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Whoever wanders the mountain plateau will form time to time hit upon old mountain summer farms, with solid old stone sheds, half sunk into the ground; a building tradition that has roots into prehistoric times. When we have been satiated with untouched Nature, it is somewhat comforting to come upon the old mountain chalets - they represent a type of human encroachment that we not only accept, but appreciate. They arouse a feeling of recognition and are a distinct witness to how people in the rural communities have made use of even the most remote resources.
Bjoreidalen is one of the classic bird localities on Hardangervidda. It is especially known for its wading birds, with as many as 17 of the 19 wader species that nest in Hordaland.
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.
Few other animal species on Hardangervidda have been as much the focus of scientific research as the spotted trout. The spotted trout is considered to be a genetic variant of brown trout. It lives in parts of the Krækkjav water system. Otherwise, on a world scale, this species is only found in a small area in Kaukasus, and possibly also in a lake in Rondane.
The Ruff lek on Langvassmyrane is the only known phenomenon of its kind on Hardangervidda. Every year it attracts hens from the whole plateau. The marsh is also the richest wetland in the county. This green oasis is located in a rocky moraine landscape a few hours walking distance south of Dyranut.
On the 10th of August, 1937, over half of the agricultural land in Simadalen was submerged by the river. The damage to roads and houses was also catastrophic. This was the most destructive flood ever recorded in Hordaland.
Moster is mentioned as a church site already in the time of Olav Tryggvason. According to the sagas the king is supposed to have laid the foundations for the first church at Moster when he came there in 995. That building would have been a stave church - the church standing there today – a stone church with a nave and narrower, straight chancel – was probably founded around 1100. In 1874 a new church was built at Moster. Then the old church was bought by The Society for the Preservation of Norwegian Ancient Monuments, which is still the owner.
You have to travel to Scotland in order to find pine forests similar to those at Bømlo. The nearness to the sea has contributed in different ways to shaping one of the westernmost pine forests in Norway.