Norway’s famed high rocky plateau known as Preikestolen (The Pulpit Rock) has attracted a record number of visitors so far this year, up more than 20 percent over last year. Debate continues over safety, though, and over how many visitors the landmark can accommodate.
NTB reported that 205,000 persons have visited Preikestolen (Pulpit rock in Norway) this year, up from 170,000 last year. A foundation devoted to promoting the area high above the Lysefjord,Stiftelsen Preikestolen og Lysefjorden Utvikling, was delighted but also wonders how much traffic the area can handle.
– We are getting close to an amount that will require an analysis, and also the political bodies need to get involved,” Audun Rake of the foundation told Stavanger Aftenblad.
Safety concerns rose again last month when a Spanish tourist fell ftom the steep side of the plateau and died. There are no fences and a sheer drop of about 1970 feet (600 meters) down to the fjord. It was initially believed to be a tragic accident and police finished their investigation without filing any criminal charges.
Several acquaintances of the tourist, however, have since contacted Stavanger Aftenblad, pointing to what appeared to be a suicide note written by the deceased and timed for publication on social media after the fatal fall. Local police were made aware of the note and local sheriff Odd-Bjørn Næss confirmed there were indications that the fall was in fact planned.
Norwegian media rarely if ever reports suicides, which are prevalent but still largely a taboo subject in Norway. In this case, though, the local Stavanger paper made an exception because of the widespread debate over safety and whether the site should be better secured.