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The unusual bog landscape, with enormous peat deposits surrounded by steep mountainsides, makes Reppadalen in Arna an exciting, but little visited tour destination for most of Bergen's inhabitants. Those who live in Arna, however, know to make the most of its beautiful natural splendour.
"One of the big scientific sensations", was the title in the Bergens Times newspaper on the 22nd of November, 1941. It was the geologist Isal Undås who had been interviewed by the newspaper. He thought that he had discovered a 120 000 year old whale bone, remains of life from before the last Ice Age.
On the farm Hjelmo, furthest north in Øygarden, in the innermost part of a long bay, there is a fine boatshed collection with a church beside it. From times immemorial this has probably been the fish-shed location for these farm units and this was also the landing place for the churchgoers.
There is no place in Hordaland where there are so many over-wintering song swans as in Tjeldstømarka. And there are few places in the county that have had this birdfowl as a guest for as long.
In Sanddalen and Helldalsåsen the building of houses has increased dramatically. Where there eariery was grazing land, hundreds of families now live. Not far away, lies Rambjøra as an oasis in the built up area.
Herdlevær lies on one of the small islands west of Hjeltefjorden, facing the North Sea and the big ocean. Today you may arrive there by car. The numerous islands are linked together by elegant bridge spans made of concrete. Fifty years ago it was half a day’s journey to get to Herdlevær from the mainland by your own rowing boat or ferry.