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Where are they ? Certainly not among the men and
women we have known intimately, and looked up to as
examples of what home life should be, upright, honest,
manly, and most courteous.

I have said that Skien is the town that lies on the
north bank of the Skiens-Elv, which here breaks through
a rocky barrier in two falls, and forms a roomy harbour.
Besides the glamour that surrounds it as being the birth-
place of so great a man as Ibsen, it is also the starting-
point of one of the greatest engineering feats in Norway,
namely, the Nordsjo-Skien Canal, which connects the
chief lake of Telemarken Nordsjo to Skien by three locks,
called the Locks of Loveid, up the Skiens-Elv hewn like
those of Trollhatten out of the rock, and on again from
Nordsjo to the Bandak lakes.

The canal opens up an inland waterway 65 miles in
length from the sea into the very heart of the
mountains at Dalen, at the west end of Lake Bandak.
The height of Bandak above the level of Nordsjo is
187 feet, which is overcome by means of fourteen locks,
five of which are at Vrangfos. The rise in each lock
is, on an average, rather more than 13 feet. The work
offered great difficulties, as some of the fourteen locks
could not be hewn out of the rock, but had to be formed
by the aid of enormous dams of masonry. The dam at



THE SAETARSDAL 53

Vrangfos, which is the largest, is 121 feet high, and
raises the level of the water 75 feet. The waterfall
thus produced is something really worth seeing. Both
as regard scenery and construction this spot deserves a
visit, besides the chance of meeting an elk in the adjacent
forests.

"Where Christiansand stands, at the mouth of the
Saetarsdal, a stream of ice once entered the Skagerack.
Saetarsdal, as its name implies, is the mountain pasture-
land of the low country. In the autumn the cattle are
driven down in great droves. At the mouth of the glen
I walked down with the procurator of the district to see
what he called a " drift." I thought it was a raft, and
was surprised to find some forty cows and a couple of
hundred sheep and goats waiting to be ferried over a
broad river. They were driven down to a sandy point,
with logs stranded upon it, and a wooded hillock rising
behind. There they were, huddled together, bleating and
lowing, and switching their tails in the calm water. The
goats perched themselves on the logs, and men stood
amongst them ; while a flat ferry-boat, with a load of
small creatures, was slowly rowing from the land.

It was calm, and the hills had now begun to be worth
looking at ; the light was good, so the drift made a pretty
picture so far. " The procurator had bought a cow, some-
one else a goat ; and these two were to remain behind.
Boat -load after boat-load of small cattle were pitched and
tossed in, and ferried over ; and the poor sold goat was
left alone bleating lamentably. Then the cows were
driven down to the water's edge ; three or four were put
into the boat ; and amidst loud shouts of ' Keesa, keesa ! '
away went the herd over the still water, snorting and
blowing. Some went up stream, some down, but all tried
to lay their noses on their neighbours' backs, and the



54 SAETARSDAL COSTUME

boat had hard work to keep order. One obstinate cow
was hauled over by the horns ; but all landed safe and
sound at last ; and they walked deliberately up the
opposite bank, cropping grass and lowing as if they were
used to swimming two hundred yards."

At another station I met a party of drovers with six
hundi'ed and fifty beasts. They were dressed in native
costume. "All clothes in this glen have an upward
tendency, which it is hard to account for. But so had
we, for the matter of that, some hundred years ago, when
small boys' trousers were banded and braced close under
their armpits. We either took the fashion from the men
of the Saetarsdal, or they took it from us, and being slow-
moving there it is still."

In other countries people have waists, more or less,
short or long ; here they have none. Men fasten the
waistbands of their trousers round their necks, and put
their arms out of the pockets. Waistcoats are put on
like neckcloths, and the general effect is that of Mr.
Nobody, as drawn by Cruikshank. The women, in like
manner, fasten their petticoats round their necks; but
they forgot to lengthen them when the fashion came in ;
consequently their coats are kilted. They wear many
different colours, each skirt appearing under the upper
one, and the whole turn up at the edge. It is not
unlike the bright coloured cloth dress of the Lapp, but
the shortness of the Lapp costume is not so noticeable,
as they wear gaiters strapped round their legs.

Saetarsdal is now a wide pastoral glen, but every rock
in it is ice-ground for a distance of 112 miles, as far
as the road extends north.

At Valle, after passing through a wild narrow pass
between bare rocks of great height, the glen widens into
a broad green strath, dotted with stones as big as houses.



THE OLDEST GLEN IN NORWAY 55

set in the velvet turf as if planted there on purpose.
The houses are built of vast logs as big as three modern
Norwegian fir-trees. Their corners are carved posts, their
roofs project, there are galleries and carved door frames,
and all about them is old, dark brown, and strange.
"At the roadside stood a tall, well-shaped, straight-
limbed, pretty girl, with a plaid thrown over her shoulders,
and her head rolled in a large shawl. She wore a jacket
about six inches long, and a waistcoat to match. She had
silver breast buckles, bits of red worsted embroidery here
and there, and several petticoats of various colours, the
longest of which just reached the knee. She had a magnifi-
cent pair of garters, with bright silver buckles, and a neat
pair of legs in blue worsted hose. As she stood knitting
behind a little fir tree, she was the very picture of a wild
mountain milkmaid. She vanished like one of her own
kids when she found that she had been seen.

This is said to be the oldest glen in Norway : the
language is mixed with strange words, some of which
sound like Welsh or Breton. It is said that Scotch
colonists were planted here after a plague had thinned
the natives. Old as this human history is, older ice-marks
are perfectly fresh in Saetarsdal, and sea-shells yet stick
to rocks about the level of the King's palace at Christiania.

Christiansand stands upon ice-ground rocks. All the
islands, for miles out to sea, are roches montonnces, peering
above the waves. The road leads inland through a wild
pass, with hills on either side, with dark pines growing
in chinks in the grey rock. The bottom of this pass is
filled with a plain of boulders and sand, which look as
if ice had dropped them yesterday. A good mountaineer
can walk in a few days from Valle where waters run south,
to the head of the Hardanger, or to Bukke Fjord, whose
waters run west and south-west.



56 CHRISTIANSAND

Christiansand might be called a square town, with
water on three sides of it. All the streets run either
north-east or south-east, exactly at right angles. To
the south is the fortified Adderoen, which divides the
Nestre Haven from the Astre Haven, and to the north
is the river called Otteraa, which is crossed by a wooden
bridge to Lund. It is the seat of one of the five bishops
of Norway ; is pretty, big, and clean ; has a fine harbour,
from which regular lines of steamers run to England,
Scotland, Germany, and Denmark. The population is
fourteen thousand seven hundred.

Christiansand is the most important town in the south
of Norway, and from it, beginning in Jordenskjolds-
Gaden, winds the long, pleasantly shaded road that leads
to the ever-fascinating quaint valley of Saetarsdal.

Through the mist we can make out the Naze or
Lindisnas, a conical lighthouse perched on a rounded
mass of rock, seamed and rent from crest to base.
Outlying rocks stand among the breakers, and the foam
dashes high up the cliff. In 1650 the first lighthouse in
all Norway was built on this cape, the most southern
land in the country. A red-sailed fishing-boat is running
before the gale, looking wonderfully small, as she rises
and falls, on the breaking seas.

Now we are off Farsund, a little seaport, almost
destroyed by fire in 1901. After it comes the light-
house of Lister, and here there is no protection from the
breeze which, blowing right along the indented coast,
raises a nasty head sea. Ekersund, famous for its porcelain,
goes by, dimly seen over the crests of the rollers.

Now the character of the coast is quite changed.
Instead of the smooth, round rocks, which repeat the
same outline over and over again, there are fertile
meadows sloping gently to the sea from the distant hills



OFT-PAINTED JADEREN— STAY ANGER 57

inland. This is the land of Jaderen, dotted every-
where with red-roofed cottages, each seeming to be
perched on its own little acre and never gathered
together into villages as in other lands. Miles inland we
can see the snowy peaks of Listermandal and Stavanger,
some peaked like sugar loaves, others humped like the
camel.

In that little inlet, ten hundred and thirty-five years
ago, was fought the famous sea-battle which made Harald
Haarfagre king of all the long, narrow land of Norway. One
wonders how many years it took him to travel to the distant
parts of his new kingdom. Of course, the channel inside the
belt of islands must have been then, as now, the great high-
way of the people of all ranks. Here the coast is quite
unprotected, except for one or two detached hummocks
standing far out in the foam-flecked, tumbling waters,
and though our ship is both long and wide, and is really
a very steady ship, the motion on board is distinctly
unpleasant. The shining wet decks and long rows of
empty chairs look mournful.

It is curious how often Norwegian artists paint this
flat country of Jaderen. One sees pictures of carts being
loaded with seaweed, knee-deep in the breakers, of the
dreary heaths and the winding country roads. One artist,
a Mr. Bennatter, has fitted up the ruins of a twelfth-
century church and made it into a studio. Perhaps one
reason for the affection they have for its rather tame
beauties is that it is so very unlike any other part of
Norway.

Stavanger is a very old town, but it has been burnt so
many times that it looks modern. It is quite a busy
place, with a big fleet of trading vessels. The cathedral
is the finest in Norway, after that of Trondhjem. It was
founded by an English bishop, Reinald, and dedicated



58 STAY ANGER CATHEDRAL— KARMO

to our St. Swithin of Winchester. In the treatment of
the interior detail this church presents a striking resem-
blance to the Knights' Hall, Rochester, which was built
by Gundulph about the same time. It has no transept,
triforium, or central tower. The arches are supported
on great circular columns, very handsome and massive,
five on each side, in the northern Romanesque style.

The ship is still plunging through the waves, and now
the passengers, who still brave the elements, have dwindled
to a very small party. The island of Karmo comes in
sight on the starboard bow, and all sorts of jagged rocks
go by as we plunge northward. A long journey outside
the skjaergaard is not a pleasant prospect in weather like
this, but all at once we notice that our wake is no longer
right astern, but trends away to the starboard quarter.
We look ahead and see that Karmo is drawing away to
the port bow. It is clear that kind-hearted Captain
Thompson has made up his mind to take us up inside the
islands. The sight of many pale faces, and all those
empty chairs, has moved him to take the longer, and to
him, no doubt, more troublesome route. Soon we are under
the lea of Skudesnas, and one by one limp, red-eyed
bodies, with hair out of curl and rumpled clothes, make
their appearance, blessing the skjaergaard and good
Captain Thompson.

Karmo is a long, low island. Like the rest of its
brothers and sisters of the skjaergaard or belt, it has two
aspects. On the west side the breakers are eternally
thundering, but on the east the water is smooth, and the
wooden houses jut out into the channel, each standing on
a sort of little terrace built of the smooth round boulders
which have been carried down from far inland by the old
glaciers and dropped in ridges on the water's edge. Many
graves and barrows of the old Vikings stand on the




2 r,



5 >



KOPERVIK— HAUGESUND 59

moors. Soon we are passing a small red lighthouse
standing alone on a rocky island, all covered with stunted
firs. Patches of green grass show here and there among
the rocky hillocks, and in the distance three factory
chimneys rise against the grey sky ; the red roofs of the
little wooden houses are sprinkled far apart, as though
in fear of a fire spreading from one to the other.

According to our pilot, Kopervik is the centre of the
universe. It has a thousand inhabitants, and a neat
white church, with a little tower at one end of the gable ;
the average death-rate is only twelve per thousand, so this
mild, damp climate must be very healthy.

On we steam, the dark green waters of the Karmosund
forming bays and inlets, or viJcs, as they are called by the
natives. Jomfru Marias Synaal is a bautasten 26 feet
high, erected in honour of some long-dead chief. It leans
towards the old church of Augvaldsnas. An ancient
prophecy says that when it falls this world will come to
an end. Farther up on the other side of the sound are
five more upright stones, called the "Five Foolish
Virgins." Haugesund stands on the mainland a little to
the south of the tombstone of Harald Haarfagre, the
chief who swore that his hair should never be cut until
he was king of all Norway.

In 1872 the thousandth anniversary of the sea-fight of
Hafsfjord, an obelisk of red granite, 55 feet high, and
called Haralds-Stotte, was erected in honour of Norway's
first king. All around are smaller stones, representing
the districts into Avhich the country was divided in old
days. The port is quite important, and the masts and
yards of many timber ships peep over the rocky hillocks
and green pastures, the red tiles of the clustering houses,
or the steel-blue of the harbour, showing here and there
in the hollows.



6o RESTLESS WATERS

After this we come to an open bit of coast, for the
skjaergaard no longer protects us from the swell of the
ocean, which rolls in long even waves. We are glad to
slip under the shelter of Bommelo, where a strange flat-
topped mountain, called Siggen, rises to a height of 1540
feet. Though its base is smooth and ice-worn, the crest
seems sharp cut and square. I wonder if the upper part
of the peak stood out of the glacier in the old Ice Age,
like an island in the sea of snow, and thus escaped the
grinding and polishing that all the other hills hereabouts
seem to have undergone. There are gold mines on the
island, though nowadays they do not produce much.

Now we are steaming close under the shadow of the
great hummocky-seamed peaks. The snow still lies in
hollows aloft, and the grey rock is hidden here and there
by stunted fir and patches of spare grass. In the narrow
sloping cliffs, close down to the water, are vivid squares of
green, where the peasant farmer has perched upon some
little patch of soil smooth enough to raise a crop of hay.
The children rush out of the wooden cabins to wave a
greeting. What a contrast to the sombre browns and
greys of their stony surroundings are the red roofs and
white and yellow fronts of these scattered homes !

In between the countless islands one catches glimpses
of the open sea, a straight hard-cut line dark against the
brilliant sky. Great breakers are thundering on the
rocks at the foot of the tall white lighthouse, and in some
of the wider inlets the swell rolls right in and dashes with
fury at the smooth ice- worn stones. Sometimes the
strata lines are tilted up steeply, making snug harbours
for the little fishing-boats ; or the bright green of a patch
of hay makes another sudden contrast among the black
clusters of rounded hummocky rocks. Then again,
beyond the breakers, we catch another glimpse of the



FLATHOLM FYR AND HAFSFJORD 6i

ruled line of the boundless horizon. All around for
miles there is nothing to be seen but the smooth rocks,
repeating over and over again the form we have got to
know so well. Cold and grey, seamed here and there
with veins of white quartz, only very scanty grass
clings in the hollows and crannies. There are
thousands of these rocks, some awash and covered
with brown weed, others submerged, and only marked
by the higher and steeper heave of the swell, and the
flicker of foam on the crest, where it tries to break
for a moment before rolling on eastward through the
deeper water.

Now we are passing a skerry, where the yeasty waters
are in violent turmoil, flinging the spray high into the
air in their wild dance. Farther on is a black rock
standing clear above the surf. A beacon of stone has
been built on it to distinguish it from its countless fellow-
rocks, for all seem to be made in the same mould. As
we look inland we see the hummocks rise ridge behind
ridge until at last, all blended with the clouds and mists
we can dimly make out the forms of giant mountains :
Flatholm Fyr and the mouth of the Hafsfjord.



CHAPTER V
THE WONDROUS, BEAUTIFUL HARDANGER

THE rocky island of Utsire, topped by twin, squat
lighthouses, stands like a sentinel 12 long miles
from the mainland. Between it and Bommelo Fjord
lie quite a little archipelago of jagged, stony islets.
Rover, Lyngso, Faco, and countless unnamed rocks,
over whicli the great ocean swells break, so that there is
a more or less sheltered channel inside, between Karmo
and Storo. Here the passage forks, one lead running
north towards Bergen, and the other twisting up, and
even widening into the wonderful Hardanger Fjord.
The sounds, and arms of the sea, stretch in all directions
right into the heart of the great mountains, and as we
steam onward fresh vistas are constantly opening. The
peaks are rent and torn in some places, smooth and
polished in others, and there is always as a background
the great glistening covering of eternal snow, which is
called the Folge Fond. This enormous mass is without
any distinct peak, and simply lies like a great white
table-cloth all over the high ground. It throws off
glaciers wherever a cleft in the rocks allows the pushing
mass to force a way down the precipice, where it hangs
suspended, like a great breaker frozen in the act of
curlins. This huge snowfield is about 20 miles long
from north to south, and about 10 miles across at the
widest part.

62



A STONY INTRUDER 63

The lower waters of the Hardanger, through a maze
of twists and turns, run for the most part towards the
north-east. Smaller channels branch off from it in all
directions. Mauranger Fjord, with lofty cliffs, pushes
right into the rocky hills almost to the snow.
Strandebarms Bugt, a big bay, stretches north. Then
the iQord narrows to a mile and a half at Ljonas Aus, —
again widening into the Ytre Samlen quite 5 miles
across.

Just above Bakke, there is a great stretch of bare
polished rock, which slopes from a height down to the
water's edge. There is not a blade of grass or a shrub
to be seen on it, the whole has a very bleak and
forbidding air. Its smooth surface is due to the great
glaciers of the Ice Age, when the whole fj ord was choked
with slowly-moving pack ice. Beyond these bare black
rocks, Samle Nut, a jutting peak, covered with a forest
of fir trees from crest to base, pushes out, narrowing the
waterway again to 2 miles, and separating the Ytre from
the Indne Samlen.

On the opposite side is the hamlet of Ostensci, where
a great rock (Heaven only knows how many tons it
weighs) seems to have toppled over from the mountains
overhead, and has perched itself right in the middle
of a neat little hayfield. I daresay it all happened
a long time ago, long before there were any people
settled here ; at the same time, the great stone looks
a very terrible intruder, in the midst of the fragile
wooden houses set among the smiling fields.

Just a little farther is the narrow entrance of
the Fikensensand, 9 miles long, just a rent in the
mountains. As we steam over to the north-east we
come to where Melaanfos thunders down from the hills in
a cloud of spray, making the village at the water's edge



64 THE BARONS OF ROSENDAL

seem only a toy. The dark firs stretch up even to
the clouds, and here and there patches of snow shine
white among grey rocks.

Norway was not always a democratic country. There
were plenty of earls in the old Viking days, and our
English title " earl "" is taken from the Norse. Later, the
great English preacher Hakluyt, in his navigations,
voyages, traffiques, and discoveries, often mentions knights
in Norway, though it would be hard to say what the
native equivalent for this title would be. Here in
Hardanger there were Barons of Rosendal, from 1678
down to 1821, when all noble titles were abolished by
law.

Ludwig the First was a Dane of old family who came
and settled in Horland, where he married a rich Norwegian
lady ; after which Christian v. of Denmark created
him baron. He held many high offices. A list of them
is still to be seen over his tomb in Kvindherred parish
church. Axel, who was called " Baron Clubfoot,*" suc-
ceeded him ; he is said to have had rather a poor time
with his insolent servants. He fell through a hole in the
floor of his own house, and broke his neck in 1723, so
the title became extinct. Soon after, the Crown of
Denmark sold the barony of Rosendal, with all its
privileges and charters, to another Dane, Ditten Wibe,
Knight of the Elephant, and Governor of Norway.
The price was 20,000 rix-dollars, about .£4000. When
Ditten Wibe died, Lerche of Lerchenfeld bought it for
18,000 rix-dollars. In 1745 it was again sold to Edvard
Londeman, a professor of theology, who afterwards
became Bishop of Bergen. The King of Denmark gave
him a patent for himself and his heirs, to bear the new
title of Baron de Rosen krone. He only enjoyed the
honour for a week, dying, and being succeeded by his



THE FOLGEFOND 65

son, Baron Marchus, who, however, never lived at Rosendal.
This Baron Marchus was Minister for Foreign Affairs at
Copenhagen. Major Hoff", who was a great-grandson of
the first Baron de Rosenkrone, a native of Bohemia,
came next, and after him in 1837 Marchus Gerhard, his
son. The title died with the older Hoff", and soon after
the property lost many of its rights and privileges. It
now pays rates and taxes just like any other part of
Norway.

Before reaching Odde it is the Folgefond that attracts
and holds the attention. This great field of snow is the
second largest in Norway, covering an area of 120 square
miles. As we steamed up the fjord the daylight was
waning. The steep sides of the cliffs had turned the
deepest purple, and high above lay this line of snow.
Wherever possible it forced its way over the edge. At
first a wedge of pure white, which as it came down the
cliff" turned into rills and feathery streaks of water.
What the depth is no one knows, but from the nature
of its surroundings it is beyond doubt that it fills an
enormous depression. The general direction of this vast
expanse of eternal snow is north and south. It lies in
the hollow of a broad ridge, or plateau, at a height of
5500 feet above the sea. The mountains on which it
rests rise abruptly from the sea, presenting a large area
above the snow-line. These receive the full benefit of
the moisture of the south-westerly winds in the shape of
snow. There are no higher mountains anywhere near,
and consequently the Folgefondfjeld intercepts the snow-
laden winds, and prevents an accumulation on the fjelds
situated to the eastward.

At the moment all our interests were centred in the
Folgefond, on account of a wild freak that had entered
the head of an elderly spinster we had met on board
5



66 CROSSING THE FOLGEFOND

a little fjord steamer. The lady Avas unaccompanied,
and gloated over the fact that she had given her friend
and the hotel-keeper the slip, saying, " I knew they
would not let me go if I said anything about it, but now
I am here I mean to cross the Folgefond." All the way
to Sandven we hunted our Baedeker, and found out for
this lady that the price for a guide for two persons
would be 8 kroner. No price was quoted for one. That
the pass was not too difficult, and that riding was
practicable to the top. At this she ejaculated, " Ah,


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