You can read about the first leg of my Norway mini-trip, Preikestolen, here.
After spending the afternoon at Preikestolen Mountain Lodge, I caught the Tideriser Bus back to Stavanger. I was worried that I would have to pay a for one-way ticket because usually you have to use the round-trip tickets in the same day, but the bus driver didn’t even ask to see my ticket when I boarded. Woo! We all caught the ferry to Stavanger, and I was once again enraptured with the beauty of Norway – I can’t wait to come back again someday and spend time in other, more remote places.
My trip from Fiskepiren to my hostel was tumultuous and frightening. I got myself so turned around and lost that I thought I would have to trek all the way back to the city center and start again. My emotions were even more surface-level because of my exhaustion from the previous days hike and carrying about 30 pounds on my front and back. I started off following the directions I had written out on a piece of paper before I left home. I had recited them to myself so I wouldn’t have to rely solely on them while walking and avoid looking lost. There was one thing I did not count on.
Stavanger doesn’t label their streets.
I’m serious – there was not a street sign to be found at any cross walk or roundabout. After about 25 minutes of feeling like I was going in the wrong direction, I walked into a Radisson and asked for directions there. The kind receptionist gave me a map, drew a circle of where I was supposed to be, and said it would take 15 minutes.
That woman gave me wrong directions. Finishing exactly where she said my hostel was (and no nearby campground in sight), I realized I was not where I was supposed to be still. I looked at her map and compared it with my own directions. I was probably 30 minutes away, but the tough part was that where I was supposed to be was off the map – and the back of the map was all Norway. Anyway, I set off in the right direction, trying to maneuver around construction as much as possible while still staying on the right streets.
At one point I could not turn where I wanted and got myself lost all over again. At this point panic was setting in, so I started walking back towards the city center. I saw street signs with “TAXI” written on them. I stood under them and tried to wave at five or six taxis, who looked at me and either smiled or looked puzzled. I’m still not sure what I was supposed to do. Thankfully, I found a taxi in a gas station and just as he was pulling out, I ran over to him, and said “are you free? Can you take me to Henrik Ibsen’s gate?” He wasn’t sure what I meant, so I handed him my directions and pointed at the campground next to my hostel. He said sure, and I finally got where I was supposed to be.
My options for dinner were either: face getting lost again or eat popcorn. I knew I would be mad at myself if I didn’t leave again, so I carefully Google mapped my way to Old Town, where I had passed a pizza place on the way in. Construction threw me off again, and I thought I would be wandering around aimlessly. Suddenly though, my eyes caught a single sign that had been on my maps – Peder Klows Gate! – was it possible I was moving in the right direction? I was! This ended up being the route I took the next morning to get to the airport.
Feeling accomplished and full of pizza for the night, I headed back to the hostel. And I didn’t even get lost. My roommates weren’t my favorite people in the world – we won’t be in touch – but I got good sleep.
In the morning after breakfast, I followed the same path to the center, walked around the Stavanger Cathedral – but it was too late to go inside – and sat on the gate outside of where I was meeting my bus. But guess who was there too! Mama Julia, my German mom from Preikestolen!
So long for now!