A hike through Aurlandsdalen (the Aurland Valley)

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Hoy
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A hike through Aurlandsdalen (the Aurland Valley)

This 40 km long valley once had 10 farms! No there are none although some of the houses still are used as cabins and lodges. The valley is from old the shortest road from east to west Norway and used in thousands of years. Even livestock was brought on their own legs down the valley - before 1930 though they had to take another route at the ridges due to the vertical cliffs with only ladders of rope and wood for people. Highest up (1200m) it is a rather flat valley but farther down it is formed by ice and running water to a canyon. The valley was probably inhabited already in the Middle Ages. Before that hunters and fishermen used the valley, and traders from east to west and vice verse. The last farmer of Sinjarheim died in 1935.

Pictures from the valley and the path. It is a lot of huge rocks and holes filled with water from springs.

Hoy
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Joined: 2009-12-15

The farms Sinjarheim and Almen. Not easy to farm here! Notice the wire to fasten the house to the bedrock and the house build under a "heller" as a safeguard for rolling stones and avalanches.

The road up to the farm is cut out of the steep rock. Some places bridges made it possible to cross the river.

Highest up the forest consists of birch and a few mountain ashes. Farther down aspen, alder and elm is common. Elm was an important tree and used for fodder and food.

Trond Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Hoy
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A few plants:

Cystopteris fragilis under a rocky outcropping.

Rhodiola rosea.

Saxifraga cotyledon. The rosette dies after flowering.

Sedum album.

Trond Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

Wow, is that scenic!  Where I come from, that wouldn't be a valley... it would be a gorge!  Every turn in the trail would present a new, breathtaking view.  Quite spectacular, although it doesn't take much for me to be impressed. ;D  I assume the farmers were raising animals, and not growing crops. 

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Hoy
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Joined: 2009-12-15

It's a typical valley from the west coast. They continue as fjords. The fjords are actually similar deep valleys often 1000m lower than the sea level.The farmers relied on livestock and fishing and hunting. The crops were grass and maybe some potatoes, kale and cereals on small plots.

Trond Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Tim Ingram
Title: Member
Joined: 2011-04-27

What a fantastic place Trond! So interesting to know the history that goes with a landscape like that. Life must have been hard but the compensations of living in an environment like that... Brings back memories of a great visit to Norway many years ago.

Dr. Timothy John Ingram Faversham, Kent, UK I garden in a relatively hot and dry region (for the UK!), with an annual rainfall of around 25", winter lows of -10°C and summer highs of 30°C.  

Hoy
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Joined: 2009-12-15

You are welcome back anytime, Tim ;)

Trond Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Peden
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Joined: 2012-01-04

Thank you Trond

Michael PedenLake Champlain Valley, zone 4bFour and a half months frost freeSnow cover not guaranteed
cohan
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Joined: 2011-02-03

Great landscape and the farms are especially fascinating! Visible human occupation just doesn't have anything like that kind of age here- the farms in this area were just getting started when the last farmer there died, and many started much later than that... Of course earlier we had native peoples, but they had low population density around here and left no buildings!

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Exquisite views of Saxifraga cotyledon, and scenery in general, thanks for posting them.

Mark McDonough Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5 antennaria at aol.com  

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