plus side, we did get to see a pretty killer sunset on the ferry ride back. Sunsets always make me happy 🙂