"With its strange situation (surrounded by high mountains), this city has the advantage of a beautiful port and considerable shipping, but also the disadvantage that once on land one cannot get to the city without great inconvenience. This is because the weather in the vicinity of these high mountains is extremely unpleasant and rainy. There has even evolved an expression that is always rains in Bergen, and we have not experienced anything to counteract this saying." (a quote by the Dutch professor Fabricius after a visit to Bergen in ca. 1780).
Roughly 550 million years ago, what is now Finse lay at the bottom of the sea - the remains of mud and clay that were deposited in this sea have ended up on the roofs of Norway. Also the thrust sheet from the continental collision has found its way to Finse, after a several hundred kilometre-long, trek through the mountains, that took several tens of millions of years to complete.
There are coal bits hidden in the sand under Vatlestraumen. These remains from a geological layer from the Jurassic Period were discovered when the undersea Bjorøy Tunnel was built in 1994. Oil- and gas reservoirs in the Troll Field in the sea west of Hordaland are from the same time. It is, nonetheless, quite surprising to find bedrock from dinosaur time inside of the outer islands of western Norway. On the Scandinavian mainland north of Denmark, there are only a very few places where one f inds rock from this time in earth history.
Few other places in Hordaland, or even the whole country, get as much rain as in the Samnanger mountains. The mountains here simply attract wetness. The weather station on Kvitingen has continuous measurements all the way back to 1900, and the measurements have documented several records for the county. The station is therefore much used as a reference for the rainfall in western Norway.
Holmengrå is the only place in Hordaland where we find traces of the abrasion that is supposed to have transformed Western Norway from a Himalaya-like high mountain landscape during the earth's Paleozoic Era, to a flat lowlands terrain during the Mezosoic Era. Just 400 million years ago, large and small stones plummeted down from the high mountains. Some of these stones became incorporated into the conglomerate bedrock on Holmengrå.
Børtveit is known to be a place with a lot of rain. We must go to Samnanger or Indre Matre to find a higher rainfall. The average rainfall on Børtveit is 2871 millimetres, Slåtterøy has only 1328 millimetres and Fitjar 1610 millimetres.
In the region of Ulven phyllite occurs with Hordaland's youngest fossils, and a beautiful quartz conglomerate. The phyllite and conglomerate got squeezed into the bottom of an ancient oceanic crust, made of gabbro and greenstone, in the heart of the Caledonide mountain chain.
On Sandviksfjellet there are old boulders that have been made into mountains. The stones have been stretched out or squeezed together between huge slabs of rock, during slow, but powerfulprocesses of transport. This conglomerate shows, in quite a special way, the enormous powers that were active during the collision between Norway and Greenland over 400 million years ago.
At Flintaneset by Finnåsvika, in the centre of the municipality, we find the most beautiful and best preserved igneous rocks in western Norway. We must go to Hawaii or Island to find as fine structures as at Bømlo.