In Ålvik quartz has long been used to produce ferro-silicon. The quartz was collected from the other side of the fjord, from the mountainside above Kvalvikane.
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.
Jondal has one of the country’s oldest slate quarries. Roof tiles have been extracted here since the end of the 1700s, but the quarry is much older. Kvernurdi is mentioned in a diploma in 1421, when Bård Sigurdsson at Torsnes became the owner through a settlement. Already then it must have been customary to cut millstones here.
When high school student Arne Handegard collected plants for a herbarium in 1962, he didn’t know what kind of rarity he had pressed into his notebook. 30 years later he attended a botanical lecture, where a picture was shown of a plant he recognized: “Norwegian Sagebrush, which in Norway is only found in a large area of Dovre and in Trollheimen, and in a little area in Ry county”. Arne Handegard raised his hand: “That plant grows on Mt. Jonstein in Jondal”.
Folds are to be found everywhere in the remains of the Caledonian mountain chain. Some were formed during the collision with Greenland, others stem from the time when the mountain chain collapsed. Few can compare with the giant fold that remains in the mountain area around Tørvikenuten, Vesoldo and Hellefjellet.
Many mountain plants are well prepared to face cold and wind. Some would surely rather face an easier life in the lowlands, but they cannot compete with the higher-growing plants living there. Most mountain plants manage to compete for light and space only if they cling to the bedrock and gravel in the harsh high alpine climate.