You know how they often say that you see yourself blind on the local surroundings? That you’re not able to see the beauty around you? That has been my case for a long time. Maybe it’s because I love to travel and explore new cultures and countries, but for a long time my motivation for photographing the local area was non-existing. I loved to go hiking and enjoying the fresh air, but I wasn’t able to see my surroundings as beautiful images. This led to me going for the same hikes over and over again, and gradually stopping to explore new places. Well, this changed during the last year. After beginning to do more research of locations or just hiking new areas, I began to see that there is some really beautiful areas surrounding my town. Not only are they beautiful, but they are also less known and not on the front page of 500px or your Facebook feed every day! Just as I like it.
One of these places that I’ve discovered recently is the majestic Gygrestolen located right outside Bø in Telemark. Less than a two-hour drive from home, I still consider this as my surrounding area. Not only is Gygrestolen a beautiful location visually, but it’s got some quite interesting tales as well! If you like some Norwegian tales about trolls or Norse tales, keep reading!
According to local tales Gygra, giant Norse ladies, would throw rocks from the mountain whenever they where mad. My conclusion after visiting is that these ladies must have been constantly angry! The two cliffs have by now moved far away from the ledge, surrounded by rocks of all sizes. Some of the rocks have been there for so long that trees have grown on them. Fascinating stuff.
I also read that the cliff furthest away continues to move further out each year. Exactly how much it moves I don’t know, I guess I’ll have to go back and ask some locals!
From the small parking, the round trip itself is a average to heavy 7 km hike. According to the information at the parking, it is a 3 hour hike, even though you will use less time than this if your in average to good shape, I would recommend spending some time at the top to enjoy the view, maybe even take a picnic!
The hike is more or less straight up and straight down. During the approximately 3.5km to the top, you climb 350 meters. So yes, it is a steep hike and you need proper footwear!
Besides the hike up being strenuous, the landscapes you walk through are delicate for the eye. It varies from dense woodland and lush green, to small lakes and cliffs and even some marshland. Close to the top there is also a neat little lake where you could cool down on a hot summer day.
When you’re at the top, spend some time exploring. The cliffs themselves are beautiful, but the surrounding view is fantastic too. Explore!
The walk back down to the parking is pretty similar to the hike up. However it is not constantly steep, there are fewer hills but to compensate they are also steeper.
Gygrestolen is also a popular destination for climbers with some experience.
You can read more about my trip to Gygrestolen at my blog where I talk about how I captured the images and also give a couple insider tips on how to get a unique view of the cliffs.