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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.
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.
Otterstadstølen lies in an idyllic grassy plain surrounded by rich forest, but also with high mountains close by. The mountainsides are steep and typical of this part of the county. The same cannot be said about the forest. This spruce forest has been able to develop freely for hundreds of years. Otherwise in the county, only Voss has spruce forest.
The large mountain area between Modalen, the Voss communities and Sogn is one of the finest mountain pasture areas in West Norway. In older times this area was called Steinslandsheimen, in our times it has acquired the name Stølsheimen. Power development and protection interests have been opposed here. The core area of Stølsheimen has now been protected as a landscape protection area, while some of the oldest mountain farms have been flooded. A register in the 1970s comprised almost 40 mountain farm settlements in the central area of Stølsheimen, belonging to Modalen, Høyanger and Vik municipalities.
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.