An Adventure in Barba’s Backyard

One autumn day this past September, Barba and I sailed out from Stavanger on a Friday evening with our most international crew to date. We were joined by US freelance travel journalist Terry Ward, German adventurer and photographer Daniel Hug and, to my relief, former professional Welsh sailor, Nicholas Fraser. It was time to play in Barba’s backyard.

We left Stavanger to head out to the Kvitsøy archipelago, navigating in the darkness through the narrow sounds and arriving into port late in the evening. The following day, Terry and I headed off to dive our very own secret scallop location. Just 20 minutes into the dive we had already collected 60 scallops, so we continued the dive with the simple purpose of enjoying the view. The persistent coastal current here makes for an underwater environment that’s teeming with life. In addition to fish, crabs and kelp we also got to see one of my favorite edible friends, the lobster – this one lived to tell the story, however, of the time two strange looking aliens came swimming by.

The following day we went out scouting for seals and also got to visit the Kvitsøy lighthouse, with its 360 degree panoramic views of the ocean-battered surrounds. After a quick stop at the even more secret oyster foraging location, it was time for a change of scenery.  

Six hours later, we had cruised to the gates of “Lysefjord,” a favorite Barba haunt. Among the many attractions in the 40-kilometer-long fjord are two of Norway’s top ten tourist sights, including Pulpit Rock and the Kjerag massif with its 1000 meter vertical drop.

We spent our first night in the fjord at the old power plant station, Flørli, where, the next morning, 4,444 steps up the decommissioned pipeline brought us to an altitude of about 700 meters. We walked down the hillside on our way back, collecting mushrooms on the way. The three non-natives among us had several enthusiastic attempts of inflicting collective misery by picking the poisonous variety.

As the sun set, we sailed to the very end of the fjord. The time had come to walk up to Kjerag. Daniel and I had devised a cunning plan. To avoid hiking the long way back down from the cliffs, we’d brought along our paragliders. Video to follow shortly.



Featured photo by Terry Ward, Barba in “Lysebotn”, the very end of “Lysefjorden”.

DCIM101GOPROFrom the left, Nicholas Fraser, Daniel Hug, Terry Ward and Andreas.

4-untitled-HUG_0184Terry with her foxy diving look. At Kvitsøy.  Photo. Daniel Hug.

5-untitled-Skjermbilde 2014-09-24 kl. 08.31.15Terry in a scallop frenzy.

6-untitled-Skjermbilde 2014-09-24 kl. 08.32.38The European lobster, also know as the Cardinal of the Sea.

8-untitled-HUG_0575 Nicholas and Andreas preparing the entrée. Photo Daniel Hug.

7-untitled-Seal BeartA grey seal enjoying life at Kvitsøy. Photo: Daniel Hug.

3-untitled-IMG_8352Daniel hug at work, in the Kvitsøy lighthouse.

9-untitled-HUG_1203European flat oyster, one of many culinary highlights from the excursion. Photo: Daniel Hug.

DCIM101GOPROBarba heading inland, through the Mastrafjord.

11-untitled-HUG_1753Nicholas climbing the Flørli stairs. Photo: Daniel Hug.

12-untitled-HUG_2345Steaming down Lysefjorden, with Andreas fishing Mackrel on the way. The 1000 meters tall Kjerag massif visible on the right hand side. Photo: Daniel Hug.

13-untitled-DSC03074Daniel and Andreas preparing for paragliding from Kjerag. Photo: Terry Ward.

14-untitled-Kjerag SceneryAndreas, Nicholas and Terry enroute to Kjerag. Photo: Daniel Hug.

16-untitled-HUG_3282Daniel on the Kjerag Bolt. 

15-untitled-Kjerag LysefjordLysefjorden seen from the Kjerag massif. Photo: Daniel Hug. 

17-untitled-Rock and SkyHeading back to civilization, Lysefjorden. Photo: Daniel Hug.

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[…] these views that we’d soon be sailing into. This was to be a short training trip exploring Barba’s backyard destinations that include the rocky archipelago of Kvitsøy and Lysefjord, a 50-kilometer long […]

[…] was to be a short training trip exploring Barba’s backyard destinations that include the rocky archipelago of Kvitsøy and Lysefjord, a 50-kilometer long […]

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