& Attempting Trolltunga
Trolltunga is not to be missed if you're visiting Norway. At least, that's what the internet says. I casually threw Trolltunga into my itinerary and didn't think too much into it. After all, I would be hiking it in the first week of June. That counts as summer, right?
After landing in Bergen and taking a bus to the small town of Odda, which is near Trolltunga, my worries started to set in. Odda is tucked away in a valley, and I couldn't ignore the snow-capped mountains looming all around me as I surveyed the town's surroundings the day prior to my hike. The winter snow definitely hadn't melted yet, and I had an uneasy feeling that the Trolltunga hike would be tougher to navigate in snow than I had expected.
The hike to get to Trolltunga is over 12 miles roundtrip, and the peak at an elevation of 1,900 ft. Determined anyway, I put one foot in front of the other and started the trek. After hiking for two miles, I was knee-deep in snow and was being hit by a snowstorm with no clear markers of how to stay on the trail. So I made a tough decision- one that I hate doing- I turned back around. I had made it this far flying into Norway to do this hike which boasted incredible views, but not even halfway through, I was met with a wild snowstorm that I wasn't at all prepared for. I'll never forget trudging through the snow as the wind whipped ice against my cheeks while struggling to keep on the unmarked trail.
This isn't your fluffy and uplifting travel story about how beautiful a location is and how you need to visit it. As much as I tried to trudge through the snow, I knew I wouldn't have been able to make it another four miles to get to the top of Trolltunga in a snowstorm.
Sometimes you have to wave a white flag and appreciate how far you've gotten. C'est la vie.
Don't get me wrong, though. Hiking Trolltunga in the snow is doable. In fact, my friend, Paulina Dao, totally did it. The mistakes I made? Not planning ahead of time in preparation for the snow, only giving myself one day in Odda (I should've stayed longer to better plan it), and not looking into getting a guide ahead of time. (Check out Paulina's "Snowshoeing Trolltunga" blog post to see what a success story looks like.)
But every cloud has a silver lining. With the extra time I had on my hands, I explored the quaint and quiet Odda and fell in love. Something about sweet, small towns always gets me.
And there it is. As a travel blogger, I've been debating on whether or not I should post this story at all. I have no epic iconic pictures of me precariously dangling over the edge of Trolltunga with an uplifting quote to boot. But I wouldn't be true to myself if I didn't share the hardships of traveling here as well as the successes.
Sometimes, you travel and you can't control the elements. And sometimes, well, that's just fine.