Stavanger, Norway

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The above photo is the main reason I came to Stavanger, This is a photo of Preikestolen or pulpits rock as its often referred to by anyone other than the locals and is most likely the reason you will want to come to Stavanger or possibly even Norway in general.

You will undoubtedly hear that Norway is insanely expensive and it is. But I somehow have managed to stay 3 days here and only spend 168 Krona – £16.74 including accommodation, I like to think its down to my handsome looks and witty charm but its down to the Couchsurfing community. I will detail all my costs later on but first of all, the stuff everybody wants to see.

Must Visit

    • Preikestolen – Cost – 94 Krona = £9.36

It only cost me 94 Krona – £9.36 to do this whole trip however it might cost some people more depending on how they feel about hitchhiking. Preikestolen is actually located on an island close to Stavanger harbour so you will need to take a ferry there and back, The times vary slightly but seems to be one every 45 minutes and the cost is 47 Krona each way, you can only buy the tickets on the boat so please don’t spend 20 minutes wandering round like I and a few others did (was actually a little bit gutted as I thought I had got away without paying for a moment, have never been so reluctant to hand over money before) the ferry takes around 30 minutes to get to Tau and then it’s off to either hitchhike, take the bus or rent a car. The bus stop and car rental station is right outside you can’t miss either one. I imagine the bus would cost the same amount as it does in the centre which is 37 Krona but allow for a little more just in case. The day before I hiked, I had spoken to Michal (I was staying with him and a few other people I had met on CouchSurfing) and we had talked over dinner about hitchhiking to certain places and he advised me to do it at Preikestolen. I was a little nervous at hitchhiking seeing as all films lead to somebody being decapitated, their organs ending up on the black market or being forced into the sex trade, but then I figured Norway is most likely the safest country I could do it in so I gave it a go. Boy was I wrong, woke up next morning with a sore bum and a phone number written on my hand with the name Igor next to it. Not really, I walked for about 20 minutes until I got to a main road before sticking my thumb out, it then only took about 5-10 minutes before I got my first ride. 2 guys who took me around half the way before I carried on walking again, I felt incredible like I looked danger in the eye and survived so I started to walk with a swagger. I continued to walk a bit longer which allowed to get some more pictures.
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I walked for around 10-15 minutes before a guy actually turned around to come and pick me up then take me all the way to Preikestolen, I actually thought it was really weird that he would go out of his way but we had some good chats so I suppose I made it worth his while ( I would have been willing to do a lot more than just chat if it got me a free ride) when you arrive at Preikestolen car park their are numerous paths you can take but you need to take the path to your right as you enter, it will have a sign saying Preikestolen and you kind of go back on yourself. You will not need a map as there are stones with a little red T painted on them showing the route. When I got there the weather was bad and there was actually a sign to say go at your own risk (never a good sign) I still felt like Mick Jagger after hitchhiking so I went for it, now im not sure if its because I see myself as an athlete in his prime but it wasn’t that bad, The hike itself I would say is an easy hike but there were a few places were ice had formed so be careful if you are going in March/April

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The views get better the higher you go but all fail miserably in comparison to the top

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I finally reached the top of Preikestolen after about 90 minutes maybe a little longer, I stopped to take photos and was talking care with the ice so 2 hours is definitely enough time to reach the top. I reached the top along with my new Asian family who had kindly adopted me nearer to the top or I was a prisoner I want sure, either way my little Asian family came in handy when it came to taking photos and let’s face it there adorable and so smart, shout out to the Asians. The photos below are from the very top of Preikestolen

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Climbing back down the mountain was actually a bit more difficult but this was only down to the ice so again if you are climbing Preikestolen during March/April make sure to be aware of this, After making my way down to the bottom ( I was racing with some Norwegian girl and her friend and they beat my by about 50-60 yards, they both must have had calves like Ben Pakulski) I took 10 minutes to rest and get some shelter as it was raining heavily. I then made my walk back arm extended and thump pointed to the sky (which I thought was my limit today) I figured seeing as everyone is heading in the same direction it will be much easier but I couldn’t have been more wrong. I must have been walking for at least an hour which I thought was weird seeing as everybody who drove up to the mountain was coming back down and there was only one road yet nobody stopped, apart from my Asian family, we were reunited again for about 10 minutes before they got lost all started arguing about the map and let me back out again. Luckily I knew where I was and only after another 10 minute walk to get to the main road I was picked up by a guy who drove me for about 15 minutes to Jorpeland, this was where I had trouble and must have been walking for at least another hour and was getting a little tired but then I was saved by 2 Dutch woman, Elise who had moved to Stavanger with her husband and Gitta who is her mother in law. They had both been to Preikestolen and was on there way back to the ferry so it was perfect but not before we went to the supermarket where Elise bought me some kind of cheesy bread that was nice and a can of fanta and it was incredible, on the ferry we also shared Pringle’s I was so happy like a spoilt little child. It was then I walked back to Michal and Nicole’s where I was staying to tell my new hosts of my adventures.

  • Kjeragbolten

I’m a little bit gutted about kjeragbolten because I did not get to go, weather conditions were really bad and apparently it’s difficult to get there in March/April, The reason I have put this in my must visit section without actually visiting is because I have been assured by my CouchSurfing buddies that it’s better than Preikestolen and is a must do but this just means that I have to go back to Stavanger one day and climb Kjeragbolten.

Recommended

Obviously as well as the must visit section I would recommend trying to fit in the below as I have heard these are all good places to visit in Stavanger, and when I visit in the future ill be making sure to fit all the below in

    • Sverd i fell (Sword in Mountain) 

Huge swords sticking out of the ground, what’s not to love

    • Trolltunga (Trolls Tongue)

Many people visit Norway for Trolltunga too but I preferred the look of Preikestolen, But if your able to do both then definitely don’t miss this.

    • Geirangerfjord

The most popular Fjord in Norway and for good reason, I wish I got to see this with my own eyes and one day I’ll return to do so.

    • City Center

The center is a nice place to relax when you have time to spare. Maybe get something to eat, Walk around the lake, visit the dock or the church. Luckily I had really good weather this day and the photos show.

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Useful Information

  • Currency

£1 = Kr 9.93

  • Visa Information

No Visa requirements for citizens of the UK

  • Language

Norwegian is the most local language but pretty much everyone also speaks English.

  • Cash Machine’s

There are numerous cash machines in Stavanger so you should not have any issues getting money out, I got mine out straight away from the airports cash machine and because I used a cash machine instead of the currency exchange (also located in the airport) my exchange rate was pretty much as good as you can get. To find the cash machine or currency exchange just follow the exit signs and the cash machine is right next to the exit door. Currency exchange is to the right of the exit door. The are also ATMs on Søregata street (City center) Eiganesveien street and Madlaveien street (both outside city) I’m sure there are more around but these are the only ones I noticed. There is no charge to use the machine at the airport however I am not sure about the ATMs on Søregata or Eiganesveien street but I doubt there will be. All machines accepted Visa and MasterCard

  • Currency Exchange

Unfortunately the only currency exchange I could locate was actually at the airport, So if you know you need to exchange money I would advise doing it here and not risking the chance of their not being one nearby in the center

  • Getting to/from the airport

When you arrive in Sola airport please don’t pay Kr 100 for the shuttle bus, take the number 9 bus to the city as this will only cost Kr 37 and only takes about 10-15 minutes longer to reach the city. The bus comes around every 30 minutes and you can also get the same bus to get to airport when you leave but make sure to get to the right bus stop, It will be the one opposite the tourist information center

  • Free Wifi

There seems to be free WiFi everywhere in the city center and still a few places outside the city so there will be no issues trying to send a few emails, Google maps etc.

  • Jabs/Vaccinations

No jabs needed for UK Citizens

Likely Purchase’s

  • Bus Ticket – Kr 37 = £3.68
  • Ferry Ticket – Kr 47 = £4.68
  • Bottled Water – Kr 15-20 = £1.49-£1.99
  • Beer – Kr 60-70 = £5.97-£6.97
  • 1kg Bag Of Apples – Kr 20-25 = £1.99-£2.49
  • Bread (500g) – Kr25 = £2.35

Total Money Spent

  • Bus Ticket – Airport to Stavanger – Kr 37 = £3.68
  • Ferry Ticket – Harbour to Tau – Kr 47 = £4.68
  • Ferry Ticket – Tau to Harbour – Kr 47 = £4.68
  • Bus Ticket – Stavanger to Airport – Kr 37 = 3.68
  • Accommodation – CouchSurfing – Kr 0 = £0
  • Total Spent – Kr 168 = £16.74

Summary

Safety Rating – 10/10 – Couldn’t have felt safer, as the case seems to be with most Nordic countries ( There such a nice bunch)
Type of trip – Active, Hiking, Walking
Price Bracket – Expensive
Recommended Length of Stay – 5-7 Days if you would like to include everything.

Hitchhiking Rating – 7/10 – Norway was my first taste of hitchhiking and was relatively quick and easy and never had to wait too long for a ride

Couchsurfing Rating – 9/10 – Norway was also my first taste of Couchsurfing and I was amazed at the hospitality of my guests, I was never quite myself here and was actually really quiet just because I was so shocked with the hospitality, I wasn’t sure if I was gonna be chopped up into a stew or people were actually this nice and welcoming but definitely a good experience here and a wide community

Overall Rating – 6/10 – this is a low score due to me not being able to do most of the things on my list, I’m sure this would be much higher if I had done everything on my list but I can’t rate the stuff I wasn’t able to do due to the bad weather. From what I did see, there are lots of places to hike, mountain bike etc. and scenery is amazing although this is a very expensive place to visit but if you have the money then it has the potential to be a 9/10 I’m sure.

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