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.
The ice cap that covered the land during each of the 40 past ice ages over the past 2 million years of Earth's history pressed down the crust of the earth - like a finger on a rubber ball. And when the ice finally loosened its grip 11,000 years ago, the earth's crust rose again, most where the ice was thickest, least where it was thin, quickly in the beginning, and later more slowly. To this day, the land in the inner part of Norway continues to rise by perhaps one millimetre per year. By and large, however, the crust in Hordaland has again reached equilibrium after the weight of the ice was removed.
The shift in the landscape is striking between the barren craggy moors north on Askøy and the green fields of Herdla, which has the county's biggest farm. The majority of Herdla, such as the island appears today, is a gift from the glacier: The glacier that advanced here over 12,000 years ago stopped at the northern tip of Askøy and took its time building up the moraine on Herdla. Since then, Herdla has been under continual transformation. The re-organisation of the loose sediment deposits continues today.
The steep drop by Fossen cliff has been the biggest challenge for those who wished to make a road over Kvamskogen through the years. Leave the car by the monument on the old road and take a walk down to the bend by the waterfall that Bergen-folk call "The bridal veil". Why is there a waterfall just here?
Until 1743 the people from Modal had to wait for a flood in MOSTRAUMEN before they could draw their boats up the river current, and then row back across Lake Movatnet. But, that year the flood opened a free passageway all the way to Mo. Hordaland had gained a new tidal waterway.
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?
Eksingedalen alternates between wide, flat flood plains with good farmland, and narrow passages with waterfalls where the roads cling to the mountainsides. The alternations in the landscape are a result of the sculpturing work by glaciers over several ice ages, and the deposition of the glacial river deposits when the last glacier finally melted back.