Kjerag, a mountain located above Lysefjord in Norway is famous for a large stone stuck between two rocks – Kjeragbolten. Next to Preikestolen and Trolltunga, Kjerag is the third most popular tourist attraction in western Norway. The famous Kjeragbolten hangs on the height of 984 meters and each day dozens of hikers step onto the stone for the famous photo shoot. A photo shoot payed for in adrenaline. Also, Kjerag is a mountain beloved by base jumpers and slack liners from all around the world.
And Suleskard? Has anyone of you head about Suleskard? I am nearly certain that most of you have not. Everybody seems to be focused only on the Kjerag and getting to the top instead of just enjoying the journey.
Suleskard is a very scenic plateau on the way to Kjerag. It’s Norwegian tundra, meaning once you enter the plateau, you can just as well say goodbye to trees and the nature you know from the southern part of Norway. Norwegian tundra is all about rock deserts, small lakes, rocks in all sorts of sizes and shapes and little houses with grass on their roofs. The landscape is fairy tale lake and it’s easy to start believing in trolls and wizards once you’re there.
My awesome team of blogging friends and I climbed only 1/3 of the trail to Kjerag due to time constraints. We preferred to spend more time driving around Suleskard, stopping for taking photographs and saying hello to dozens of sheep that were casually walking on the road. The description of the trekking to Kjerag is in the second part of this post, but I encourage you to read the first part devoted to Suleskard. You won’t regret it.
Interested in reading a visual narrative from trekking to Preikestolen in Norway? Click here.
I travelled to Norway with Nordtrip.pl run by Wiktor and Aga who organise budget and very active trips to Norway. If you want to see this beautiful country and not go bankrupt, check out their offer. Transport, accommodation in a house with great ambient, food, drinks are included in the price.
Things which might surprise you on a road trip in Norway
In my whole 27-year-long life I consented to go on a road trip once only – last year in Romania. Road trips have never been my cup of tea. Maybe that’s because I still haven’t taken any driving lessons and don’t have the driving license. Maybe it’s because I prefer to experience nature with all of my senses – not just eyesight.
Anyway, the road trip that Wiktor organised for us was close to perfect. We all understood that TAKING PHOTOS is important and stopped many times on our way. Actually we would stop each time any of us wanted that. Still, there were a few things that really surprised me on this road trip from the southwestern part of Norway to western fjords.
First, Norwegian roads are like rivers. They meander, they are narrow, there are “obstacles” such as tunnels on the way. You can’t really develop a really high speed because that makes no sense. You will anyway soon have to slow down to take another turn. I guess it’s due to Norwegian nature – it’s so stunning it would be shame not to see it while driving. The most challenging part of this road trip in Norway was when we were driving to Lysebotn – a tiny village at the bottom of Lysefjord – a 42-kilometre long fjord with stunning views. The road was so curvy there that I literally had to close my eyes and not move – otherwise I would totally throw up.
Second, the number of cute, wooden houses located in the most illogical locations. Illogical to my Polish taste. A rock. A huge rock covered with trees. A beach by a lake. A top of a mountain. A meadow in the middle of nowhere. Apparently all of those places were perfect spots for building a house. Not a cheap house. :) Aha. The house would usually have a grassy roof and a herd of sheep casually munching grass in the front yard.
Third, petrol stations. From my flat in Poznań, I have three petrol stations within a 20-minute walk. In Norway, long hours would have to pass before we would encounter a petrol station. One day, when we were driving back to the airport, lack of petrol stations turned into horror for us. My travelling companion Beata and me desperately need to pee. And there were no stations on the way, so we actually had to jump out of the car and go into the bushes. Well – I still think it’s better than peeing into the car. ;)
Fourth, landscape. Norway was all cute and pretty until we took a turn into Suleskard plateau. Within a few minutes, literally suddenly, landscape changed. There was no sight of trees. Green hills were replaced with rocky mountains, snow, colourful lakes, piles of stones pretending to be trolls, and pecks of sheep walking everywhere.
Suleskard and snow – Norwegian summer
Summer in Norway – contrary to what you might expect, is actually quite warm. At least warmer than I thought it would be. I was prepared for rain and strong winds, and instead, got lots of sunshine and mild sunburn on my nose.
It was actually so pleasantly warm, that when we were driving through Suleskard and noticed a huge heap of snow covering a mountain, I didn’t even bother taking out a coat when we stopped to take some photographs.
What does it take to make a travel blogger scream?
Actually, I could finish this paragraph here. Literally, as we drove through Suleskard plateau in Norway, we encountered dozens of sheep walking casually by the sides of the road or in front of our car. My travel companions, Ibazela and Tati, would scream joyfully each time they saw a sheep. At one point I was seriously concerned if the wouldn’t just jump out of the car, mount a sheep and drive into the far horizon… :D
Take a sheep into the car and hug it to death.
What a road trip in Norway is really about
A proper road trip in Norway is all about stopping wherever you see something beautiful (meaning: every 10 or so minutes) and taking photographs of it. And making friends with sheep. And making some spontaneous trekkings here and there. And if you’re with friends who are couples – it’s about taking their engagement shots! :D
Norway, trolls and stupid associations
You will see what I mean by stupid association when you scroll down to see the photographs… I must admit I didn’t even say it out loud, as it was so improper. But just take a look. Don’t the first two photographs remind you of something?
Our road trip in Norway was basically like that: we would admire a random place A for 10 or so minutes, get into the car, drive another ten minutes, see something beautiful and stop the car to admire the landscape and take a walk.
We arrived at a place that could be called a rock desert but for one thing. Every now and then, there were small lakes of different colours. The large rocky plateau was scattered with piles of rock of various shapes and sizes. I have seen such piles in many places I’ve been too, especially if there was some trekking. It usually means “I’ve been here” and is placed on top of mountains. Here, however, there was no mountain! There was just a vast plateau scattered with such piles. There’s a legend that says that those piles of rocks are trolls who didn’t manage to escape before the sun has risen. That’s also the story I choose to believe in. ;-)
Visiting Lysebotn at Lysefjord – how do you pay for seeing beauty in Norway
I don’t have a driving sickness, but the road from the car park where hiking trail to Kjerag starts to Lysebotn killed me. This road is not long but it is extremely curvy. When we were driving down that road, I had to shut my eyes close and try hard not to move at each of the turns. Otherwise, I would puke. At one point, we even smelled the car brakes and this smell made me feel really, really dizzy. However, once we were already at Lysebotn, a tiny village at the foot of scenic Lysefjord, I forgot all about the dizzy journey and enjoyed the amazing landscape.
Lysefjord is 42 kilometers long and it’s by this fjord that you have both Kjerag and Preikestolen – though at different sides. In a sunny day, the visibility is really good and you can just sit down and admire the vastness of Lysefjors.
Kjerag is a mountain in Lysefjord famous for Kjeragbolten – a stock stuck between two rocks. Each day, hundreds of tourists take a step onto the stone and feel a rush of adrenaline. I really wanted to climb Kjerag, but we didn’t have enough time unfortunately.
However, we climbed one third of the trail to Kjerag which, at least according to what people who trekked the whole distance say, is the most difficult.
Hiking trail on Kjerag is like a sinusoid. You basically have to climb three smaller summits and take two descents before reaching the plateau. The first summit of the whole trail is said to be the most challenging. The trail is really steep and covered with rocks. There are chains along the trail which can be useful at times. At good weather, the rock has abrasive surface and if you have sturdy hiking shoes, climbing Kjerag should not be difficult. In bad weather, I would not risk trekking Kjearg. There are moments this trail is so steep that it is not difficult to have an accident if the surface would be slippery.
On top of the first of three summits, the views were really amazing. We saw Lysefjord in the distance. The sun was slowly getting lower and lower and the whole fjord seemed to be slightly blue. It was extremely beautiful and I am sure I will come back there to climb the whole mountain one day.
Views from the hiking trail to Kjerag
If you don’t want to trek the whole trail, consider covering at least the first third of it. The views from the top are really great.
Golden hour in Norway – photographer’s paradise
Norway is beautiful at all times – especially its nature. We were lucky enough to experience golden hour while we were still at Suleskard plateau. I cannot describe how beautiful it got at one moment. The green pastures and wooden houses with grass on the roofs started shining with golden light. There were sheep walking by and the sun rays were reflected by small lakes.
When we were driving back from Kjerag, we noticed a small house with a table and two benches in the front. We decided to take a short break from driving and eat supper. As we were enjoying cheese, sausages, tea, and coffee, sheep came. They were so curious of what we were doing that they were shamelessly looking at us from a really small distance.
As we were driving later on, the landscape continued to impress us with colours until the sky got blue.
The best of Norwegian landscape – western fjords
I can’t help showing you more of the Norwegian landscapes. If you weren’t sure whether to visit this country or not, I think those photographs might convince you to book your flight. If Norway seems too expensive for you (like it did for me), check out Nordtrip’s offer. If you go with them, you will save a lot of money.
Once we reached Wiktor’s house at 3 am, we thought we would all just go to sleep without even taking shower. However, Aga was already waiting for us with a warm meal. As we sat down by the table and ate dinner, we started talking. There were a lot of things that we wanted to talk about and I had barely noticed when the sun has risen. There was a stunning pink sky at one side of the house and an even more stunning rainbow at the other side of the house. I went to sleep around 4 or 5 am only because I knew that the next day would also be intensive.
When I start making funny faces with people, it means I feel really good in their company. There came a moment when I started pulling faces with my friends during this trip and that’s how it ended. :D
I explored Norway with Nordtrip – a tour organiser who shows you the best of Norway, provides food, accommodation and transport and you don’t have to pay through the nose for that.