Valldalen or Valdalen, the name that the locals used in past times, had been a permanent settlement for a long time, and later the biggest mountain-farm valley in western Norway. Since that time there have been many changes: Most of the fields are no longer in use. Bjørkeskogen, a birch forest that had grown in the valley for thousands of years, took more and more over. And in the valley bottom, the Valldals dam now keeps the artificially large Valldalsvatnet Lake in place.
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.
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”.
How did the spruce tree get to Voss? Did the seed or small spruce plants get help from people, for example, to make it here unscathed? Nobody knows.
"And here these endless kingdoms and these toils for a rich working life far and wide have lain and slept for a hundred thousand years! Right up until the Voss Railway came in 1883 and woke them, like the prince in the fairytale who awakened the Sleeping Beauty."