Monday, 27 May 2013

The great escape!

I figure that's the way to go, make the weekends count. When possible that is. That way I feel a little less like I'm fading into a routine :). Last weekend worked quite spectacularly well in that respect! It was a four day break, and we spent most of it in Stavanger! (Actually, that's the weekend before last, now that I've snoozed on this post all through this last weekend :P.)

Although I'd travelled through Stavanger a few years ago on a trip to Preikestolen, I'd never actually acquainted myself properly with the place. I can honestly say that is no longer the case :).

The overnight train dropped us off in the tunnel that is Stavanger Sentralstasjon. Thankfully a helpful lady informed us that there was indeed light at the end of the tunnel and we should get off and walk! And that pretty much sums up what followed for the next four days, we walked, everywhere :).

The Norwegian National Day, which was why we had the long weekend, is quite the event! All over the country, in every city and town, there are parades celebrating the day. The coming of spring, or summer, depending on how long the previous winter stretched, seems to bolster the celebrations. So it was quite the festive mood we found ourselves engulfed in :).

The plan was to hike to Preikestolen on the Saturday, and the weather really turned out to be gorgeous! Unlike my last hike to Pulpit Rock, as it is also known, we weren't on quite as tight a schedule. Once at the top, we decided to just laze about on the rocks for a while. That gave a couple of us enough time to hunt for a better vantage point higher up, which in turn provided the most spectacular view of the entire outcrop jutting out over the fjord!

Just to round off the views, we decided to take a trip around the fjord on a boat. The sky was overcast and it was pouring down with cold rain, so in fact, quite the perfect time to stick to the cosy confines of the boat as it wound its way between the towering cliffs and precarious settlements which lined the unfathomably deep waters, here perfectly still, there a bit ruffled by the wind driving the raindrops.

And lo and behold, before long, we were staring up at this seemingly innocuous ledge projecting out of the wall of rock, hundreds of feet above! Preikestolen does look rather tiny from the water. But then again, so do the boats on the fjord from up there :). I'm glad I've had the chance to see it from both sides now.

Between the two and a half days that we did spent quartering the old town and the downtown area, we didn't leave much unexplored. From ethnic restaurants to museums, from chocolateries to parks, we saw a little bit of everything. And then there were the swords! Sverd i fjell, or 'swords in mountain' are actually a bit outside Stavanger, but do you think we allowed that to stop us?

Of course not! It took us a while, and the weather constantly threatened to bring our endeavour to a damp and shivering end, but we prevailed :). So it was a very content, if somewhat stiff, group that disembarked from the overnight train that dropped us off back in Asker on a very rainy Tuesday morning.

Boy, was that a hard day to get through without yawning my head off! It was heartening to see I wasn't the only bleary eyed one at work though. People here do really believe in making the utmost of any opportunities that the weather and work schedules allow :).

Currently: holding on to memories of sunny afternoons
Listening to: The National - Demons


Hemamalini said...

Totally know the feeling! Back to work after a sumptuous, sunny, long weekend.

kray said...

you had long weekend this weekend?!!

not that I should complain :) but still! here it seems like a long drought till Christmas now :-<