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.
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.
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.
One of the most magnificent deciduous forests in Hordaland grows along the border with Kvam. The rich growth comes from the phyllite and mica schist bedrock, together with a good climate. Along the fjord the summer is warm but not too dry, and in winter it is not too cold for plants that do not tolerate the frost.
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.