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Helgaberget – the holy hill – is a little rocky crag which thrusts itself a few metres above the terraced surface of Støle. The surface of the rock is strewn with figures inscribed in the rock and it was, as far as one can judge, a cult centre in the Bronze Ages. The name could indicate that the tradition of holiness can have lasted for almost 3,000 years.
Mountain plants with their beautiful, colourful flowers are common in high altitude areas in Norway. On the coast there are not so many of them. But, here and there one nonetheless finds mountain plants, and this makes some coastal mountainsides a little bit different. Perhaps the growth on these mountainsides gives us a little glimpse of a distant past?
Ullensvang church, situated beside the vicarage, in idyllic surroundings on the headland just inside Lofthus municipality, is mentioned for the first time in written sources in 1309. At that time the present Gothic stone church must have been new. Judging by the style in the western portal and the eastern chancel windows, the church must have been built around 1300 or just before, probably by builders from Bergen influenced by the English Gothic style.
From Kinsekvelven river and inward to Lake Veivatnet, we can wander through one of Hardangervidda's many fertile areas. A number of finicky plants grow here, and there are plenty of birds and fish. We can thank a lime rich soil for the diversity.
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.