32. Lysefjorden - The Tour Boat Cruise from Forsand to Lysebotn and Return on the Famous Lysefjord. 

(Please report any errors we might have made identifying these photos to: Keith )

See Travel Report #16

Title: With moisture drops still on the windshield of our borrowed car, we cross the new suspension bridge to reach the town of Forsand in Forsand kommune. This town is on the south side of the entrance to the Lysefjord.

Title: As we wait at the quay at Forsand, the ferry/tour boat "MF Lysefjord" approaches. This highly recommended ferry, which left Stavanger earlier this morning, will take us the full length of the Lysefjord and back in a little over 5 hours.

Title: Aboard the ferry, we cruise under the suspension bridge and begin our cruise eastward on the Lyseford. Here the fjord seems wide and the rock cliffs along the side begin to get higher as we cruise east.

Title: Here we come across some serious fish farming. This we heard is a very growing business in Norway. If we remember correctly this is salmon farming here. (Later we have been told that this is really a mussel farm - Thanks Elise.)

Title: As we get further into the fjord, the rock cliffs get higher and we come across one striking view after another. Here we see on of many waterfalls cascading over the granite walls of the fjord.

Title: Here we approach "Preikestolen" or Pulpit Rock which is said to be the most famous tourist attraction in Rogaland and maybe all of southwestern Norway. Seen here just left of center at the top of the rock wall, 2,000 feet above the fjord water.

Title: Here we see Pulpit Rock from a different angle. From water level we can barely see the people standing at the rim of this famous 80 foot square flat-topped rock buttress.

Title: A view of the rear of the ferry as we cruise up the fjord.

Title: We believe this photo is of the area known as Bratteli or near it. The Bratteli farm is reported as mostly abandoned but we noticed several vacation cabins in this general area. Notice the waterfall coming down to the fjord on the left.

Title: As we all look on, the Captain maneuvers in for a quick stop at the tiny village of Songesand. It is said that there are about 20 permanent residents here on the north side of the fjord. This is also one of the few places along this fjord connected to a road.

Title: Crossing over the fjord up a little farther we come to the farm of Kalleli on the south side. Reportedly one family lives regularly on this farm, but many more come in the summer to vacation here. Our tour book states that 50 people lived here around 1900.

Title: We approach Fl°yrli and the power generating station on the fjord (white building). Here you also see old water line running down the mountain and beside it is the "world's longest stairway" with almost 4,500 steps. The new power station is totally inside the mountain now.

Title: In the center of this photo is the famous Kjerag, the highest mountain along this fjord. Almost a sheer drop of 3,300 feet, this spot is popular with "base jumpers" or those who parachute from a fixed place rather than an airplane.

Title: This photo is of the base of Kjerag and if you look closely in the center of this picture you can see a parachutist coming down after a significant free-fall.

Title: Here one of the base jumpers with a colorful parachute comes in for the landing in the small landing zone at the mountain's base. Here personnel and at least one boat stand by in case there is a problem.

Title: If you look very closely at this photo you might be able to see what appears to be a bridge across a crevasse. This is the famous Kjeragbolten or "hole in the wall." It is a rather large boulder wedged between 2 rock mountains. Even with magnification, it appears tiny here.

Title: At the east end of Lysefjord we come to the beautiful community of Lysebotn. Many of the passengers aboard our ferry will continue on now by car; many people and cars are here queued up to board the ferry for the trip back west toward Forsand and Stavanger.

Title: Here at Lysebotn the ferry makes a 30 minute stop so we go ashore to stretch our legs and take some photos. This shot shows the rock cliffs to the north of the quay. We are told that many residents here work for the Lyse Power Company.

Title: Keith takes a break as Peg captures the magnificent view of the fjord from Lysebotn looking west. The white dome on the left is one of the efficient recycling bins that one finds all over Norway.

Title: Here we are cruising out the fjord leaving Lysebotn in the distance. On our return trip the weather turns much cooler and a cloud cover appears.

Title: We are pretty sure that this place is called Fantehola. The ferry pulled in here on our way in but we could not get a good photo then. As the ferry slowly pulls right in to this grotto like inlet, music by Grieg is played. Keith liked it; Peg thought it too much like Disneyland. 

Title: In an area toward the western end of Lysefjord near where granite blocks used to be quarried, we see these beautiful rock cliffs on the south side of the fjord. We were told that much of the port of Amsterdam was built from these blocks.

Title: A closer view at these massive stone mountains. Peg's artistic eye is attracted to the shapes, lines, colors, hues and shadows on these rocks.

Title: Peg is also happy that she brought her warm coat as the temperature is much lower now as we near our original point of departure, Forsand. The fellows in short sleeves at the back of the boat must be from northern Norway!

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