Norway: Troll Tongue– Awesome Vista
When travelling Odda (on the south), Tyssedal village beings in a tunnel. At the end of the tunnel, turn right, get across Tyssedal and go uphill until you reach upper car park. In the left section of the car park, there is a lifted barrier on a private road to the lakes of Vetlavatnet and Ringedalsvatnet which is also where the Troll tongue begins. Here you can leave your car for 200 Norwegian crowns for 5–16 hours. This is quite enough for a day trek. Think it through when you want to travel there. Between mid-October til end-March it is quite dangerous there.
The beginning of the trail is very well mark at Lake Vetlavatnet. You will find it with ease. The trail starts on stairs made of huge boulders. Then it follows the river uphill through birch forest. Then it goes on plateau. There is a board at every kilometer of distance informing you where you are. It is quite demotivating at first (e.g. 2 kilometers that you have just walk and 9 still ahead). In spring, there is still snow in this area. However, good boots will do. A kilometer down the trail it gets worse. When going uphill you will walk in snow - the terrain is the same all the way from there.
Now we should be on the location from where we would follow the contour line and there should be a lake to prove us right. Several minutes of walk later we finally recognize the lake hidden under snow cover - the trail gets shorter across lake´s frozen surface. But the trek is way too long - snow is difficult, we go uphill and then downhill and uphill again. You reach the mountain only after 7 kilometers of walk. There you can finally see Lake Ringedalsvatnet. One kilometer further down the trail and you will see the other end of the lake. Then you will stop believing the direction boards saying that the end of the trail is mere 3 kilometers away. Perhaps you will find yourselves unwilling to continue. But hold on. It is worth it. You need to walk around deep canyon and this is it.
It is hardly encouraging to not to see this beautiful vista while on the road. However, once you reach the place and see the lake hidden between the mountains and see the amazing vista you will feel rewarded well enough. This is considered one of the most beautiful vistas in the world. However, you need to bear in mind that the vista is also very dangerous. Therefore, first thign we do is that we sit, eat something, take off our wet shoes and socks and try to unfreeze our legs we barely feel (take additional pair of socks with you). After that we want to increase the level of adrenalin in our blood. It is paradoxical when somebody who is afraid of heights walks all the way here and then is afraid to get to the very vista. This really happens. However, most people want to step on the vista and do some crazy postures.
We enjoyed the vista. Then we went 11 kilometers back the same way. As it rained, were increasingly longing to finally reach the car park and get ourselves to a dry place. We managed the trek in 9 hours of constant walk. We spent one hour at the vista. Troll tongue is a great trip and we recommend it. It is great experience.
Text and photos: Martina Brožková
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