HomeAbout NorwayAdventuresTop destinationsEventsFamous Norwegians Forum
Search

Quicksearch

Menu

















Panorama picture from Stryn Municipality in Norway




OLDEN VALLEY

The southemmost of the three short branches at the inner end of Nordfjord terminates at Olden from which a lovely valley, Oldedalen, strikes due south for some 20 kilometres between slopes rising sharply to more than 1700 metres to the edge of the Jostedals glacier. The turbulent river which feeds the Olden and Floen Lakes and forms magnificent falls two kilometres from the village, comes from the glacier tongues of the Jostedals glacier, lining the head of the valley around the pointed Middagsnibba (1440m).

Olden has two churches. The one in the village was built in 1759 on the site of a stave church dating from around 1300. Its pew doors and jambs are made from timbers of the stave church. The "new" church, a short distance along the valley, was built in 1934 so that the old church could be preserved.

Just east of the old church is "Singerheimen", former home of William Singer, an American millionaire, artist and local benefactor. Many of his paintings are of the Olden district and delicately reflect the atmosphere and the seasonal mood. Mrs Singer bequeathed "Singerheimen" to the community for use as a nurses´ holiday home. Fishing trip or fjord tour on fishing boat "Isabella". Departures from Olden Marina by Statoil.

The fertile soil supports many fine old farms in the lower and upper valleys and high above the farms are several tiny summer pastures. The journey through the valley to the spectacular Briksdals glacier is superb. On the way up the valley the magnificent Melkevoll glacier begins to dominate the view south. There are many "fjordings" in the upper valley. These friendly. sturdy Nordfjord horses combine work on the farm with hauling the two-wheeled carriages (stolkjerrer) which transport tourists to the Briksdals glacier.

Just as it seems that it must terminate at the slopes below Melkevoll glacier the road turns left into Briksdalen and climbs to Briksdalsbre Fjellstove. The journey to the edge of the moraine of Brikdals glacier may be made by pony and trap or on foot. It is then about half-an hour s walk to the first view of the enormous cascade of ice. It is hard to believe that more than a century ago farmers brought cattle over the icefield and down the glaciers from east Norway.

The Briksdal glacier is ideal for a glacier walk. Experienced glacier guides take you safely on to the glacier arm - a fantastic expenence. Rustøen Stall invites you to horsebackriding in spectacular scenery near the Briksdals glacier. The horses are all calm and friendly. They have 12 years experience with horses and tourism and offer halfdaytrips, 45 minutes trips and children-rides. Experienced riders will guide you on all the trips. Let the fjordhorse show you it's wonderful kingdom!

Earlier still, in the late 17th century, the lives of the farmers and their families were made very difficult by the many growing glaciers which came into upper Oldedal. One of the farmers, Hugleik Tungøen, is commemorated by a memorial stone in the upper valley for obtaining remission of taxes from the King in Copenhagen as compensation for the rigorous conditions.