Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Hiking to the Trollkirka (Troll Church) in Norway

Don't watch the movie, "The Trollhunter", before attempting this.
One of the best 'adventure' tours I've taken with the ship was done out of the port of Molde, Norway. The tour was described as a hike and cave exploration of a 'strenuous' nature, and that was pretty damned spot on. Unfortunately not everyone can read or is blessed with common sense.

Despite the 'strenuous' warning, a guest in his seventies signed up and not only that, he wore black dress shoes for hiking and climbing. Please, people. Set ego aside and ask yourself honestly if you're fit enough and yes, young enough, to participate in something that has clearly been marked 'strenuous'. Also, wear proper attire. You may think you're tough enough to handle it, but in truth you end up holding up the rest of the members of your group and as was the case in this adventure, set everyone behind by an hour, nearly causing us to miss the ship.

Rant aside, this was an awesome trip. A small group of us were driven by van to Eidet, where we parked and began the hike up into the mountains where Trollkirk, the Troll Church, is located. When the guide told us we were going 'up there' and pointed vaguely towards the mountains, I figured he just meant that general direction. No, he literally meant 'up there'. Straight up to about 1,600 feet above sea level.

The weather was certainly overcast and fog hung over all of the mountaintops, but I wasn't worried. Silly me.

The beginning of the hike wasn't bad at all. Uneven footing, but everything was dry and the surroundings were gorgeous.

Fog obscuring much of the view. But you can tell we're rising higher.

Looking back.

Looking ahead.

Now we're starting to get something of a view.

These grates were set out to help with the mud, but they became slippery later on and were somewhat tricky to navigate. We're heading for the foggy area above.

Now up the slick rock.

Still climbing towards the fog.

A good look back at what we've conquered so far. You can see the rocks and the road-like area where the grates are. Our van is parked way down in the valley.

It took about an hour and a half to climb to this point. My colleague had stayed behind with the elderly gentleman and the guide, so I hoofed it up the mountain to catch up with the leaders of our group and make sure they were okay. Racing up the mountain was a workout and it was pretty humid so I was slick with sweat by the time I reached the resting area before the caves. It was an enjoyable wait for the others. The area is beautiful and mysterious. It made me think of Ireland. But the clouds were thickening and that probably didn't bode well...

In the next post, we go inside the Troll Church!  Trolls ahead?


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