Halsnøy Monastery is situated in the midst of the lush fjord country in Sunnhordland, on one of the old spits, or “necks”, that has given name to the island. Gently sloping fields lead down to the sea on both sides, in the south towards the Kloster Fjord, to the north towards the sheltered Klostervågen.
It isn't true that hungry students have hunted down basking ducks in the city park Byparken in their spring fervour, as rumours may have it. But, it is not unusual to see students throw themselves over the park's wild birds, and hold on to them tight. They ring the birds. Because of this, we know quite a lot about the birds in Byparken.
Down by the fjord at Svåsand, close to the main highway, there is a long row of boathouses, one of the well-preserved, older boathouse locations along the Hardanger fjord. It is the farms at Svåsand that have their boathouses here, four main farms with origins far back in time.
Spring, summer and autumn, there is bird life on Valen, and the tidal zone is especially attractive. Out on Herdlaflaket, you see ducks and other diving birds all year round, but most in winter.
Landro has been the largest estate on Sotra, including 15 farms with reasonable conditions for agriculture. Their boathouses have had an excellent harbour in Landrovågen. Landro thus has been a good basis for the combination of agriculture and fishing.
Small boat folk in Hordaland know where Løno is. As do many seabirds. With the big ocean at its back and a wide, weather beaten strait ahead of it, Løno is one of Hordaland’s most isolated and exposed recreational areas. The islands west of Sotra are some of the county’s most stable nesting localities for seabirds.
The fishnet shed at Notaholmen stands as a reminder of the days when people used to row out on the fjord to set their nets. On Notaholmen the nets were dried, repaired and tanned. And it was a great advantage to store them in a place inaccessible for rats and mice.
In the years between the wars a major registration of houses and house costumes, house construction methods, fireplaces and forms of housing clusters was started in West Norway – an ambitious mapping of everything that came under the name “Registration of Culture and Geography in West Norway”. One of the places of which material was gathered in 1938 was an old multi-room house at Golta; new and interesting material for the researchers from the Historical Museum, but well known within the local building tradition through several generations.