The unusual bog landscape, with enormous peat deposits surrounded by steep mountainsides, makes Reppadalen in Arna an exciting, but little visited tour destination for most of Bergen's inhabitants. Those who live in Arna, however, know to make the most of its beautiful natural splendour.
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.
On the east side of Lake Skjelbreidvatnet, clearly visible along the road from Eikelandsosen, we notice a farm on a terrace above a grassy hill. The hill has the form of a broad shield; Skjelbreid (" Broad Shield") is the name of the farm.
Yddal is one of the biggest and finest pine forest areas in the county. The rich forest resources provided an important foundation for the settlement of Yddal. Up until about the 1950s, there were three farms here. Where the lumberjacks couldn't get to, the trees grew very big and can be over 300 years old.
Bays that are shallow far out into the sea, with fine sand and clay, are rare in Hordaland. Where they are found, the reason is usually that the edge of the glacier made smaller advances or stopovers when it calved back at the end of the last Ice Age. This is what happened at Vinnesleira.
The shift in the landscape is striking between the barren craggy moors north on Askøy and the green fields of Herdla, which has the county's biggest farm. The majority of Herdla, such as the island appears today, is a gift from the glacier: The glacier that advanced here over 12,000 years ago stopped at the northern tip of Askøy and took its time building up the moraine on Herdla. Since then, Herdla has been under continual transformation. The re-organisation of the loose sediment deposits continues today.
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.
The gneiss landscape west and north of Bergen viewed in profile can remind us of a saw blade of the kind that has long, slanted sides that get broken off shorter transverse sides. It has taken several hundred million years to file this saw blade, an enduring interplay between various geological processes.