Freezing and thawing are processes that influence plant cover, move enormous blocks, stretche long mounds of earth, break open bedrock and create patterns in stone and earth.
At the bottom of the Osa fjord there is a cultural landscape marked by great contrasts; the wide terraces and the river delta at the fjord contrast with the steep hillsides in the background, where Norddalen leads up to the mountain. There are two farms here. Osa and Sævartveit – the farm at the river mouth and the hollow by the sea.
When the lush beach area innermost in Ulvikapollen was protected, the bird life was instrumental to the decision. The plant diversity is just as impressive. In Hordaland sea meadows such as this are rare small in size - they are more common in coastal environments.
There are especially many seabirds inwards along the fjords of western Norway. There are not many islets, either, so if the birds want to nest, it is not always easy to find good sites. At Aksnesholmane there is an impressive colony of gulls, and the locality has been protected since 1923.
Down by the fjord on the farm Berge in Tørvikbygd, is Stekkavika – a sheltered eastward facing harbour, protected against the fjord by headlands and rocks, even manifest in the name. Here is also a comprehensive milieu of coastal industry, with boathouses and sea-sheds that belong to the farms Berge, Heradstveit and Halleråker. Belonging to the farm Berge there is also a mill-house, circular saw, workshop for sloop building, and – a little further up into the woods – the old water-powered sash-saw.
Fyksesundet and Botnagrenda present a fine experience of the landscape and cultural history; a geographically isolated local settlement with extensive cultural contact with the outside world.
Many travellers between Mundheim and Gjermundshamn are captivated by the expansive view toward Øynefjord, Varaldsøy and Folgefonna. The barren pine forest on the slopes on the upper-side of the road is not seen by many. Who would think that this area is home to rare species of plants and animals, creatures who have made their homes here for thousands of years?
The farm Nes lies directly inside Mundheim on a forested headland in the fjord between Mundheimsvika and Bondesundet, a farm with an attractive and well-kept cultural landscape.
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.