( Originally Published 1881 )
The Hardanger Fjord.—Its Beautiful Landscapes.—Melderskin.—Rosendal.-Autunm Wind-storms.—Sunday on the Fjord.-Dressing the Bride.-Bride and Bridegroom on the Way to Church.—Ulvik.—Holding Court.—Lione Farm.—Lars's Friendly Welcome.—The Eidfjord.—A Gale.—Marvellous Phosphorescent Water.—Vik.—Journey to VSringfoss.—A Superb Sight.—The SSr Fjord.—The Loveliest of Norway's Fjords.—The Tyssedalfoss.•—The Ringedal Lake.—Deep-blue Water.—The Skjæggedal or Ringedalfoss.—Norway.—Beautiful Water-fall.
HARDANGER Fjord presents a great contrast to the weird grandeur of the Sogne, with its water-falls and cascades plunging down the mountain-sides ; at the foot of the overhanging glaciers the hills are covered with woods of deciduous and coniferous trees, and orchards, presenting a richness of foliage rarely seen in other parts of the country. The cheerful landscape seems to have impressed its features on the inhabitants of the farms and hamlets on its shores.
This fjord is separated from the Sogne by ranges of mountains, with steep, short fjords between them. Steamers from Stavanger on the south, or Bergen on the north, make the round trip twice a week, the voyage taking three days.
The Norwegian coast, from a little below 59° northward, is literally cut everywhere by fjords, and skirted by a maze of islands, bewildering to any one looking at the Government survey maps. The outer fjord is known under the name of Bommel fjord, and is formed by the main-land on one side and a series of islands on the other, which, by their position and number, make it completely land-locked for a distance of sixty miles. South of Bommel island, at the entrance of the fjord, the sea is 720 feet deep ; but it rapidly grows deeper, till, a few miles higher up, it varies from 1260 to 1120 feet; thence lessening to the islands of Huglen and Klosternaes to 408 feet, it increases gradually to the southern part of the island of Tysnaes to 1614 feet; at the entrance to the inner fjord, known as Hardanger, it is 1470 feet; and its greatest depth, between the eastern shore of the island of Varals and the main-land, is 2140 feet.
From Bergen the steamer's route, between the island of Tysnaes and the main-land, is through a crooked and narrow channel, the scenery reminding me of the Hudson, near West Point. As the steamer winds along, in a north-east course, crossing to the other side, the panorama at the upper part is magnificent, with mountains looming up in every direction, their snowy tops glittering in the sunshine : the Folgefonn snow-fields and glaciers look down from a vast plateau, and the fjords seem creeping at its base.
After a sail of seven hours from Bergen you come to Rosendal, a charming spot, with the Melderskin rising 4550 feet, and a large tract of cultivated land at its base ; opposite, on the eastern shore, is the Mauranger fjord, extending almost to the base of the mountain of Folgefonn. The yellow leaves showed the presence of autumn ; and the red of the asp and mountain ash rivalled in beauty that of the American foliage at the same time of the year, contrasting finely with the dark hues of the evergreens. At this season the weather is very uncertain, and wind-storms suddenly sweep down the mountain gorges with much violence, to the great danger of mariners. On our way up from the Mclderskin one of these squalls struck our steamer. The sight was superb, for the force of the wind was such that, as we ploughed the water, the spray sometimes dashed topmast high, and the whole of the fjord was enveloped in a thick mist.
From Rosendal the sail is beautiful. One of the most picturesque places is Ostenso; the houses stand on the shores of a bay which has almost the shape of a horseshoe : near Ostensô is Samlekollen, surrounded by forest-clad hills and rich meadows. Passing on the left Bjolbergfos, with the high mountain of Oxen in the distance, the scenery is remarkably beautiful; the fjord then makes a sudden turn to the south-east, known under the name of Tittle.
I left the steamer and took a boat, and, as I was carried slowly onward by a gentle wind, I might have fancied that I was in a fairyland, so balmy was the air, so blue the sky, so silvery the clouds, so beautiful the landscape, with the mountains decked with snow and ice. I heard the bell of the church on a hill looking down upon the sea; saw boats from all directions crowded with people ; maidens fair, in their picturesque costumes, prayer-book in hand ; young men with manly faces, proud to row them; mothers, in the snowy head-caps worn only by the married ; old men and women bent with years, and with sight dimmed by age, with their grand and great - grandchildren. As they passed by, some shouted, "Amerikaner, I have a son —I have a daughter in America. Do you know them ? Oh, tell me, have you seen them ?" One would say, " My son lives in Minnesota ;" "My daughter is in Iowa," shouted another; a third, " I have three children in Wisconsin." On coming near, they seized my hand, holding it fast with a nervousness which told the intensity of their feelings. They forced me to say that I did not know them, or had not seen them; but the link of love was there, and they loved me, for their children had written that they had happy homes in my own land, and they were glad to see one who lived on the same soil. As we bade each other good-bye they would shout, "Amerikaner, come to our farm, you shall be welcome ; we will show the portraits which our children have sent to us, and perhaps when you return you may go and see them, and tell them that you have seen the old folks at home ; that we think of them every day, that we miss them, that we pray God to bless them." And all would give me a fond parting look.
Continuing my way, in the afternoon I met a bridal party crossing to the other shore, on their way from the church ; the bride, with her silver crown, which made her look like a queen, and her garments of bright colors, was seated by the bride-groom : their boat was followed by many others, filled with those going to the marriage feast. Two men were playing on the violin, and in the intervals of the music a draught of the celebrated Hardanger home-made ale was passed around ; then the boats went on again, the music gradually dying away in the distance.
Nothing can illustrate better the different phases of Norwegian life than the paintings of Tidemand, for they are so true ; and here I can do no better than to give the representation, by that artist, of the "bride being dressed in her wedding-garb," with her mother giving the last touches to her toilet, while the grandmother is looking on, and her younger sister is holding the looking-glass. But the long flowing or plaited hair, after the wedding-day, will be cut short. She will give up the graceful cap for a white one, like that of her mother, for these are worn by married women. I am happy to say that often young women object to this old custom, and hope that it will soon be among the things of the past.
The other scene represents the bride and bridegroom on the porch of the church, ready to go—either to the boat which is waiting to bear them to the old homestead, or to the vehicle which is to take them there.
The next Sunday I saw another procession crossing the fjord, but now all was silent and solemn, for it was a funeral cortege carrying the dead to the church-yard. Such is life—yesterday a wedding, today a burial; in one household sorrow and tears, in the other joyous hopes of a bright future.
On another page are three girls that have been rowing in a boat; they have landed and hauled it on the shore; they are going to make a visit at one of the farms in sight, and have brought a little luggage with them; but, before going, they are giving the last touches to their toilets, for these Hardanger maidens. are coquettish : one is quietly tying her apron ; an-other is rearranging the hair of her companion in a becoming manner, and adjusting it around her forehead. They wear their best clothes; the snowy-white sleeves of their chemises contrast with their dark dresses. The shortness of their skirts shows their bright-colored stockings.
I entered the Gravedal valley, and afterwards crossed over the mountains to Ulvik to see the region between the two fjords, in the beginning of October, when the leaves were falling fast. Passing several farms, I reached the plateau; the tops of the highest hills were covered with snow, and ice appeared along the shores of the streams and the Vatne lake; the thermometer stood at 34°. The saeters were found deserted, and I descended to Ulvik. The women on the way were gathering the leaves of the asp-trees for the use of the cattle during the corning winter, for the hay crop had been short on account of a dry season. Ulvik was crowded with strangers, for the court was in session. The court-house was near the inn, on the fjord, and was an unpretending log-house, containing a wooden table, and a few chairs and benches. Most of the cases were for debt, or for unpaid interest on mortgages.
After the adjournment of the court, the judge, the lawyers, the lensmand, and the strangers went to the inn for dinner. While rambling round I met a group of three maidens. They were strangers, and belonged to another part of the Hardanger fjord. I had hardly left them when I met a bonde driving a cart. I saluted him in Norwegian. "Good-day, stranger,"
was the answer; "where are you from?" "From America." "Oh!" said he, "I have a brother in America--I have relations in America." We kept talking. "How old are you ?" said my inquisitive friend. "Are you a married man? How many sisters and brothers have you? Are your father and mother living? What is your business? Have you a farm? How much does a horse cost in America ? What is the price of a good milking cow, a sheep, a goat, a pound of butter? How many sorts of cheese do you make? Have you any `old cheese' (gammel ost)? What are you doing in Norway ? Are you not the son of a Norwegian ? How is it that you can understand and speak Norwegian ?" By the time I had answered all his questions we came to that part of the road where we were to part, when my inquisitive friend said, "Won't you come to my farm? You shall be welcome." " Yes," said I. " What is your name ?" " Paul Du Chailla." "Paul is a Norwegian name," said he; "you must be the son of a Norwegian, and have for-gotten somewhat your mother-tongue." Then I followed him. As the road was very hilly, he wanted me to get into the cart; but I refused. It began to rain, and he insisted, upon putting his coat over my shoulders. We kept ascending, passing several good farms, and by a foaming stream. The trees, though somewhat scarce, were scattered among the meadows, or were growing by the roadside ; they had been pruned of their branches, which were used for fuel. My friend's farm was among the highest. When we reached the top of the hill my good-hearted companion stopped, and, pointing to a cluster of buildings, said, "There is Lione "—and soon after I reached his house. I was hardly seated before Lars took from a cup-board a bottle, and insisted on my taking a glass with him, and then went in quest of his wife, who soon came and welcomed me. We refreshed ourselves with a substantial meal of milk, cream, cheese, bread-and-butter, dried mutton, and sausage. While I was eating one of his brothers came in, but he would not sit at table with me; that was not etiquette, for the repast was prepared especially for the stranger. Two of his children were called; the eldest, Anne Maria, thirteen years old, had superb blonde hair, and a rosy complexion which the fairest of her sex might envy; Ingeborg, the younger, only seven years old, had hair almost white. "When you come next winter to see me you will have a fine room," he said, for he was adding an upper story; "you will come and see me again, will you not?" I answered that I would come and spend a day with him. "Five days," said Lars; " as long as you like—you will be welcome." Then we went to see his cows, which had lately been brought back from the saeter. Lars was a well-to-do farmer for that region, owning eight cows, a horse, and thirty sheep. His brother also owned seven cows, twenty-five sheep, and a horse. We made brief visits to the neighbors, among whom my arrival had created a sensation. The day was advancing, and I had to bid good-bye to Lione. "Why !" said Lars, looking perfectly astounded, " are you not to sleep here?" "No," I replied ; "I wish I could." Although the rain was falling heavily, he insisted upon going with me for a part of the way, and I had great difficulty in preventing him from putting his heavy coat over my shoulders; but I preferred being wet to being smothered. The wife, children, and neighbors assembled to see me off and bid me welcome back. Lars Danielson was a perfect specimen of a Norwegian bonde.
The following day the weather, which had been fine all the morning, became threatening in the afternoon, with black heavy clouds hanging over the mountain-tops. But my boat was ready, and the two boatmen were waiting for me; and in spite of the lowering skies, and against the advice of the judge, I left, to return in time for the steamer, for I wanted to see the Voring-foss, one of Norway's finest water-falls. In the twilight the mountains which rose above the Osse fjord looked grand and fantastic, and their summits were now covered with snow. The end of this short fjord looked particularly weird, as the darkness, which was soon to overtake us, threw its shadows upon the peaks, the wild ravines, and crags. The wind had been gradually increasing, the forerunner of a storm : first a few drops, and then a drenching rain fell, accompanied by a high wind; the short and chopping sea tossed our boat about like a nutshell. I was kept busy bailing out the water which came in over the side; we were evidently in the midst of a great storm. Now and then we pulled by a sheltered spot, but squall after squall struck us, each one seemingly stronger than the preceding, requiring all our strength to resist it. After entering the Eid fjord the wind blew with such fury that we could make but little headway ; the caps of the waves, as they broke, scattered a thousand sparkles, for the water was highly phosphorescent ; the rain was very cold, for one thousand feet above us it was snowing. The night was exceedingly dark. Nothing is more deceptive at night than the distance of the mountains; even my men, with all their knowledge of the fjord, went close to the rocks two or three times, first noticing their mistake by the striking of the oars against the shore. We could hear, but not see the water-falls, except where they fell from the cliffs into the sea, bringing to the surface a large area of the same phosphorescent light. Towards midnight the weather changed : the wind went down, and the storm was over. We were now pulling very fast, when suddenly a marvellous sight appeared ahead — the water of the fjord seemed to be in a blaze; I had never seen in the tropics, nor in the wake of a ship, such a brilliant glow; the brightest part of the Milky Way appeared to have come down into the sea; we seemed to float in the midst of countless flickering stars. This beautiful spectacle was caused by the con-tact of the waters of the river Erdal with those of the fjord.
As we approached the termination of the fjord I watched two lights on the shore until one disappeared, and soon after the other, at another window, went out, showing that every one in the place had gone to rest. We landed at Vik, and a few minutes after were admitted to the inn. There were a -few farms, among the most important of which were those of Nesheim, Legereid, and Hereid ; the terraces here were very high, the soil poor, and the farmers did not appear to be thrifty; nor were their houses clean. At about a mile from Vik is the Eid fjord lake, a wild sheet of dark-green water three miles in length, at both ends of which are farms. A mountain-path leads to Voring-foss, after grossing a bridge, the path following the right bank of the stream. Only two poor firms were met on the way, Thveit and Haabo ; a few patches of soil between the rocks yielded a scanty crop of potatoes and barley. The people were busy, for they had slaughtered a number of sheep, and were to preserve and dry the meat for winter use. A short distance beyond we saw the remains of the steep zigzag path leading to the top of the plateau, from which you-obtain a view of Voring-foss, and to the mountain farm Maurset, and to the saeters. After crossing two bridges we ascended over a newly - made road, built over the débris fallen from the mountains, at the expense of Turist-forening; the members of which have built roads and paths over points before inaccessible, and shelter-houses for mountain travellers, and who publish a valuable periodical every year. On the way one sees the letter " T," with the date of 1870, cut in a rock, showing when this road was finished by the society. This well-made path is about six feet wide, and leads to the end of the valley, and to the foot of Vüring-foss. From here a fine view of the water-fall can now be obtained, whereas formerly it could only be seen from the heights above. Everywhere are traces of the silent work of glaciers. The first water-fall plunged silver-like over the will on the right bank of the stream, swaying to and fro in the wind like a gigantic bridal veil.
The booming sound of the great fall became louder and louder as we advanced, and after crossing a bridge we found ourselves at the foot of Voring-foss. Its heavy body of water fell perpendicularly from a height of 700 feet, in a solid column; after passing through four rocky channels with tremendons force, three of the columns leap over without torching the rock, though you can follow them .all, running distinctly side by side with unequal rapidity. The great current of air created by the fall caused the spray to shoot forward, curling itself, and then, according to its violence, ascending gently to a height of 2000 feet. The body of water of Voring-foss is greater than those of the Rjukand, the Môrk-foss, or the Skjæg gedal-foss. On the other side of the Voring a cascade of much greater height, the Fosseli, comes down into the valley from a height of 2000 feet.
This sheet of water, about twenty-five miles long, and varying in breadth from one mile to a few hundred yards, is incontestably the loveliest of the fjords of Norway, and is probably unsurpassed, for I doubt that any sheet of water can equal it for beauty. It runs nearly north and south, separated from the main fjord by a mountain range crowned by the snow-fields and glaciers of Folgefonn, and from above the water-fall plunges down a distance of between 2000 and 3000 feet.
I had changed my boat and crew at Utne, a thriving hamlet on the fjord, and, as the wind was light, had ample time to en-joy the beautiful panorama, restraining my boatmen, who were lazily reclining on the seats, from taking their oars to speed us on our way.
Eight shores were in view—those of Eid fjord, the Sorfjord, the Kinservik, a deep bay-like fjord, and the Utne. After entering the Sôr fjord, promontory after promontory appeared in succession. I counted eight spurs on one side, and four on the other, at the same time, their outlines ever changing as we sailed along. The great glacier of Folgefonn towered above the autumn landscape, seeming often to come to the very edge of the mountain, and ready to fall in pieces over the precipice. The mountain slopes abruptly into the sea from a full height of 5000 feet. A row of high cones (nuts), Solnut, 4650 feet, Torsnut, 5060 feet, Veranut, Langgrônut, and the rest of the range form the supporting wall of the plateau towards the east. On the east side of the fjord the more recent strata of the blue quartz and clay slate lay over the primitive granite or gneiss. In the early morning everything was reflected in the still waters of the fjord in a most perfect manner—glaciers, mountains, rivulets, snow-patches, trees, farm-houses, even the smallest rocks were seen, and, while looking at the water, we seemed to be travelling on the land.
Beyond Ullensvang the glacier was more distinctly seen, and often the ice-mountain sides became more abrupt, and approached nearer to the water. At the farm of Hofland the fields extend to the end of the promontory, and a beautiful cascade tumbles down from rock to rock. At Fresvik the mountains form a semicircle, with several water-falls on the western shore, and give a fine view of the glacier. As we approached Tyssedal the mountain supporting the glacier exhibited almost perpendicular cliffs, black and gray in color; some were smooth, and others rugged and torn. The Tyssedal River rushes down into the fjord, which soon after narrows itself more and more, the mountains looking dismal, and the terraces becoming very distinct. The hamlet of Odde is at the end of the fjord ; but on the eastern shore, about four miles from Odde, near the right bank of the river, is a difficult bridle-path leading to Lake Ringedal, on whose shore is Nor-way's most beautiful water-fall, the Skjaggedal-foss.
At first the road led through a fir forest; the Tyssedal rushed on its downward course, dashing violently against the boulders in its bed. In one place the stream bent around a small, smooth, rocky islet, covering it so thinly that the effect was like that of myriads of particles of ice sparkling in the sun; on each side the water flowed furiously, its clouds of spray floating on the currents of air. Where there was no shade the heat was intense, for it was the month of July, and the sun's rays were reflected from the bare rocks.
The path became more difficult as we advanced ; we had to cross broken masses of rocks, boulders, and sometimes smooth rounded domes of gneiss, which sloped so much that the way was almost dangerous; happily, the coarser and harder part of the rock had resisted decomposition, and its roughened surface prevented us from slipping down ; in two or three places trees had been felled, and made fast at points where the in-cline was very steep, for if the traveller should lose his footing he would inevitably roll down to certain death.
The higher we ascended the finer became the view on the other side of the fjord, the green: opaque color of the sea contrasting with the foaming river ; occasionally we had a glimpse of the immense plateau of snow and ice of the Folgefonn. Never during my travels in Norway did I see such superb water effects grouped together. Here the stream flowed in a solid, smooth, deep, crystal-like mass; farther down it struck against a rock, or rushed through a narrow chasm, and tumbled into a pool, a foaming, angry, white torrent—at times, through the foam, the water appearing of the greenish color of tourmaline, and where it was deep, of dark-blue, and when shallow, the pebbles were as of silver. The beauty of the stream was no doubt due, in great part, to the very long period of dry weather that year, to the rocky bed of the river, and to the extreme purity of the water in Lake Ringedal.
Having reached the highest point, we descended by a regular flight of steps, the path skirting a chasm several hundred feet deep; and, after two hours and a half, we came to the Tyssedal. The little valley was picturesque, with the bright sun of July shining upon it ; but it must be dreary in the win-ter, when the winds from the mountain-tops sweep over the lake and the farms. We passed a magnificent cascade, which, at an angle of about 35°, fell from a height of several hundred feet, and then crossed two small bridges over the outlet of Ringedals Vand:
As I approached the water's edge I was struck by the peculiar appearance of the water, which was of a steel-blue color close to the shore, and a few feet from it of a darker blue. I had never seen, among the hundreds of lakes of Norway, any-thing approaching this deep shade of blue, which appeared almost black: the bluest of the tropical seas could not compare with the color of this lake, nor could the lakes of the Swiss Alps. In a basin of granite, it stands 1310 feet above the sea; but how many feet below, I had no means of ascertaining.
As we sailed along, the Tyssedal-foss burst upon our view, the two branches forming a triangle, uniting in a foaming mass below, after a fall from a height of about 1600 feet, sending up clouds of spray; the water was then lost to view, as it passed through a crooked channel down a deep chasm to form a second fall about 500 feet in height ; at this point the granite rises about 2300 feet, and, resting upon it, as the engraving shows, is a layer of clay slate 720 feet thick, over which the, water throws itself.
I had hardly ceased wondering at the sight, while listening as we went along to the roar of the descending torrent, when suddenly the Skjœggedal, called also Ringedal (the latter name ought to be adopted on account of its easy pronunciation),with, its white column, came plunging over the ledge into the chasm below in one grand leap of 800 feet. Immediately. after taking this leap it struck a ledge of rocks, and was sent rebounding into, a thousand foaming fragments of dazzling whiteness. The angry, turbulent, chaotic, and heavy mass, on its way downward, beat against another ledge, and formed a still thicker 'and heavier cloud of foam and spray. The body of water precipitated itself with such velocity as to create a powerful current of air, which caused the lighter spray to assume a hundred beautiful fantastic shapes. At one moment it was wreathed into a spiral column—water-spout—coiling and recoiling upon itself, bounding forward, coining back, mounting up, then descending—reascending again, breaking itself, assuming new shapes and indescribable transformations, and then suddenly pushed downward with great force, where it struck a third ledge, and disappeared in a compact and impenetrable mist, hiding the lower part of the fall. This vast white cloud,constantly. replenished from the heights above, was sent forward skimming swiftly through the narrow gorge over the beau tiful clear crystal stream, which, after flowing on some 200 yards, again formed a second fall of about 50 feet, from which the spray, ascending to the top of the hills, appeared like a thin vapor floating in the air.
I had seen hundreds of large and thousands of small falls in Norway; . many were much higher, but none had ever impressed nie with their beauty like the Ringedal ; I gazed at it for hours, and new combinations and wonderful forms continuaIly presented themselves.
When I returned to the farm the travellers' book was handed to me. A few Englishmen had written their names in it.
Two gentlemen from Boston had been here, and three American ladies, the only female strangers who had at that time visited the place, viz., Miss Williams, Miss Cutler, Miss Z. I. Cutler, Maine, U. S., July 6th, 1872. They hailed from the land of Pines. I felt very much like congratulating them, and in a fit of enthusiasm, for which the reader, I hope, will pardon me, for I am an admirer of plucky women, I shouted, "Hurrah for the girls of Maine !" A row of one hour on the fjord brought us to Odde; from which the tourist should not fail to visit the Buer-brœen, one of the glaciers of the Folgefonn.
At a short distance from Odde is the Sandven Vaud, a lake said to be without fish, on account of the cold stream from the glacier. Not far from its lower end is the valley of Jordal, at the upper part of which is Buer-bræen. A path leading to-wards the end of this narrow dale is quite easy of ascent, the rise being very gradual, and the distance to the glacier about two miles. Four years before my first visit in the valley a vast amount of stone had fallen with a terrific roar, which in the distance sounded like thunder, sending its echoes from hill to hill. At every step there was something to notice, either while looking at the mountains, or watching the stream as it came plunging down. In one place the snow-fields of Folgefonn rest on a plateau forming a peninsula, bounded on the east by the Sor fjord, the Sandven lake, and the valley that follows ; on the west and north by the Hardanger, and on the south partly by the Aakre fjord. On the east side, as we have seen, mountains fall abruptly. On the north and north-west-ern sides they are lower, and not as abrupt or naked. On the south side, towards Aakre fjord, they are also lower, but in some places are very precipitous and bare. The Folgefonn is fringed by numerous glaciers. Among the most important on the north-west side is the Bondhus - braeen, which is much larger than the one we have just described.
The limits of perpetual snow vary, as I said before: in lat. 60° 3', towards the east, 3440 feet; by Blaadalsholmene, 59° 55' lat., towards the south-west, 3940 feet ; by Gjerdesdal, 61° 8' lat., towards the north-west, 2480 feet. The highest point of the snow-clad ridge is 5270 feet. Numerous little lakes are found near the glaciers. A ridge of mountains crosses the Folgefonn in a north-westerly, Wand. south-easterly direction, forming the Svartdal (black dale) and the Blaadal (blue dale); and another ridge forms the Kvit-nâadal. 'Blocks of stone mixed with sand' showed their unmistakable origin. The glacier had reached this point years before, had retired, and was now again advancing; while higher up our path continued through a wood, in which numerous moss-covered stones-could be seen, showing that the glacier had not reached that altitude for a very long time.
The view of that narrow glacier was imposing, impressing the mind with a sense of the great power of destruction possessed by a vast body of moving ice. In the study of other glaciers, which were retiring, we have seen how the boulders and smaller stones have been deposited in the fields in former times, and could trace, by the marks of the ice on the rocks, the course taken—but now, standing before the Buer-broeen, we could understand how valleys had been dug out of the solid rock by that most destructive form of water, the glacier. The huge, irresistible mass was still advancing slowly, and had done so for a long time. My guide said it had advanced more than fifty feet since the previous year, driving everything before it. All along the base of the ice was a transverse ridge of earth, in which fresh greensward and stones were mingled together, which the glacier pushed forward as it glided over the rocks. On the right was a huge mass of rock, which had been torn apart by the pressure of the advancing ice. The weight which had overcome this obstacle must have been enormous, for the evidence of such terrific force was before my eyes. Not- even the solid mountain walls, composed of the hardest of our rocks, could arrest the forward march of the terrible glacier. This block of granite, torn from the mountain side, was about twenty feet long and fifteen broad. It had been broken unevenly, and Was still covered with moss part of it was overlapped by the ice; and the upper stratum of the glacier, having a stronger current than the lower,would finally run over it and hide it from view as the onward march continued; and when the glacier again retired, the boulder would be deposited on some new resting-place. The glacier came down a steep gorge, leaping three distinct ledges of rock, and it was crowded between solid walls not more than 250 to 300 yards wide towards its end. The moraines seen higher up on each side above were engulfed farther down into deep crevasses formed by the pressure of the ice and ledges. On its left were towering mountains; Mount Reina being 5210 feet above the sea, and the second highest point of the Folgefonn. The ice was of a magnificent blue ; the cavern was small, but extremely beautiful ; and its stream was far from being as dirty as those of the glaciers of the Justedal. Lower down in the valley, not far from the glacier, was the Buer farm ; and from the mountain-side came a cascade between 700 and 800 feet in height. The owner of the little farm was in great tribulation. He saw with much anxiety the steady advance of the ice, which had already destroyed some of his pasture-land at the head of the valley, and in a few years would probably sweep away the little wood which we had passed on our way up; then the farmer would be compelled to find new quarters, and perhaps be a ruined man. He had tried to sell his farm, but nobody was willing to buy it, fearing to cast away their money. It would not be strange, indeed, if in the course of forty or fifty years this glacier should reach the very shore of the Sandven lake, whence it could go no farther, for the ice would melt in the water; but glaciers are fickle, both in their forward and retrograde movements, and in a few years the Buer-brœen may retire instead of advancing.