If you journey along Austfjorden, you at the same time turn the pages of time back through Ice Age history. The landforms show how the landscape has developed gradually as the glaciers have grown - and melted again - in several episodes: from small cirques, we see innermost at Dyrdal, to larger fjords, like at Mas fjord further out.
The eclogites in western Norway were formed when Precambrian basement rocks were squeezed and pressed down under great pressure deep under the Caledonian mountain chain. The process may well have triggered some of the deepest earthquakes the world has ever known. The clearest traces of this drama are found in and around Mt. Eldsfjellet, in peaceful Meland.
The auger smithies in Odland and Fosse were amongst those which had the largest production of augers in the period between the Wars. Martinus Fosse built a smithy in 1877, and this was in operation right up to the 1980s - one of the centres for auger production in Meland. In 1930 yet another smithy was built here. There was a smithy at Fossesjøen as early at the 18th century, and at the end of the 19th century they went over to auger smithing. There is still a market for hand-forged augers.
Large quantities of nickel ore have been mined from Litlandsvatnet, between Lonevågen and Hosanger. The discovery was made in 1875. During the period of operation from 1882 to 1945, 4170 tonnes of pure nickel were extracted from 462 000 tonnes of ore, a large production by Norwegian standards.
Around Mjøsvågen here is still a compact marine use area. Some of the buildings are common boathouses, but most of them also house small enterprises and workshops. This is where the farmers from Øvsthus, Mjøs, Hole and other farms have supplemented their meagre incomes as smiths, brass moulders, clog makers, chest builders and decorative painters.
Valestrand became a centre for the tanning industry in Osterøy; one of the old crafts that has developed into a local industry with many places of work. From the 1870s ever more ventures were started. Many of the large sea houses we see today around the bay have been places for tanning and leather enterprises.
The mountains of western Norway are lovely to wander in. In Cambro-Silurian time it was the mountain itself that wandered. The mountain, or more correctly the bedrock, first moved eastward, then back a bit westward again. All this rocking back and forth in the mountains ended about 400 million years ago.
Eksingedalen alternates between wide, flat flood plains with good farmland, and narrow passages with waterfalls where the roads cling to the mountainsides. The alternations in the landscape are a result of the sculpturing work by glaciers over several ice ages, and the deposition of the glacial river deposits when the last glacier finally melted back.