Well hello! Remember me? The Covid pandemic certainly put a dent in our travel schedule. However, I must confess that I haven’t been completely loyal to you – we did a small amount of travel behind your back. We met some friends in Iceland (our third trip there and still love it). By the time we went to Iceland, most of the travel restrictions had been removed. All the other places we went were within Sweden and strictly followed pandemic protection measures and restrictions. The places we went were Dalarna (again), Öland, Gothenburg (again), and Gotland Island.
But now we have finally spread our wings and traveled back out into the world! We had previously gone to Norway and had such a great time that we decided to go back there. You can see the previous Norway destinations by going to jcmarxblog.com and using the pull down menu titled “DESTINATIONS” and selecting Norway. You can also find my previous articles on Iceland and Gothenburg at that same place.
Stavanger is fairly easy to get to. Click here to see it on Google Maps, or checkout the picture below. Stavanger is where the blue dot is on the bottom left. The body of water to the left is the North Sea. We had a connecting flight from Stockholm to Oslo, then Oslo to Stavanger. Just under two hours of flight time, and it is in CEST time zone, same as Stockholm. From the local airport, we took an airport bus into the city. The bus ride was under half an hour and dropped us off at a spot that was convenient to our hotel.
The Fjord Cruise to Pulpit Rock (Preikestolen)
Recall that Pulpit Rock is that famous cliff that Tom Cruise was hanging off of in the movie Mission: Impossible – Fallout. The cruise boat takes you out into the Lyse fjord, which is where the famous cliff hanger is. You can see this location on your Google Maps by clicking here. This will allow you to see it from the bottom. Further down in the article, we will be climbing up to it see it from the top.
It’s a dramatic, scenic journey along the fjord with high mountains, waterfalls, and even a couple of goats.
On occasion, visitors have spotted seals as well, but we weren’t fortunate enough to see any on our trip.
There were several nice waterfalls. On this one (above), the captain pulled the boat in close for a good photo opp.
Once you arrive at the foot of the cliffs below Pulpit Rock, the captain stops the boat so everyone can get their photos of this magnificent cliff.
On the above, I have marked the spot that is the place from the movie. And it is also flat and reachable on the top. In fact, the boat makes a stop shortly after the photo opp where passengers can depart and make the hike up to the top. We didn’t do this, opting instead to take the bus out tomorrow and making the hike up from a different spot (further down in the article).
The Viking House
+47 412 46 716
Google Map Link
This was a very short, but worthwhile stop. They take you into a room where there is a small viking ship set up. You get into the ship and sit on a bench, as if to be a crew member. Then you put on a pair of VR goggles and a headset. You are then presented with an amazing virtual tour through the history of how Harold Fairhair united all of Norway into one kingdom under one leader (him) around the year 880.
Although the graphics are a bit dated and the acting is not award winning, it is a fascinating and informative presentation. I highly recommend it. As you can see below, I managed to take over the ship, casting all naysayers over the side.
The Climb to Pulpit Rock (Preikestolen)
Google Map Link
The relaxing fjord cruise took us to see the Pulpit Rock from the bottom. But unless you rent a helicopter (as I am sure Tom Cruise did), getting to the rock and seeing it first hand is an entirely different matter.
The bus dropped us off at the “base camp”. From there, it’s a two to two and half hour hike through predominantly inhospitable terrain with long, steep hills and rocky, sometimes near 45 degree climbs.
Was it worth the climb? Absolutely! Click the link below to see all of the amazing photos from the climb and then judge for yourself.
Restaurants and Shopping
I don’t think I have ever seen so many restaurants and pubs lining the sides of the road as I did on the walk from our bus to the hotel. Steak houses, seafood, hamburgers, cocktail bars, too much to take in!
But here’s the odd thing. There’re were no customers. They were all open, but it looked like a pandemic apocalypse. And not just the one in the picture, they were all like that.
The next morning, when we left our hotel, we noticed a mega-gigantic cruise ship had docked at the port. Now the city was humming with tourists! Later that night, the ship was gone, and we had the city to ourselves again. It really was the most astonishing thing. So unless you just like bumping into people and long queues for restaurants and bars, then this is a great place to visit!
Most of the pubs and wine bars were super cozy. No cookie-cutter layouts and, for the most part, no chains. Each one is unique in presentation and cuisine. Exploration fun!
And the city streets are just as cozy and inviting. The food, shopping, and pubs were excellent. The city is well organized and easy to move around in on foot.
The Petroleum Museum
Norwegian Petroleum Museum
+47 51 93 93 00
Google Map Link
We also went to the petroleum museum. I know what you’re thinking: what? But yeah, see Norway is actually a huge supplier of petroleum and they have a dramatic and sorted past on that. Sort of like the gold rush in the US. A lot of people got rich, and still are, and there were several catastrophic disasters where a lot people died. So it was quite an interesting presentation and I would recommend it. But watch yourself, there are dinosaurs there, so the kids will love it, too!
And that was it, folks. We had a marvelous time and would go back and do it again. Well, except for that climb up to Pulpit Rock. Some things are better left to just the initial impression….