At this point, two people have shared beautiful posts with me about visiting Norway. I think the Universe is sending subtle hints. This week’s lovely post follows Chee and his hike at Trolltunga. Another magical place challenging hearts and minds while it taunts us to explore its beauty. Read his full account below.
Author: Chee Zhiquan
Favorite Quote: “In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” – John Muir
This trail is filled with many breathtaking spots that blew my mind away. When the sun shines at the blue fjord, it sparkles like quartz, stones that shimmer like iron and steel. The water is as clear as diamonds. These scenes were so brilliantly and astonishingly stunning, and all made by the patient hands of nature. And thousands of tourists in the summer months ultimately come for this view alone:
This is Trolltunga.
The word translates to “Troll’s Tongue” and is a cliff rock more than 700 meters above a lake that sticks out like, as the name suggests, a tongue. I was blessed to complete the hike and took an insta-worthy photo of myself in the tongues very tip, one that soon became my Facebook cover photo.
Guess my friends’ reactions when I put that picture up? There were plenty of likes, wows and hearts. I felt so good when I started receiving notifications of positive reactions to my cover photo.
That’s not all though. I failed miserably on the first attempt and that failure gave me a stronger desire to complete it on the second try. The first hike was a few years ago and ever since I kept thinking about going back and finish the walk.
So, this summer I decided to go back to Norway and complete this hike with my partner. We made a lot of preparations, bought the right gear and did a little of physical training.
You may be asking, why did we prepare so much?
Well the answer is – the trail to Trolltunga is the most challenging trail in Norway. It’s a 27km round trip from the start point to the tongue of the rock itself and it takes about 8 – 12 hours to complete. And the terrain is far from flat, being filled with many uphills and downhills.
I was especially keen not to fail this time.
Another problem was posed by the fact that my partner and I come from Singapore, a country that has no mountains at all. The tallest hill sits at a modest 163 meters. Even if we could easily reach the peak of our tallest hill, Trolltunga was a whole new ball game.
So let’s begin with our experience from the start…
Our moods were high because we were already looking forward to seeing the cliff rock. We were happily walking until we saw our first uphill, which immediately filled us with a sense of doom.
Not sure if this looks tough to you but it sure was to us. We climbed for about half an hour wondering if the slope would ever end. Eventually it did, thankfully. But it would not be the last of such slopes that we would encounter in the coming
At every kilometer of the trail, there was a sign stating how far away we were from the cliff rock. I found this sign pretty motivating, especially when nearing the end. However, it was demoralizing when walking back and the sign was saying “12km” before we would get some well deserved rest.
The trail seemed to get more difficult the further we progressed, going uphill was tiring while going downhill on slabs of rocks was hurting our knees. Our minds started to tell us to throw in the towel. I think we might have given up if the weather had been bad.
Along the trail, we were greeted with magnificent views of the fjords and this was one of them.
I was fascinated, took a deep breath and started to appreciate the surroundings. The water was so clear it had reflections of the clouds. The rocks on the mountains were shimmering.
I was tired, thirsty, sweaty and my legs were aching yet this breathtaking view took all that pain away. This view also helped me to find my purpose in life. That purpose is to uncover as many landscapes on Earth as I can before I go and meet my makers.
I knew that this wouldn’t be the only amazing scenery I’ll come across as there’s plenty more in the world yet to discover and enjoy.
Continuing with such good weather and good views, we pushed on and finally reached the cliff rock.
Stunning, isn’t it?
After that, we sat down for a while and ate some eggs, sandwiches and bananas to replenish our energy. This energy was totally necessary to fuel us up for the rest of the journey. There was an eagle that soared pass the mountain, as though a significant sign of being a conqueror to this enormous mountain.
There was an interesting scene where everyone was queuing for a photo by Trolltunga. Well, who doesn’t want a photo right? After walking for 5 – 6 hours, you totally deserve an awesome photo.
So, we queued for an hour plus. When it reached our turn, we were contemplating whether to go near the edge. In the back of our minds, we remembered seeing news of a tourist who fell to her death. We told ourselves that there probably won’t be a second time so we overcame our paranoia and went to the edge.
It was all worth it. The image taken was spectacular. We had help from a total stranger to take the photo for us. I guessed everyone became friends at this point.
After snapping photos for our Facebook and Instagram profiles, we rested a little more
before continuing the journey back to the start point. The thought of going back was painful, especially seeing as we know that we would have to negotiate all that tough terrain once more.
But luckily, we made it, and I’m still alive to tell this story.
Things that amazed us were not just the views but the people we saw. Along the way, we saw a mountain biker, dogs taken for stroll on the mountain, a couple of hikers walking barefoot and even a pregnant lady (I think that was her last trimester!). Their determination was beyond admirable.
After this hike, I felt there was a greater meaning to life. In Singapore, most people rush to work in the morning and rush back home in the evening. That is the same case for me before the trip, my mind was constantly thinking about work. I didn’t have moments to slow my pace, look around my environment and appreciate beautiful things nature has to offer.
I’m glad I went on this adventure though and for the way it sparked a change in my mindset.
But if you ask me if I want to do it again, I would answer no. Not because the hike was tough, but because there are still so many other mountains, rivers, forests and landscapes to explore.
And I think I’ve just got started.
That’s all folks! Thanks for reading my experience. If you’re heading to Norway for any hiking adventures, let me know so I can share some tips!
Chee Zhiquan is the man behind TakeOutdoors.com, a blog for anyone who simply loves the outdoors. He considers himself as an outdoor geek who loves fiddling with computer and exploring the nature.