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"So many and such big potholes as are found at Eikelandsosen, we don't see other places in western Norway, and as beautifully polished as the mountainside is along the river up to Koldal , one would look a long time to see anywhere else. There is much to dazzle a geologist's eyes. If only these features could bring others the same joy!"
Some of the giant trees in Hopslia north of Holme Fjord are as much as thirty metres high. Elm and ash are the most common, basswood somewhat rarer. Relatively soft bedrock, good growing conditions and enough light, help them to thrive just here.
Lake Skogseidvatnet is the most famous fishing lake in Hordaland, with good stocks of both char and trout. There is fishing here throughout the year: with a net in the autumn, through the ice in winter, and with a fishing rod in the summer.
The post house at Øpstad stands out in the landscape. An ochre yellow house with a loft and a white-painted house in Swiss style with ochre edgings, bears witness to a well preserved house from the 1800s, nearest neighbour to the beautiful old vicarage. In the Øpstad hamlet there was a post office for more than a hundred years, until the 1970s. Today it is possible to walk the old post road across the mountain to Strandvik, as part of “Den Stavangerske Postvei” (The post road to Stavanger).
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.
The biggest prehistoric burial site in Hordaland is situated at Hæreid. On top of the terrace expanse, inside the fine birch garden, is where they lie, the mounds and stone piles, on their own or in clusters, large and small, round and elongated – at least 350 in all.
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.
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.