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.
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.
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.
Much rain, a steep drop and nearness to Bergen meant that the power-making potential of the Samnanger water system was exploited early. Samnanger was thus one of the first power-producing municipalities in western Norway. With its subsequent expansion and new power stations, about 400 gigawatts of electricity per hour were produced on average each year. This is enough to meet the energy needs of 25,000 households.
Over thousands of years, autumn storms and strong land-driving winds have cleaned the bare rocks of Golta. The waves can beat far in over land and make it dangerous to walk along the shoreline. When the storms have calmed, the results of their work comes into view.
"One of the big scientific sensations", was the title in the Bergens Times newspaper on the 22nd of November, 1941. It was the geologist Isal Undås who had been interviewed by the newspaper. He thought that he had discovered a 120 000 year old whale bone, remains of life from before the last Ice Age.
The large coastal waves that crash down on the islands west in the sea gather their energy from storms and winds all the way out in the North Atlantic Ocean. The most common place of origin is nonetheless the North Sea. When these waves break over the skerries and islets along the shore, or on the rocky outermost islands, their energy is released. This takes the form of turbulence in the water and sea spray up on land. Can the enormous energy contained in the waves be exploited?
The 28th November 1914 was a day to remember for the Os inhabitants. This was the day they could turn the switch on the wall and have electric light in their houses. It was like opening the door on the future when the power station at Gåssand was put into operation.