UNESCO Magma Geopark

Thursday 31 October 2019

I was going to drive into Stavanger today to have a look around the town, but the closer I got and the busier the traffic became, I just went off the idea. I’m becoming very averse to large conurbations, busy traffic and crowds of people. I just prefer to be in areas of space and peace and, above all, silence, where I can enjoy the feeling of being at one with the landscape and just make images.

I turned around and joined the E39 south. I then turned off onto the 504 to head for the coast. My idea was to follow the coast road towards Kristiansand, rather than just drive on the E39 across country. I’m so glad I did.

My first stop was a tiny fishing harbour called Kvassheim that had an old lighthouse (I like lighthouses!). Whilst photographing this quaint and pretty harbour, I had the most amazing experience. A rainbow began to form in the distance, so I set up to photograph it. As the rainbow developed I could see where it began and ended, quite unusual I find. Then the rainbow began moving closer to me and continued developing until it formed almost a full circle and appeared to be just a few feet in front of me. It was amazing. The photograph doesn’t show the full extent of it but it was truly breathtaking. I was stood on the harbour wall and I could see one end on the left of the wall and the other on the other side of the wall to my right.

An amazing rainbow that appeared to be just a few feet in front of me.

The little harbour and the lighthouse were like a place where time had stood still for quite a while as you can see.

Kvassheim harbour
Kvassheim lighthouse appears to be on the roof of someone’s house.

From there I continued southward along the coast road. By lunchtime I had reached the UNESCO Magma Geopark (thanks to Google maps) and parked up to make what I thought would be a casual stroll around the area. However, I discovered that this Geopark is huge! It’s also quite unique in geological terms, though to be honest my knowledge of geology is not great, so I had difficulty in understanding the true significance of the area.

I did read though that the surface of the moon is made up of two types of rock anorthosite and plagioclase. Here at the Magma Geopark at Ytstebrød, Apollo 17 astronaut, Harrison Schmitt, studied anorthosite before landing on the moon in December 1972. The area is almost unique in being made up of anorthosite and is said to have a “moon landscape”.

The “Moon Landscape” of Ytstebrød and the Eigerøya lighthouse.

I had a walk around the area for a couple of hours and made a number of images. But I noticed a storm approaching from the sea and after making the image below I quickly made my way back to the van about a mile away!

Eigerøya lighthouse and the approaching storm.

A little further down the coast I passed this rather bazarre piece of “art” at the side of the road, next to a replica wild west saloon.

A bit of a rough area this I think!

I also came across this lovely piece of natural sculpture in the form of a tree clinging to the rock. I’m not sure if there was any life left in the tree but it reminede me of a bonsai. the textures of the tree and the rock were lovely.

Natural Bonsai ?

I wildcamped in a rest area that evening with this lovely sunset to finish the evening off. A good day!

Stapneshølen, Egersund, Norway

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