Monday, 10 September 2018

Odda and the iconic Trolltunga (Norway)

Hi Sign Hunters,

Recently I have started and I am finally catching up with sorting out photos from older trips. The Norway trip in mid-August 2016, just about two years ago, was a part of a two-week expedition in the Southern part of the main body of Scandinavia including a visit to Sweden, too. 

Norway had been on our list to visit for a long time, but even in 2016, the journey planning involved only a week, so we had to make wise decisions what to bring into the trip. We could eventually squeeze quite a lot into the holiday (in fact, it was our honeymoon). 

Spending time in Odda was a needed choice as we aimed to hike up to the nearby Trolltunga, which is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Norway

Odda is a small town/municipality in Hordaland with a population about 7,000. It lies in a fantastic environment and precisely located at the southernmost end of the 38-km-long Sørfjorden, which is the innermost part of the main Hardangerfjorden that has an open access to the North Sea. It sits in a valley, and it is surrounded by large mountains, walled by steep hillsides. Wherever you look, you see mountains and waterfalls. We stayed here because it has a great campsite, and from there, one could organise a trip up to Buerbreen Glacier (which is an offshoot of the Folgefonna plateau glacier system), Låtefossen waterfall, and of course, to Trolltunga.

As mentioned earlier, Trolltunga (literally Troll's tongue) is one of the best-known tourist attractions in Norway, although it is only a jutting out piece of rock, so it is worth questioning its popularity. According to Wikipedia, it has become popular during the recent years, so as Katie phrased it, "it is all those Instagram pictures making everyone want to go there!".

Popular or not popular, Katie and I decided to do the trip which was 11 km there and 11 km back. Trolltunga is situated about 1,100 metres above sea level, 700 metres above Lake Ringedalsvatnet, near the western side of Hardangervidda. The route goes through high mountain terrain with creeks, streams, boulders, mud puddles, wet march and water at several spots on the hike. 

Season the rough physical conditions with constant drizzling rain and about +10°C in the middle of August, you will get an enthusiastic Katie, shown here in the following photos. I think this article should have been written by Katie herself; I am sure she could have found a different tone to describe the experience of hiking Trolltunga. For me, it was an achievement that we did on that day, but like I said, Trolltunga itself is only a group of rocks. It is popular only because it is located in a highly picturesque spot and lots of people only hike up to take an Instagram-compatible photo (to get those Likes). If you go nowadays and you get great weather, expect a massive queue once you reach the top, as lots of people just wanna get their Instagram shot and then leave. For us, it was the trip itself and the experience of being at the heart of Norway, to see what it is really like, in an atmospheric weather that really shows us this part of Scandinavia. I am happy to say that Norway and the Trolltunga hike met my great expectations and, even though the hike was very challenging, we returned to Odda and felt that we had achieved something awesome. 

Now it is time for you to scroll down and get engaged with Odda and Trolltunga through my photos. Enjoy!

~ Laszlo #thesignhunters

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Part 1: Odda

Part 2: Trolltunga

© All photos were taken by Laszlo Bokor (2016). The Sign Hunters, all rights reserved.

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