Summer 2020

Image: Our new family boat. Image: Captain Myklebust having fun. Image: Helen working on improving the moorings. Image: Ålfoten as viewed from the cemetery. Image: I took mom and Helen on a hike round Dalsetvatnet. Image: Nearing the east end of the lake. Image: View of the lake from the east end. Image: The ruins of the old boathouse at the lake. Image: Helen at the boathouse ruins. Image: The outlet from the lake. Image: We found cloudberries. Image: Cloudberries with whipped cream is delicious. Image: Today we're going to Meraftanakken. Here we've just gotten to where we start on the first steep incline. Image: Step one is getting up on Huaren. Meraftanakken is the mountain above that. View back down the valley. Image: View of Dalsetvatnet. Image: View further up the valley. Image: Dalset, zoomed in. Image: Dalset, full view. Image: Helen catching up. Image: Another view of Dalset and Dalsetvatnet. Image: And another view westward. Image: At the top of Meraftanakken. The lake on the left and the folded mountains around Fjelledalen ahead. Image: View eastwards from Meraftanakken. Image: And south, towards Høgefjellet and Snønykane. The glacier is behind the latter. Image: Helen taking picture some distance away from me. Image: The main lake at Meraftanakken. Image: Zooming in on Ålfoten. Image: Another eastward view. Image: The glacier which shaped these mountains left behind a lot of rocks. Sometimes they crack up along the grain of the stone. Image: One of the ponds had a lot of tadpoles in it. Unlike most of them, this one did not scurry away when we approached. Image: There's a ton of ponds of various sizes on this mountain. Image: One of the two smaller lakes. Image: Westwards view from near the highest point. Image: A small cairn marking the highest point on the mountain. Image: View south from the highest point. Image: Starting to head back down to Huaren. Image: A dragonfly laying eggs in a small pond. Image: Back down at the lake at Huaren. Image: This river pool is used by the locals for swimming. Image: Another sunny day back home. Image: Our neighbour in Ålfoten died suddenly from cancer the day after the country closed down for COVID-19. His family was finally able to hold a memorial today. Image: We bought some outboard stairs for the boat. Time to try it out. We're going on a boat trip with my brother and his kids. Image: Helen fixing a fender while we're approaching the old tenant farm at Askevika. Image: Helge had seen a rope hanging from a pine the last time they were there. He wanted to try swinging from it and into the water. Image: View towards Ålfoten from Askevika. Image: Having landed safely, we're getting ready to go swimming. Image: View towards Yksneelvane, where a big waterfall used to be. Now it's being used for generating power. They let it flow just often enough that plants don't get a foothold there. Image: Lunden to the lower left, and the peaks of Blånibba and Bukkenibba towering farther back. Image: The kids are playing around. Image: The foundations of the old farmhouse and home which used to be here. Image: Askevika. Image: Taking a hike, looking for some early mushrooms (I found a few). This is one of the fields of pine which were cut down a couple years back. Image: Me and my 2nd cousin Henning went to the shooting range for some practice. Not too bad. Image: My flower box is coming along nicely. Image: The electric ferry Ampere docked at Oppedal. Sunday morning is washing time. Image: Part two of our summer holidays: Fjærland. We've just been to Stølaholmen where I went swimming. Image: Getting ready to ascend Middagshaugen. We're cheating slightly by driving up to nearly 200m above sea level. Image: View of the grass fields in Horpedalen, towards the dam for the small hydroelectric power plant co-owned by Helen's family. Image: Ready to go. Image: Foxglove (digitalis purpurea). Image: After ascending the steep slopes we've finally arrived at Endrestølen, which is the first stop. Image: Helen is happy to be here again. It's my first time. Image: The stream running by from the bog above. Image: A common european garden spider, a.k.a. cross spider (araneus diadematus) has made its home on the cabin wall. Image: View to the south. The village is behind the closest mountain from here. Image: View towards Bøyum. Image: Middagshaugen as seen from Endrestølen. Image: Bluebells (campanula rotundifolia) flower aplenty in the mountains. Image: We cal also see <a href="/gallery/107">Flatbreen/Supphellebreen and Flatbrehytta</a> from here. Image: Me and Helen are both taking plenty of pictures here. Image: Endrestølen from the hill above. Here we can see the foundations of the other cabins which used to be here when all the farms nearby had summer pastures here. Image: We get a better view of the Flatbreen/Suppehellebreen glacier from up here. Image: Having crossed the bog, we got onto the main path to the top of the mountain. Image: The path split here. If we continue straight ahead, we'll get to Berge, a farm in the small valley north of the mountain. Image: Starting the ascent from the signpost. It's getting steeper from here. Image: Gaining height rapidly. Image: Pretty flowers in the moss. Blue heath (phyllodoce caerulea) and chickweed-wintergreen a.k.a. arctic starflower (lysimachia europaea). Image: View towards the edge of Bergsdalen. Image: Final bit before we reach the mountain edge. Image: Cloudberry flowers. The plants at Endrestølen had ripe berries, so the additional height makes a big difference. Image: Skredfjellet to the south. Image: Some flowers are plain green to the human eye while shining brightly in the ultraviolet spectrum, which many insects can see. Alpine lady's-mantle (alchemilla alpina) is one of them. Image: A small marker at the mountains edge, in a small snow-filled depression. Image: Our first look at the fjord since we started. Image: The top! There's a fairly big cairn up here. Image: After a long march in heavy shoes, it's good to air the feet for a little while. Image: View of the fjord. Image: My trekking pole. An invaluable accessory when hiking in the mountains. Image: View up Bøyadalen. Also Supphella to the right. Image: Blåbærstølen looks small from up here. Image: As does Endrestølen, really. Image: Tormentil (potentilla erecta). Image: Heading towards the northern edge of the top, we see that the pond up here still has snow in it. Image: We're looking for a spot where Helen made a panorama a decade earlier. As we get closer, we can now see most of the village. Image: Helen isn't entirely sure exactly where it was, but we're close. Image: We found the spot, and also discovered that there's a cruise ship visiting today. Image: Back up at the pond. Image: Kinda sorta recreating a famous Th. Kittelsen painting. Image: I want to check the temperature. By wading in. Image: It's freaking cold! Image: The snow is under relentless attack by the sun. Image: As pockets of air under it is released by the snow melting, they bubble up to the surface. This was happening constantly while we were there. Image: Instead of going back to the top, we're heading straight back for the path. This is the last we saw of the pond. Image: On our way back down. Image: Oh, look! Cloudberries! Practically on the path. Image: It's a hot day and we've almost run out of water. Time for a refill. Image: Helen showing the sheep weather vane her and her dad made. Image: Today we're out biking to Jordal and Rauboti. Image: Helen needs to check the air pressure in her front tyre. Image: The farms of Berge and Bjåstad. The valley above is the one we would've gotten to yesterday if we followed the sign to Berge. Image: At the end of the road at Rauboti. It's another hot day. Image: View back towards Fjærland. Image: View from Jordal to the new power plant at Lidal. Image: Today is kayaking day. We docked at the restaurant in town and had lunch. Now we're on our way past Homrane. Image: Yours truly mid-fjord. We crossed and followed the shoreline back on the other side. Image: Another biking day. Today we went up to Skeie, which is pictured here, and also Mundalsdalen. Image: Today we're going on one of the really big mountains in the country. This picture is of Hurrungane, taken from Turtagrø. Image: The first order of business is an hour-long trek through Helgedalen. We're about halfway between Turtagrø and the bottom of the valley here. The mountains here are covered in fog 300 days a year, but we're having high hopes it'll be chased away by the sun. Image: The bog in the valley to the south of us. Image: The waterfall in the bottom of the Helgedalen valley. Image: Back down Helgedalen from the first bend in the road going up the hills. Image: We've started on the path up the mountain. A view down Helgedalen from the other side of the valley. Image: Our first short rest. Hurrungane veiled in morning fog. Image: They've had sherpas building steps up this mountain path as well. As you can see, we're far from the only ones making the trip today. Image: Hurrungane - the morning fog has mostly vanished. Image: We've started ascending the scree which covers the top of the mountain. Another view back down the valley. Image: Passing the last bits of grass, the top is still some distance away. Image: I brought the trekking pole. It's a couple kg extra, but it's very useful. Image: Lots and lots of rocks. Image: A small cairn marks the way. Image: Hurrungane in all their glory. Image: This is as steep as a scree will be stable at. Image: "Yes, dear, I'm right behind you." I started having some problems with the air after we passed about 1600m above sea level or so. Nothing seriuos, but I had to slow down a bit. Image: It's a breathtaking trip, both literally and figuratively. Image: From up here we can see all the way down to Lustrafjorden near Skjolden. Image: Yet another picture of Hurrungane. Image: Having a quick breather. We're past the steepest part, and it's comparatively flat from here. Image: On the final leg of the ascension. Image: There's still a little bit of snow left. Two weeks earlier this whole area was snow-covered. Image: Jotunheimen. Image: The cabins at the top of the mountain. Image: Finally there. The others arrived a few minutes ahead of us. Image: View south-eastwards from the top. Jotunheimen is full of jagged mountains. Image: Some of the major nearby peaks marked. Image: Image: And to the south, Hurrungane. Image: The visible peaks at Hurrungane marked. Image: Gjertvatnet at Keisarpasset (Emperor's Pass), which leads down to Utladalen at the other side of Hurrungane. Image: The guest cabin, at 2068 meters above sea level. This cabin is staffed from the end of June till the start of September. It's the highest up place in northern Europe where one can both get dinner and lodgings. Image: View down at Sognefjellet. Image: The dormitories are in this  cabin. Image: View back down Helgedalen and Bergsdalen towards Lustrafjorden. Tindevegen, to Årdal, a private road, can be seen branching off to the left. Image: The cabins viewed from the weather station. Image: And Jotunheimen, as viewed from the weather station. Image: Another picture of Sognefjellet. Image: And down to Lustrafjorden again. Steindalsnosi on the left. Image: After having explored, we relaxed a bit before we head back down. Image: Marangsgjelet, the gorge in the mountain which we saw from below. There was fog here on the way up so I decided on using this picture of it instead. Image: Marangsgjelet seen from below. Image: We had another rest after we'd finished with most of the scree. Here we see the Styggedalsbreen glacier and the lakes below it. Image: Zoomed in on some of the icy mountain lakes. Image: Now for the final part of our summer holidays: biking trip to Værlandet and Bulandet. We've just biked through the old road tunnels and are on our way onto the bridge. Image: Oh right, tunnels. Better put on some lights. Image: Flekkefjorden viewed from Rivedal. Image: The statue of Ingólfr Arnarson, commonly recognized as the first permanent Norse settler on Iceland. He was originally from Rivedal. Local legend tells that he fled the country after getting into a blood feud with the jarl at Osen, which lies at the bottom of Dalsfjorden, after making his daughter pregnant and killing her brothers who were out for vengeance. There's an identical statue in Reykjavik. Image: Helen was stressed out about our time table, but we got to Askvoll with plenty of time to spare. We had time to get some supplies at the local delicatessen, amongst other things. And here comes the ferry to Værlandet. Image: Ready to go. Image: The ferry ride takes an hour. But it's still a while till our room is ready, so we decided to head due south. Where we ran across this mountain outcropping which is locally known as a "klett". Image: The rock here is conglomerate, meaning it's ancient stone beaches with sand in which has since been petrified. Image: Helen is well dressed for the ride. Image: We discovered that we can see the island of Kinn from here - the one with the split mountain on it. Image: There was a vantage point to the south of the klett. We went up to take a look. Image: Taking a peek through the binoculars there. Image: At the end of the road we found a farm with a quay. Image: There was a bench and this funny sculpture there. Image: Three of the kletts dominating the landscape on this end of the island. Image: I had to turn the camera a big to get the fourth as well. Image: We got the key for the room. Then I noticed these informational posters, and beelined over to them to read. Image: The kletts as viewed from the lake which is the island's main source of drinking water. Image: Our room. Image: The view from our room: the island Alden, which is a major landmark along the coastal shipping lane. Image: View soutwards. The Lifjellet plateau in the distance in the middle of the picture. Image: Taking lots of pictures. Image: The front of our hotel. Image: Zooming in on the islands around Florø, with Kinn being the leftmost in the distance. It's also one of the major landmarks on the coast. Image: Lots of ships sailing by, most of them east of Alden. Image: There were several smaller boats in the sound between Alden and Værlandet though. Image: The coast guard is also on a prowl. I couldn't make out the markings, but it looks like a Nornen-class patrol vessel. Possibly KV Tor. Image: We got some evening sun lighting up the islands. Image: And the same with the mountains to the south. Image: Griseholmen - Pig Islet - just north of the hotel. Heather is growing everywhere on these islands and islets. Image: Sunset. Image: Sunset at Kinn, Reksta and Batalden. Image: A great black-backed gull was perched on a concrete pillar near the hotel. Image: A skerry marker in the sound. A flock of cormorants had perched on it for the evening. Image: Part of the service was breakfast delivered to the door. They added some  raspberry-filled pastry and a greeting. Very nice. Image: Kinn in the morning. Image: We decided to start the day by exploring the harbour. Image: On our way back, we saw an otter frolicking in the water. Image: Grisholmen and the other skerries nearby in daylight. Image: And Alden again. Image: A crow in flight. Image: We've started on today's bike trip. I find the coastal landscape to be fascinating. Image: Alden seen from the road to Bulandet. Image: The bridge to the first and biggst of the islands in Bulandet: Melværet. Image: A great black-backed gull perching on the railing. Image: View north in Indre Melværsundet (the Inner Melvær Sound). Image: View south in Ytre Melværsundet. Image: Helen having a short breather on the top of the bridge. Image: I keep taking pictures of Kinn. Here viewed from Ytre Melværsundsbrua. Image: View back to Melværet. The fact that there's an M-sign  (which denotes a designated place for meeting and letting cars coming in the opposite direction pass) shows how narrow the road is. Image: The Lifjellet plateau is easy to spot. The picture is taken from the third and final of the major bridges here: Olssundbrua. Image: Helen's decided to walk up the steepest slopes. Image: A cute little property with a pavillion on top of that outrcopping. Image: The bust stops out here are colourful affairs which invites to social gathering. Image: Bulandet is full of small islets, many of which are built upon, and many small roads connecting them. Image: Our first destination is the vantage point at Halsøyna. When we stopped at the quay at the end of the road, we noticed the water was full of small fry. Image: View towards Ålfotbremassivet from the vantage point. Image: Facing west, one can see the platform at Gjøa. Image: The locals are very keen on decorating. It's very nice. Image: They've even put up some art display by local artists. Image: We had lunch at Havsalaten. Fish and chips and a great view. Image: Sheep loafing. Image: We went out to see the sculptures of two women who rescued seven shipwrecked men from drowning. Image: The statues of Berte and Hansine. Image: A sculpture called "Ro" ("Calm") on Gjørøyna. Image: There's a company here which makes products in conglomerate stone. Their mailbox serves as an excellent ad for their products. Image: Ålfotbremassivet, focused a bit further west than last time. The peaks of Keipen, Plogen, Saga and Høgefjellet are distinct. Image: The major peaks marked. Image: Panning further west, we clearly see the wind mills at Guleslettene. Image: Evening colours towards the north. Image: It wasn't only small pleasure craft using the sound. Image: A picture of the map on display here. Image: Waiting for the ferry to take us back to Askvoll. Image: Having a final rest on the way home. View towards Eikenes and Vårdal. Image: Water is needed to keep one going.