Whoever wanders the mountain plateau will form time to time hit upon old mountain summer farms, with solid old stone sheds, half sunk into the ground; a building tradition that has roots into prehistoric times. When we have been satiated with untouched Nature, it is somewhat comforting to come upon the old mountain chalets - they represent a type of human encroachment that we not only accept, but appreciate. They arouse a feeling of recognition and are a distinct witness to how people in the rural communities have made use of even the most remote resources.
Hardangerfjorden kløyver Hordaland i to. Den etter måten rettlinja fjorden skjer seg liksom på skeive inn i landet. Ikkje som Sognefjorden og Nordfjord – dei krokar og buktar seg innover meir eller mindre vinkelrett på kysten. Hardangerfjordens utforming har røter 400 millionar år tilbake i tida, då den veike sona i fjellet, der isen seinare tok grådig for seg, vart danna. Denne sona stig på land ved Lussand.
The road along the north side of the Hardanger fjord - between Øystese and Eide in Granvin – was literally built “by hand”. The construction work started in February 1933, and on 9 October 1937 Crown Price Olav opened the stretch of road between Øystese and Ålvik at Fyksesund bridge.
The road between Eide in Granvin and Voss is one of the oldest roads mentioned in the Middle Ages. In a diploma from 1343 from Voss regarding distribution of road works, we also find mention of the road to Angr (the Granvin fjord).
They rest there, all as one, the silent witnesses of Western Norway's saga of creation: Precambrian basement, phyllite and thrust sheet. In the end came the glaciers and sculptured the vast landscape. Along the ground or on the horizon, from bicycle or on foot - the landscape tells its story - and it tells it clearer on Rallarvegen than many other places.
There is a sharp transition between the wide valley at Kvamskogen and the narrow Tokagjelet. The transition is no less dramatic when we come out of the crooked tunnels far down in the canyon, and the open Steinsdalen valley spreads out before us. The canyon both separates and joins together different epochs in western Norway's history.
Right from the start the road across Haukelifjell was a road from “fjord to fjord”, from the bottom of Sørfjorden to Dalen in Telemark. The connection between Røldal-Haukelifjell was considered so important by Stortinget (Parliament) that the road construction Odda-Dalen was approved already in 1853.
The mountain settlement Reinsnos is situated at nearly 700 metres above sea level at the end of the Reinsnos lake; an entry point to the Hardanger plateau.