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At Hereiane on warm summer days one you can walk barefoot up the hill from the fjord all the way up to 400 metres elevation. The naked, furrowed bedrock often causes travellers who see it from the north side of the fjord to wonder. Why does it look like this, and why is there so little that grows here? It is a long way to the heavy metal industry in Ålvik and Odda, and there hasn’t been a forest fire in modern times.
Down by the fjord at Svåsand, close to the main highway, there is a long row of boathouses, one of the well-preserved, older boathouse locations along the Hardanger fjord. It is the farms at Svåsand that have their boathouses here, four main farms with origins far back in time.
At Halnefjorden, a few hundred metres east of Halne mountain lodge, lie the remains of two stone sheds – Halnelægeret. Some generations ago the cattle drovers stopped here in the summer; they were the cowboys of their time. But Halnelægeret already had a long history before the cattle drovers came.
The stone church at Støle may have been built around 1160 probably as a private chapel for the mighty Stødle clan. It is likely that it was Erling Skakke, the king’s representative and father of king Magnus Erlingsson, who built the church.
Jondal has one of the country’s oldest slate quarries. Roof tiles have been extracted here since the end of the 1700s, but the quarry is much older. Kvernurdi is mentioned in a diploma in 1421, when Bård Sigurdsson at Torsnes became the owner through a settlement. Already then it must have been customary to cut millstones here.
The permanently-protected Mosneselva River, with its meltwater from Folgefonna, runs out into Åkra Fjord by the roadless and uninhabited Mosnes. Those who once lived here were forced to surrender to the ravages of Nature. In the autumn of 1962 there was a flood so great that the people were driven from their farms.
The old stone church at Eidfjord has an open position on the terrace at Lægreid. In a diploma from 1310 it transpires that Torgeir on Sponheim donated a gift for the erection of the church in Eidfjord. Thus we can assume that the church was under construction at the time. The elements in the style confirm such a dating.