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Norway by drone

Instagrammers love this place but don’t want you see that..

Instagram showed us that the world is full of fascinating natural wonders. The other side of the coin?

If there’s one thing Instagram is teaching us it’s that there are still some geological secrets.

What was once a tribe, then a city, and finally the pride and joy of a country, is now subject to the whims of the world of international travel – all 1.4 billion of us.

Take the now famous Norway Trolltunga. With a projection of 2,300 feet above the northern side of Lake Ringedalsvatnet, the natural rock formation resulted from elusive glaciers that broke large corner blocks from the area’s mountains.

It’s easy to see why the photos on the site are an instant hit.

Two visitors look out of the Norwegian Trolltunga

The serenity


Trolltunga in Hardangerfjord, Norway

The quiet of the remote surroundings.

But it widens the frame a little, and this is not history.

Tourist explosion at Trolltunga

A decade ago, fewer than 800 people a year went to Trolltunga. Next year, that figure should reach 100,000.

Trolltunga was formed about 10,000 years before the advent of the Internet, but social media played an important role in its massive influx. A photo there seems to combine everything we expect from online travel photos: distant lands, a touch of boldness, breathtaking landscapes and an experience authentically in search of the soul.

Trolltunga, from a different perspective

“Instagram has increased the interest in the site that actually no conventional marketing campaign can do,” said Bo Vibe, head of digital marketing at Fjord Tours. “Getting the” selfie “at the top becomes the end for many visitors.”

“Probably Facebook has had the same influence as Instagram,” said Jostein Soldal, CEO of Trolltunga Active, citing effective local and national marketing campaigns, word of mouth and the sheer beauty of the area as other factors.

Unlike other hotspots in the photo-sharing world, Trolltunga – which translates to “Troll’s language” – is just as beautiful as the photographs portrayed. But that solemn mood conveyed on social media does not match what is happening just beyond the selfie frame.

Tourists wait in line to be photographed on Trolltunga

As the number of tourists increases, even the lines. Visitors arriving in the summer months are known to wait more than three hours to get a photograph on the tip of the tongue. Longer waits often occur when good weather follows a long period of rain and when the average number of visitors increases from 800 to 2,000 a day.

Travelers arriving from June to September must prepare mentally for an average wait of 60 to 90 minutes for a photo opp.

“If you are prepared that there will be a line and you will spend the time enjoying all the awesome poses that many tourists make, waiting is not a big deal,” Soldal said.

It is interesting to note that the website of the regional tourist office keeps it real with a photograph that manages the expectations of its most famous place.

The saving grace of Trolltunga – it’s hard to get there

Consistently classified as one of the best excursions in Norway, the journey to reach Trolltunga is not easy. From Skjeggedal it is a 10-12 hour hike that covers 28 kilometers and a climb of 800 meters. Hikers must be fit and equipped with food, water, lighthouses, hiking boots and other equipment. Efforts to inform tourists of this have helped reduce rescue operations from an all-time high of 40 in 2016 to just 12 in 2018.

Built in the early 1900s, a funicular called Mågelibanen once made the trip to Trolltunga considerably simpler, but it was closed in 2012. To date, the only way to reach it is on foot, a fact that fits the population well local, says Soldal.

“We don’t want more visitors,” he said with a laugh. “Also, if it’s a five-minute walk, the Trolltunga will lose part of its factor” I did it.”

There is a steep private road that takes travelers 400 meters up the mountain, but they are still an eight-hour walk from there. It is allowed to park only 30 cars at a time and the hairpin bends on the disc are not for the faint of heart.

Trolltunga is not the only…

Trolltunga is not the only Norwegian site to reach Insta-fame. It is common to see photos of breathtaking Preikestolen, or Pulpit Rock, which generally look like this:

Preikestolen of Norway, or Pulpit Rock

But with 300,000 visitors a year – about three times the number of visitors compared to Trolltunga – it is better to assume that it will be more like this in person.

Hikers wait in line to take a picture of Kjeragbolten

How to avoid the crowd

For a less congested experience, an option is to book an off-season tour. Winter tours reward visitors with open routes, little or no waiting and splendid snowy views, even if the hike is more difficult and the conditions can be too slippery to go out on the troll’s tongue. Off-season excursions – from October to May – can be dangerous for beginners and should not be attempted without a guide.

Even the early morning hours are possible in the high season, even if the extra challenge of walking in the dark is added.

Difference between Instagram and reality in other places


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As a blogger, one of the things that is often asked me is "How come you started with all this?" For as long as I can remember, I loved sharing my passions, my thoughts and points of view with others around me: NortherWorld added immense value to my life and I like to have the opportunity to share my passions and my wonders with my faithful readers. Explore my site and have fun.
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