Kvasfossen (or Kvåsfossen; I think is pronounced “KVOS-foss-un”) was the lone waterfall we saw in the Vest-Agder county during our June 2005 trip. In order to see this waterfall, we took a fairly short detour from our drive between Kristiansand and Stavanger. According to the interpretive sign here, this waterfall was said to be 36m tall though I wasn’t so certain if it was really that tall unless they might have counted the cumulative drop of all of its cascades and drops on the Lygna river. We only witnessed the drops immediately around the bridge near the signposted car park. That said, the falls represented the section of the highest drop of the river where the remainder of its system was said to be calm. In fact, the name of the river was said to be derived from the old Norwegian word “logn” meaning calm or sheltered.
The sign also mentioned that there was rock called the Kvåsstein that the bridge rested upon that split the flow of the waterfall river in two amidst the series of cascades. We didn’t really pay attention to that particular rock, but according to legends, a troll had put that rock there to prevent salmon from continuing upstream (though it probably had more to do with a chunk of rock that eroded off and tumbled into the valley). Speaking of salmon, it was said that many salmon and sea trout could be found making their way up from the fjords to this waterfall, which then represented a barrier for further progress.
From the car park, we took a short path leading to a bridge above the falls. On the front side of the bridge, we then walked downstream along the fenced cliff edges for awkward angled views of parts of the waterfall. After crossing the bridge, we then went downstream towards an unsigned fenced area with a more direct but partial view of the falls. Indeed, it was difficult to get a clean photo of Kvasfossen as the walls and rocks of the gorge tended to block some part of the view of the falls no matter which viewing angle we tried.
From Kristiansand, we drove west on the E39 for about 70km to the junction with Road 43 in the town of Rom (near Lyngdal). We then turned right and headed north on the Road 43 for about 15km to a well-signed area with some space for us to park the car and explore.
Something worth noting was that as we continued driving towards Stavanger after returning to the E39, we made another detour further west along the Route 44 to the steep-walled Jøssingfjord. In addition to being very scenic, it was said to be the location of the first conflict in Scandinavia during the second World War due to the so-called Altmark Incident, where Norwegian authorities were said to have been belligerent against the occupation forces of Germany and thus broke their neutrality.
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