And then I realized that this was destiny, and I needed to tune in to the trip to Norway! And set my wife up as well, since we had a small child at the time.
From that moment the total preparation began, we immersed ourselves in the Internet, watched videos from hikes, reviews of routes, the program “Heads and Tails” and we did not even think that it is not so easy to get to the Troll’s Tongue! Fortunately, we have experience in trekking in mountain areas (Republic of Adygea, Crimea) and we basically understood what awaits us.
Initially we saw our journey differently: we planned to climb in one day on Tongue and go back down, without overnight stay, along the tourist route known at 14 kilometers.
In parallel with the review and reading of the Internet about Language, I accidentally came across the site www.kuluarpohod.com, which found a program of the tour to Troll’s Language, tour schedule and a lot of other interesting and useful. After consulting with my wife, we decided to write to the manager Oxana and ask some questions about the tour, and, honestly, just to see if anyone will answer us or not, because the first thing we noticed is that the organization Kuluar is not in the Russian Federation.
In the end, we spent a lot of time thinking about the very idea of climbing Troll’s Tongue, are we sure about it? We spent a lot of time researching materials about the place, country and route to the Tongue, reviews of the Couloir organization, and a lot of correspondence with the Couloir manager, for which we thank her very much for her clear and complete answers.
After learning all the theory and everything we could about Norway, hiking to Troll’s Tongue, etc., we booked 2 places in the group (six months in advance of the trip start date), made an advance payment, and then the long and painstaking packing began.
The first thing we started to look at flight options to Bergen, as from Russia there is no direct flight to Bergen, there were many options with connections. Which also made us wary, because we had no experience with connecting flights. As a result, six months before the trip we booked (with some miles :)) tickets Moscow-Helsinki-Bergen (change in Helsinki in 2 hours) and back (change in Helsinki in 9 hours). But then we had a surprise after buying the tickets: on the way to Bergen, we make a technical landing in Sweden to unload/load passengers. After all, there was nothing to do, the tickets were bought – such is the route to reach our destination: 3 takeoffs/3 landings one way!
Immediately after purchasing tickets all the information was reported to our manager Oksana, who in turn provided us with all the documents for a Schengen visa to Norway. After that we easily got a visa, though only for the duration of the trip.
Preparation continued, and we began to pick up equipment and gear for the trip. We were lucky enough to have good friends who were able to share a lot of things – a backpack, sleeping bags, tent, clothes, and even a cool flashlight! Truth be told, it was my birthday before the trip, and I asked for a Tatonka 80+10 liter backpack as a gift.
In preparing and selecting equipment very helpful list of equipment and necessities, which can be found on the website Kuluar.
When gathering we tried to be guided by the list of equipment, which is presented on the website Kuluar, but still in some points we “missed”.
Tent. We borrowed a friend’s Quechua Quick Hiker tent – small size, for two, but cold for the harsh Norwegian weather. The very large gauze windows, which were in the base of the tent, had to be covered with raincoats and other clothing for warmth.
Sleeping bag. Take one, as Kuluar recommends, with a comfortable temperature between 0 and -5. We had one warm sleeping bag and one quite summer one. We had to get into one sleeping bag for two and cover ourselves with another one for warmth.
Trekking shoes. Each of us had two pairs, because there are enough places on the route where you can get your feet wet (snow, rivers). We recommend that you stretch your shoes (if they are new) before the trip.
Backpacks. Tatonka and Quechua 90-liter backpacks were quite suitable for this hike.
On 22.06.2019 at 3:00 Moscow time we were already at Sheremetyevo airport, and were waiting for our flight. We recommend that you study in advance the airport where the transfer will take place, as well as the possibility of leaving the airport in case of a long transfer. In our case, the connection took 2 hours, which allowed us to comfortably walk around the airport in Vantaa (Finland) and go through passport control.
As a result, three takeoffs and three landings – and we are in Norway! Upon arrival, we immediately started looking for Bybanen – a streetcar or surface metro, which is about 40 minutes from the airport to the center of Bergen. This is the option we chose to get to the center. The cost per person as of June 22, 2019 was 38 NOK. Very comfortable and fast streetcar with music playing when stopping at stops.
Upon arriving in Bergen, we were caught up in the rain (normal weather for Norway) and after looking at the map, we walked towards our hostel “Marken Gjestehus” to meet our guide and group.
We recommend that you arrive in Bergen in the morning, quickly put things in the luggage room (if you have not yet settled), and go walk around town – find a currency exchange (there are 3 in the center, not far from each other), go to the fish market, surprised prices and still try the delicacies of seafood – it’s very good; go up the funicular, where you have a very beautiful view of the city (cost 65 NOK one way per person); walk along the promenade Bryggen (in the courtyard you will find a monument to cod, kiss it, and you will have good luck on fishing : ) ); admire the souvenir shops, also with amazing prices, and just stroll around town. And don’t be afraid of the rain, take your rain gear and go!
In the evening, meeting and getting acquainted with the group, the final settlement, discussing the route and the distribution of food in backpacks.
The next day we left Bergen, took a comfortable bus and drove about 3 hours (including the ferry across the lake), we were in a beautiful, cozy little town – Odd. Then we had to take a minibus cab, and about 40 minutes to drive in a serpentine direction to the village Tissedal, where the popular trail to the Troll’s Tongue begins. Looking ahead, I’d like to mention the responsible approach of our guide, Oleg Sava, in organizing the round-trip transfer.
The stay in Tissedal was not long – we took our backpacks, filled our water, went to the toilet (by the way, there are decent toilets and drinking water tap before the ascent), studied the map (our guide showed us the route so that we roughly understood what was waiting for us) and forward – to our goal.
On the way there Oleg told us that we were the first group with whom he goes not along the exact program and route, as it is written on the web-site, but on the contrary, that is, at the point where our program starts, in fact, we finish it. Of course, we were all surprised by this, but at the same time we became very interested in what lies ahead. Getting ahead of myself I should say that it was a very cool idea to go along the route in this way – from the final point to the starting point.
Our first overnight stay was on the lake shore, near the Mosdalsbua cabin. It was a beautiful place with a big lake (unfortunately no one had any fishing rods). We set up our tents around the hut, but the location was not easy to choose, with moss all around and water underneath. We had to carefully choose a spot for the tent – more or less dry and flat. As for the hut, it is a small house with an entrance hall, a separate bedroom, a living room together with a kitchen and a place with two more beds under the roof. The hut has everything you need, food (mostly canned food), solar-powered lights, beds, an oven, dishes and even board games, though in Norwegian. Here, of course, you can also spend the night and use the products that are in the hut, but to do this you need to leave in a special safe the money for the night and for the specific products that you used (the price is in the house).
Since we had a lot of time before bedtime, and we did not understand why it was so bright outside at such a late hour, we surveyed the neighborhood (we found a fisherman’s cabin), played cards, and just continued to get acquainted with the group and share our first impressions of the route we had traveled.
Once again, pay attention to the sleeping bag and the tent you take on a hike, because the first night it was +6 degrees and we were very cold.
The morning of 19.06.2019 came, and after sharing the impressions of the first night in tents, we moved on.
On this day we had to walk 20 km – exactly how much time was left to achieve the goal! We walked the entire day from 9 am to 9 pm. The truth they say that the weather in Norway is very changeable, we had the rain and wind and sun, and walked on the snow, mud, rocks, but it was accompanied by a great mood, and a great desire to get to Troll’s Tongue and to see it with their own eyes.
By the evening of the day we had reached the second key point of our hike, which was a 10-minute walk from Troll’s Tongue. It was a small house with a hallway and a room. We were lucky, the house was vacant and we, without thinking long, decided to accommodate the whole group in one room, spreading our sleeping bags on the floor. But all this is in the plans… right now we had one wish: to see the Troll’s Tongue. We threw our backpacks, took all sorts of gadgets and cameras, and headed towards the Tongue. It was already unaccustomed to go without a backpack 🙂
In the end, we had a spectacular view of the Troll’s Tongue. It was breathtaking to see! A couple of days ago you saw this picture on the internet, but now you can see the beauty with your own eyes. It was about 10:00 pm and there was practically no line to get a picture on the Tongue. Another 30 minutes and we were completely alone on the Tongue. We could easily take pictures, admire and just sit, dangling our feet from the cliff. We were lucky – the weather was clear, no wind, and it was very bright at this late hour.
On the way back to the overnight stop I remembered what crazy photos people make on Troll’s Tongue, and this gave me an idea: if we are not spending the night in the tent, it is quite safe in the backpack, there is nobody on Tongue, it is light outside… why not pitch the tent on Troll’s Tongue itself!) So we did! We got such nice, unusual photos with a tent on Troll’s Tongue! (photos with the tent were taken around midnight local time).
The next day, 06/20/2009, the clouds came in, it was foggy and cloudy, and Troll’s Tongue took on a new and spectacular appearance. After admiring the beauty for a bit, and the crowd already swooping in, it was time for us to say goodbye to this stunning place. After taking a group photo, we started down the hiking trail, which was not so easy. Along the way, we met a lot of hikers who were on their way to meet their goal.
As we made our way down to the parking lot, we began to share our impressions, and our guide arranged a transfer back to the town of Oddu, where we stopped for the last night with tents.
The place for the night was very cozy. We camped in a clearing surrounded by trees near a small waterfall. It was very warm in this place (compared to the previous places). In the evening we made a fire, got some wood, and at dinner together we shared the same impressions and emotions from the route we had traveled.
The next day we went back to Bergen. Our teamkeader Oleg suggested an interesting route: from Odda we set off by bus with change to a boat, which arrives directly in the city of Bergen.
Upon arrival in Bergen we immediately went to our hostel “Marken Gjestehus” where we dropped and changed things, discussed our future plan and started to take a shower! So my wife and I decided we’d have another run around Bergen to try something else interesting at the fish market and buy some souvenirs (for more money 🙂 ).
At 20:00 Oleg gathered us in the hostel canteen, we cooked a smart dinner, summed up the trip, thanked each other for the good and fun company, and we were awarded gifts from the Kuluar, and certificates for the route to the Troll Tongue.
The next day we said goodbye to the pleasant hostel, waved goodbye to the beautiful city of Bergen and, taking the high-speed streetcar Bybanen, rushed to the airport, from which we returned home to Moscow by the same route, except landing in Stockholm.
P.S. The return flight was with a 9-hour layover in Finland. Thought and read for a long time about whether we could get into the city of Helsinki unhindered (we had a single entry, short-term Schengen visa). In the end, we got off the train without any problems, and drove to Helsinki, the capital of Finland, where we had plenty of time to walk, eat and admire the sights of the city.