Norwegian nature is beautiful.
This is Odda — a small town in the depths of Norway, a transit point on the way to Troll’s Tongue, or Trolltunga.
Outside of cities, Norway is an entirely wild country that has nothing in common with either Europe or the United States. And it’s not even Russia. Norway is a complete wilderness in everything except for the quality of architecture and roads.
So, within a radius of 100 kilometers from the most popular tourist spot — Troll’s Tongue — there is only one ATM and two supermarkets that operate until six o’clock. And what did the author expect when coming here? Of course, a financial-gastronomic mecca!
As a result, we had to make do with dry rations. And it’s fortunate that the stores accepted cards!
Yes, that’s right. Troll’s Tongue is such a massive rocky formation that everyone climbs up the mountains to take a safe selfie on it.
Troll’s Tongue is a rather dangerous place. In essence, climbing up to it means embarking on a genuine “hiking,” which is an amateur mountain trekking activity.
It is possible to climb to Troll’s Tongue not at all times, but only from June to September. During the rest of the time, the hike is either dangerous or deadly dangerous.
The author is quite the mountaineer, indeed. I travel with a small backpack and the bare minimum of belongings. So while everyone else was wearing training suits, heavy boots, and ski poles, I dashed into the mountains in jeans, sneakers, and a sweater with a leather jacket.
In the hiking instructions, it explicitly stated: “Do not wear running sneakers.” Moreover, they specifically mentioned my model.
But carrying spare shoes was not part of my plans, so before leaving, I went to a hardware store and bought ice cleat attachments with spikes.
Of course, the ice cleat on my left foot fell off just after the first kilometer of the journey when we hadn’t even reached the mountains yet — they simply vanished without a trace on a wooden staircase in the forest from one foot.
And there I was, struggling like a fool, clinging with one foot and dragging the other, which kept slipping on wet rocks and mud, trying to take me either into the river, the swamp, or just throw me off the damn cliff. Crazy Russian tourist, damn it.
It’s 11 kilometers to Trolltunga through rugged terrain.
It’s impossible to reach there in less than 4 hours; typically, it takes 5-6 hours one way without preparation. And you still need to return before it gets dark.
The entire path consists of constant obstacles. There are half-broken wooden stairs in the forest with ropes instead of railings, a river with a makeshift wooden bridge, ditches, pits, slippery flat stones, and sharp rock fragments.
The constant ascents and descents are particularly challenging. Just when you’ve climbed up another hill, the path goes downhill again. Then it goes uphill once more. If all these variations in elevation were leveled out, you could reach Troll’s Tongue with a leisurely walk in half an hour.
But the plain would never be as beautiful.
It is difficult to convey the beauty of these places. Reader, just imagine: this and the previous photograph were taken from the same spot, without taking a step aside.
Halfway through the journey, there are mileposts every kilometer, often with a note: “If it’s already past 16:00 on your watch, turn back.”
However, this instruction is not for those who came here to stay overnight.
Resting point. The only store near Troll’s Tongue sells only dried sausages, chips, candy bars, ridiculously sweet high-calorie junk, and other inedible items. It turns out that nobody in Norway takes dumplings with mashed potatoes for hiking. Savages.
I had to sustain myself with chocolate bars, dried meat, and wash it all down with Red Bull, which made Norwegian athletes give me disgusted looks. It was precisely during those days that there was a buzz about meldonium.
By the way, I would have completed the entire journey two hours faster if I hadn’t been taking photos of every centimeter.
The lake is a good sign. There is only a little left until the Tongue.
Let’s keep going.
It is not recommended to bring water with you — why? There is a stream or river every kilometer.
The most challenging section on the entire route. Just when it seems that there is less than a kilometer left to the Language (presumably a place or destination), a gorge appears out of nowhere, forcing you to descend and immediately climb a fairly steep slope. By this time, your legs are already exhausted.
There won’t be any more problems ahead, but snowy peaks will appear and it will become very cold.
Completely desolate landscapes where mountains reach the sky like a ceiling: there is nothing higher within many kilometers.
And here is the Tongue.
And here is the queue for the Tongue.
A whole hour at +5 degrees Celsius.