If you want to be on your own for a long day in a magnificent deciduous forest in demanding terrain, then HOLMESDALSBERGET is the right place. This is a big forested area by Matres Fjord in the southwestly part of Kinnherad. Here, we find one of the largest deciduous forests in Hordaland. The forest stretches over several kilometres.
Below a south facing, steep rock at Årsand, there is one of the strangest ancient relics in the whole of Hordaland. The jutting rock wall forms a shallow flagstone – Geithilderen. Parts of the rock wall are covered by a light lime crust and on the crust figures have been painted in golden and rusty red colours.
Everyone knows the famous painting by Tidemand & Gude “Brudeferden i Hardanger” (The Wedding Party in Hardanger) one of the great icons in the National Gallery. Some have, in a humorous lack of respect for this masterpiece linked the concept of “bride’s passage” to another pictorial presentation in Hardanger. This is found on the farm Bakko in Herand, carved in the rock by an unknown artist around 3,000 years ago.
Some of the giant trees in Hopslia north of Holme Fjord are as much as thirty metres high. Elm and ash are the most common, basswood somewhat rarer. Relatively soft bedrock, good growing conditions and enough light, help them to thrive just here.
At Halnefjorden, a few hundred metres east of Halne mountain lodge, lie the remains of two stone sheds – Halnelægeret. Some generations ago the cattle drovers stopped here in the summer; they were the cowboys of their time. But Halnelægeret already had a long history before the cattle drovers came.
Flowering lime is one of nature's blessings: The nectar gives clear honey. The flower is used as folk medicine. From the inner bark of the lime tree one can make strong rope. Elderly folk can still tell how they got a weather report from the lime tree. If it smelled strong, it was probably going to rain. Lime often grows together with elm, ash and other tree species of the deciduous forest. Pure lime forests are rarer. Granvin has Hordaland's biggest lime forests.