As I look out over the shimmering fjord flanked by emerald green pine forests climbing up the foot of the mountain, it’s hard to believe just 40 minutes before I was in the bustling but small city of Stavanger.
The sounds of city life, albeit fairly tame, replaced with the gentle sound of nothing but nature; the quaint, cobblestoned streets for a stunning skyline pierced by the jutting snow-capped mountains.
That morning, I’d ditched my heels and tugged on my hiking boots, determined to take on the three hour climb to Norway’s famed Pulpit Rock.
I’m far from a seasoned hiker, and armed with not much more than a hang over – thanks to a night spent exploring Stavanger’s swanky and very, very expensive bars – and an umbrella in case it rained (so unseasoned I don’t even own a waterproof coat), I set off on the climb.
My crippling fear of heights proved a problem in places but after clambering over a hill of giant boulders, braving perilous ledges and standing in awe of the breath-taking views below of clear waters interrupted by heather-coloured hills and islands so far away they could be mistaken for whales swimming in the sea, we reached our destination.
A few hours later, as we neared the end of our climb, I looked forward to a shower and quick snooze before glamming it up in a top notch restaurant for tea unaware that tomorrow, just 20 minutes in the other direction, I would be looking out over a clear blue sky and turquoise sea lapping on the white sands at Solastranden.
Norway is a country that definitely has it all. http://flic.kr/s/aHsjxWngTB