Hesjedalsfossen (I think is pronounced “HEH-sheh-dahls-foss-un”) was a dual waterfall that we managed to notice just before we were about to enter a tunnel.
It was a good thing we noticed it because I doubted that we would’ve seen it at all had we gone into the tunnel given its somewhat easy-to-miss location.
The falls was said to be 70m tall as it faced the Oster Fjord (Osterfjorden; the fjord of cheese?).
We were able to see the falls from the stone road bridge right before the tunnel, which yielded the photo you see at the top of this page.
We also went to the bottom of the bridge where it was possible to go under it and scramble closer to the waterfall itself.
It was raining hard during our visit in June 2005 so we didn’t stay very long at the falls.
When we went to the bottom of the bridge, we were also hesitant to scramble further beneath the bridge and onto the rocky base of the falls given how wet and slippery all the rocks were from both the rain and the spray of the falls.
Speaking of the spray, Hesjedalsfossen was said to be fed by lakes in the hanging Hesjedal Valley (Hesjedalen).
This waterfall had the distinction of being on the only river in the Vaksdal municipality (kommune) that wasn’t disturbed for hydroelectric purposes (at least as of our visit in June 2005).
According to my Norwegian dictionary, the word hes meant “horse”, but the word “hesje” meant haydrying rack.
So based on these translations, the compound word hesjedal could mean something like “horse valley” or “haydrying rack valley” (the latter wouldn’t make much sense, I’d imagine).
Whatever the case may be with the names, I’d imagine if there was some way to be on the fjord, it might yield a more contextual and satisfying view of the falls than what we were able to get from the road and beneath the bridge.
The falls was about 16km north of the E16/Fv569 junction on the county road (Fylkesvei) 569. It was to our right just before the south entrance of a tunnel fronted by a stone bridge. The turnoff to leave the E16 was about 38km west of Voss or about 65km northeast of Bergen (30km north on the E16 from the E16/Fv7 junction).
While driving the Fv569, we had to be careful as it was narrow (almost single-lane) for just about its entire stretch. But we had to share the road in bi-directional traffic with other motorists (including trucks) who were more comfortable passing by us without flinching on that narrow road (that made us uncomfortable).
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