Lysefjord means “light fjord” and is named for the towering granite cliffs which line its shores. Carved by ice age glaciers, the water in places is as deep as the mountains are high. We headed out early from Stavanger on a 3 hour cruise in Lysefjord. I must admit I was wondering if we had made the right choice, since we have spent most of the last few days in fjords, but I am very glad we didn’t back out. The landscape was quite different and very dramatic, the sky was blue (again) and we had a delightful morning. The fact that we stopped for traditional Norwegian waffles had nothing to do with our enjoyment of the outing.
Lysefjord is most famous for Preikestolen, or Pulpit Rock, a remarkably rectangular rocky outcrop high atop the cliff. 604 metres (1,982 ft) high to be precise. It is possible to hike to it, but that’s a little too high for my liking! We passed Hengjane, a lovely waterfall fed by melting snows. We got so close we were getting splashed, and were able to collect some fresh Norwegian water to drink.
With only an hour left to see Stavanger we obviously couldn’t venture very far. We popped in to the cathedral of St Swithun, which dates from 1125. A “new” chancel was built in the gothic style in the 13th century, and a very elaborate pulpit was added in 1658. We had a wander through Gamle Stavanger (old Stavanger), where winding cobbled streets are lined with pretty white weatherboard cottages dating from the 17th & 8th centuries. Pretty.
We sailed at 1:30 so we have a quiet afternoon on board – first “down time” we’ve had since leaving home. Shall we go for a swim, take a nap, have afternoon tea, head to the gym (haha), go shopping? … so many choices! Tonight we are having dinner at The Chef’s Table -one of the specialty restaurants on board, which offers a 5 course tasting menu with a different theme every few days. Tonight’s theme is “Xiang”. I will of course provide a full report.