Thursday, September 02, 2010

For Nan--The Mother Of All Outcroppings

This is Preikestolen. I don't know what they're calling it in the English language tour guides these days.  Pulpit Rock?  Rock Pulpit?  Translated literally it's Preacher's Chair, but I can't seem to stop myself from thinking of it as Preacher's Mount.  Which I know is wrong in all sorts of ways.  But am's Mount it is, and ever shall be.

Whatever it's called, it's rather stunning, no?

It's one of those iconic, quintessentially norsk images--along with trolls, Northern lights, and those thorny looking, wooden Stave Churches--that I've tied to Norway, deep in my psyche ever since I was 14 years old and pouring over library books to learn more about the exotic homeland of my hunky, new heart-throbs A-ha. (Fact: JEDA never would have come to Norway, may still to this day, have been living under the false, but harmless, illusion that Norway was the capital of Sweden, and that Jarlsberg cheese was merely a poorer, larger-holed version of the preferable Swiss, if "Take On Me" hadn't been such a perfectly awesome song.)

It was the one thing Mom said she wanted to do while she was here this go 'round--see Preikestolen. (My mom is here visiting/helping.  Did I mention that?  Been here since early August.  It's been great, but I've been working her hard since school started, and I think she might be ready for a vacation.)  She's been training since winter to make sure she was physically fit enough to make it there--long walks, and hiking in the trails around her house.  We took her on a practice run to our choice blueberry patch a few weeks ago:
The blueberry patch is those sunny, green swathes in the valley below.  We left Mister and the kids there to pick blueberries while we climbed to 'redningshytten'--a sort of way-station for weary travellers another kilometer and a half (maybe) and a hefty (you can't see the vertical drop just behind her in this picture, but trust me, it's there) climb along the way.
We thought we blew out her knees on that little trip.  Hiking the dusty trails of Corner Canyon didn't quite prepare her knees and thighs for all the boulders that must be negotiated on Norwegian trails.  But she did eventually recover, and last weekend we all headed to Stavanger en route to Preikestolen.
Boulders.  Boulders, boulders, and more boulders.
It was a much harder, steeper, and more physically demanding trail than I expected it to be.  Mom, however, gamely insisted that it was about what she expected it to be.  Step by careful step she made it there and back no problem.
There were a ton of people there, but none of them this happy and this proud.
With our legs hanging over the edge like a couple of bad-asses...
Those thunderstorms you see gathering rather magnificently in the background, waited until we were about half way back down the trail to soak us to the skin.
White specks on water = itty, bitty sailboats.
The preferred loogie hocking position.
It was a great trip.  I'm so glad I finally got to see it.

Next on the Norwegian icons bucket list:  Lofoten, and the Northen Lights. But probably not this year. There's chemistry to learn this year, and physics....School kind of sucks right now....not that you asked....but it does....and now you know.


Jilly Baby said...

FANTASTIC! Well done. You see those people sitting on the far right of the picture admiring the view?...well that's about as far as I would be willing to go (and that's being optimistic). I don't even go on the freaking London Eye and that's in a bloody capsule!

So there really wouldn't be much point in me going but I'm glad for you. Srsly I am xx

tracy said...

Oh how AWESOME!!! What a great time and I am so proud of all of you as well - although I must add, my stomach turned a bit just looking at the pics :)

Way fun! If we ever make it to your beautiful corner of the world, we must go!

Anonymous said...

So were you at the fairwell concert on Saturday? We just had to open the window and could hear perfectly.

Anonymous said...

skinnybitch's mom says:

Send my sister home before you break her. And I miss her. Love ya all, Linda

Hanne said...

i'm afraid i'll stay forever immature at that point. tea is just not my thing..

la dragon said...

Wow, that's quite an outcropping. I've never seen a bigger outcropping, in fact. And you summitted (scaled? climbed? outcrapped?) this outcropping? Kudos to you all.

Lazarus Lupin said...

wonderful vistas, I hope you get to go everyplace you want, see everything, and bring back pictures this good!

Lazarus Lupin
art and review