The three spades in the municipal coat of arms for Modalen are sand spades. Sand quarrying has brought income and employment. As much as 70,000-80,0000 tonnes of sand and gravel left the municipality each year since the turn of the millennium, to be used as cementing sand. Why is Modalen endowed with so much sand?
At Fruo, nature has built its own little "Chinese wall ". Some kilometers south of the Vøringsfossen waterfall, there are a number of moraine ridges, the longest and most notable of their kind in Hordaland.
The Eidfjord terrace is a gigantic ridge that reaches up more than one hundred metres from the city centre in Eidfjord. It serves as a powerful natural monument left behind by the ice when it retreated.
At the end of the last ice age the ice flowed out of Hardanger fjord in such a fury that it forced the meltwater from Voss to run back uphill toward Granvin. The glacier from Raundalen down the windy valley along the Vosso to Bolstadøyri went too slow to make the turn.
They rest there, all as one, the silent witnesses of Western Norway's saga of creation: Precambrian basement, phyllite and thrust sheet. In the end came the glaciers and sculptured the vast landscape. Along the ground or on the horizon, from bicycle or on foot - the landscape tells its story - and it tells it clearer on Rallarvegen than many other places.
Deep down between the stone polished phyllite bedrock in Bordalsgjelet canyon, there is a cascading river. In close cooperation with hard polishing stones, the water has carved into the bedrock for thousands of years - and is still doing so today.