All of the credit for this trip goes to Kristen. I had never heard about Trolltunga or knew the shear beauty that Norway had to offer. She showed me some pictures and told me a little about the hike and I was all in. We chose to go in July to make sure that we didn’t freeze to death.
It was kind of a battle to figure out the most efficient way to get there. We contemplated flying into Oslo and taking a train around for the majority of the time, but ultimately we ended up just renting a car and driving out to a small city near the base of the hike called Tyssedal. I am actually very glad we decided to do this, because Norway is stunning. We stopped several times on the way just to absorb all of the beauty. Kristen mentioned that it seemed like we were in a fairytale land and I couldn’t have agreed more.
Finally making it to Tyssedal it was around 11p.m. and we wanted to start the hike nice and early in case we needed the time. I have to tell you that living in Germany has spoiled us in terms of sleeping. If you have never been to Germany, essentially every house is fitted with these devices called “rouladens.” They essentially are blinds that are hooked up to a roller that come down to completely block out all sunlight in the windows. Well, going to Norway in July, the sun comes up at around 4:30a.m. so we tried to get as much sleep as we could, but it is just so hard to sleep in the sun when you are accustomed to rouladens. We got around 5 hours and it proved to be enough.
Trolltunga is not for the weak. Overall I think it was a total of 28Km from the parking lot all the way to the attraction point. We didn’t find this out until later, but there is a special parking spot that allows you to bypass the first 3-4Km, which is arguably the worst part of the hike. You do have to get to the base and buy a parking ticket quite early for this though. Kristen and I decided to not even inquire because it was already around 7a.m. and we wanted the “full Trolltunga experience.”
As I mentioned before, the first few kilometers are no joke. You start out at near sea level and walk up to almost 400m in elevation. Luckily Kristen and I had been training for the 4 Daagse Nijmegen event so we were physically prepared for the most part. A lot of our training had been on flat ground, but we were used to the distance.
Once you make it past the first few kilometers, the elevation levels out for a little, but then goes right into some very steep elevation for another 2Km or so. If you can make to about the 7Km mark then you will make it. The rest is just left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot for the rest of the journey. It does help that you are surrounded by beauty the whole time as well.
Once we finally made it to the 1Km mark we were so excited, but for some reason that last kilometer took forever. Kristen and I were walking at a moderately fast pace, but it still took a while. When we finally made it to the tongue, it was just as amazing as the pictures. Pure beauty in its natural state. We got some shots and took a lunch break at the peak, then headed back down.
The journey back down was much easier despite rolling my ankle 3 different times. Overall the journey took us only about 7 ½ hours, so it is possible to do in a day, but it was very common to see people bringing tents and camping out all along the route. This hike is an absolute must if you are traveling to Norway, but obviously do your research before jumping right into it.
THINGS I LEARNED
1. Review your shots, on a computer or table if possible. I took a few “test” shots right when we first got up to Trolltunga and they ended up being my favorite shots in terms of the angle that I took them. All of the shots turned out great, but I would’ve preferred the ones that I got of Kristen to be at a different angle and not zoomed in as much.
2. Don’t use your smart phone camera if you have a Sony A6500. I don’t know why I didn’t use my camera for all of the shots, but every time I took a picture of the Km markers, I used my iPhone. It’s not a bad camera, but come on.. there is a significant difference in quality and being able to shoot RAW.