1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Hardanger Fjord

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[ 941 ]

HARDANGER FJORD, an inlet on the west coast of Norway; penetrating the mainland for 70 m. apart from the deep fringe of islands off its mouth, the total distance from the open sea to the head of the fjord being 114 m. Its extreme depth is about 350 fathoms. The entrance at Torö is 50 m. by water south of Bergen, 60° N., and the general direction is N.E. from that point. The fjord is flanked by magnificent mountains, from which many waterfalls pour into it. The main fjord is divided into parts under different names, and there are many fine branch fjords. The fjord is frequented by tourists, and the principal stations have hotels. The outer fjord is called the Kvindherredsfjord, flanked by the Melderskin (4680 ft.); then follow Sildefjord and Bonde Sund, separated by Varalds island. Here Mauranger-fjord opens on the east; from Sundal on this inlet the great Folgefond snowfield may be crossed, and a fine glacier (Bondhusbrae) visited. Bakke and Vikingnaes are stations on Hisfjord, Nordheimsund and Östensö on Ytre Samlen, which throws off a fine narrow branch northward, the Fiksensund. There follow Indre Samlen and Utnefjord, with the station of Utne opposite Oxen (4120 ft.), and its northward branch, Gravenfjord, with the beautiful station of Eide at its head, whence a road runs north-west to Vossevangen. From the Utne terminal branches of the fjord run south and east; the Sörfjord, steeply walled by the heights of the Folgefond, with the frequented resort of Odde at its head; and the Eidfjord, with its branch Osefjord, terminating beneath a tremendous rampart of mountains, through which the sombre Simodal penetrates, the river flowing from Daemmevand, a beautiful lake among the fields, and forming with its tributaries the fine falls of Skykje and Rembesdal. Vik is the principal station on Eidfjord, and Ulvik on a branch of the Ose, with a road to Vossevangen. At Vik is the mouth of the Björeia river, which, in forming the Vöringfos, plunges 520 ft. into a magnificent rock-bound basin. A small stream entering Sörfjord forms in its upper course the Skjaeggedalsfos, of equal height with the Vöringfos, and hardly less beautiful. The natives of Hardanger have an especially picturesque local costume.