The industrial settlement Bjørsvik
The Bondhus area in Maruanger has been a magnet for tourists ever since the stream of tourists to Norway's west coast began in the middle of the 1800s. The magnificent landscape with the "ice trail" up to Bondhusvatnet Lake, the ice falls from Bondhusbreen glacier and Keisarstigen trail up to Folgefonna are still popular tourist attractions.
Buarbreen glacier was one of the first destinations during the period of increasing tourism in Odda in the 1800s. Foreigners came by the thousands, mostly Englishmen and Germans, to the magnificent landscape in front of the glacier. Back at the hotel in Odda they could enjoy drinks containing ice from the glacier.
The old hostelry centres were strategically placed with good harbours and anchoring conditions where people travelled. GODØYSUND, or Gøysundet, as it was called, was in the middle of Tysnes Parish, with easy access from the sea, also for the local population. Gøysundet is amongst the oldest hostelries in Sunnhordland.
When the workers came to Kollsnes to start on the work with the landing for the gas terminal from the Troll field in the North Sea, they found the ruins of an old farm mill at Kvernapollen.
The pioneering tourists in the 1830s-40s brought a momentum in the tourist traffic to the fjord and mountain country Norway. At the time Odda was a hidden Shangri-La at the bottom of Sørfjorden; the farm and the church on the green headland at the fjord. But when the steamship traffic opened the fjord landscape for tourism, in a few years Odda parish in Søndre Bergenhus County became the focal point for travellers in West Norway.
If you enter the farmyard at Rekve, some kilometres from Bulken, where the road departs to Giljarhus, you no longer meet “the miller”, Knut Hernes, in his old rural mill. But some years ago he would wish you welcome, friendly and hospitable, and show you around his mill, which had been his workplace for a generation. As light-footed as a youth he climbed in steep ladders high up into the waterfall, to let the water down on to the waterwheel.