The landscape in this very particular part of Norway is relatively flat and was once below sea level. As the enormous amounts of heavy ice melted after the last ice age, the seabed slowly rose to become dry and fertile land. In places, the landscape moved up by as much as several hundred metres.
Whether it be on a rainy day – or a beautiful summer’s day like this one – the coastal paths take us through some pleasing stretches of Norwegian scenery. It is a journey through the now – but also through history. Since time immemorial, people have utilised these surroundings to eke out a living: farming, hunting and fishing.
The cultural landscape
Many farms in this area of the country have kept the old barns – built a hundred years ago or more. Sadly, except for many horses, the domestic animals that lived in them are more or less gone. The soil in Østfold is perfect for the cultivation of food plants and therefore best utilised for that purpose. In other parts of Norway – best suited for grass production – you will find cows and sheep in abundance.
In recent years, we have seen the return of the sheep to some farms also in Østfold. They are mainly there to make sure that the non-cultivated sections of the old cultural landscape stay open and free of the otherwise rapidly expanding natural growth.
Exploring the secrets of a beautiful landscape
The landscape surrounding the Oslofjord is a summer holiday hotspot. With its many islands and islets, beaches and forests, it is a world eagerly explored by the Norwegian children – in generation after generation. After a long and cold winter, the Norwegian summer is a time for roaming the land and enjoying the warmth of the sun. A hot summer’s day may well be the day that the playing children find the secret entrance to the abandoned home of the trolls inside a mountain – or build an imaginary cabin under an exciting rock formation. And if the day is cold, they just put on some more clothes – and keep on running.
Read more about Norwegian history in The old Norwegian farm | the storehouse – stabburet
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