16 February, 2014

Isklar presenterer: Skredet (The Avalanche)

20 years anniversary

In this episode you will get to know the parents of Olav (the young man you got to know in "The Fruit Farmer"). Exactly twenty years ago, they experienced the impossible, as an enormous avalanche wiped out their farm. It was known to be one of the safest farms in the fjord, but a giant wave of snow, ice and trees demolished eight buildings, tossing Lars through the house and completely burying his wife Gjertrud.

Snow building up on top of Folgefonna National Park. 

My knowledge and liking to the Hardanger region and its people grows by each visit.  If I tell this story right, you will be amazed too - it is right out incredible.

Avalanches are normal

Every year, smaller avalanches occur along the fjord. They are usually quite predictable, and hit the same places over and over again. Only this time, after unusual climatic conditions, a much more fierce and surprising disaster was awaiting the little cluster of houses on the skirts of Folgefonna National Park. It was one of the longest avalanches ever measured in that part of Norway, later to be called "the millennium avalanche" by experts.

The avalanche went diagonally from right to left. Nearly four kilometres from the rim to the fjord.

Would the family be able to move back? Well, if you saw the last episode you know the answer to that. But how could they survive 1,5 thousand cubic metres of snow ramming into their farm?

Hear the story from the people that were hit: See this episode - just choose your preferred language in the subtitle menu and enjoy.

Snow, ice and trees came roaring down from the right side in this photo. Click to enlarge.

03 February, 2014

Isklar presenterer: Fruktbonden

Waking up in my tent, I found this guy outside ...   :)
My visits to Hardanger has put me in contact with a number of interesting and inspiring personalities. This is what travel and adventure is all about, and the gift of time - the possibility not to rush, but to stay and learn - is maybe the one for which I am most grateful.

This is were the natural spring water Isklar comes from: Folgefonna National Park.

Olav Bleie

Olav - The Fruit Farmer (Fruktbonden)

In this program, Olav Bleie lets us into his life as a fruit farmer. He carries the same name as his homestead, Bleie, and is rigthfully proud of what it has to offer in terms of natural produce like apples and plums, and the greatness of nature around and above him. His grounds border the fjord Sørfjorden to the low East and the National Park Folgefonna in the high west.

I will leave it to him to do the explanations, and the images speak for themselves. I will not even mention his apple cider. Words are useless. You ... will ... not ... belive ... how good it tastes!

Cottongrass waving like zippos in concert.

The Heritage and the responsibility


Living off the land, with a grand national park as his closest neighbour, Olav actually do not regard his own farm as "his" property. We can all learn from his attitude and respect. What he feels for the steep slopes were his forefathers have struggled, is exactly how we should all feel for the marvelous planet that we - in our lifetime - is set to administer.

The next program in this series deals with a highly dramatic event that wiped out Olavs farm 20 years ago - so stay tuned!

Follow Isklar to be the first to get updates, check out the homepage of the farm here: Bleietunet in English and as always: Be sure to click on the photos here in the blog, to fully enjoy them!

This is the place. Bleie in Vikebygd. Or rather Nå in Hardanger. Go there.

Have a good one!    ;)