Welcome to a historical view-stop!
Hovland Farm is situated 180 metres above sea level on the south side of the Sognefjord, with a view over to Balestrand. There has been a settlement at Hovland as far back as 600. A.D, pre Viking era. The current owners, Kjersti and Geir, will lead the historical stop at Hovland, lasting around 90 minutes. Both speak English and German. The tour will start with the usual formalities and of course time to appreciate the majestic view.
We will then lead the guests in to the meadow; information about the farm will be given on route. Kjerstis parents have run the farm for the past 40 years, they speak English and German as well, guests will be given the opportunity to view and possibly participate in some of the daily farm labour. This could be anything from drying hay, making hay balls, splitting and stacking wood etc, etc. We have a very friendly small flock of sheep and do not forget the lambs, they love nothing more than saying hello.
After this we continue in to “Gamlestova” where the fire will be lit and the coffeepot ready. “Gamlestova-cottage” is an old blackhouse, and has a separate area for living and another for brewing. In the living area guests will be able to participate in the various activities that inhabitants would have enjoyed during the long evenings such as carding wool, spinning, knitting, whittling and turning wood for furniture and tools. Also there is a loom for weaving. Whilst enjoying the coffee and household chores guests will learn about life on the farm from 1735-1900 when “Gamlestova” was in use. Hovland was a large and important farm in Vik. The farm had its own sawmill and smithy meaning the inhabitants were more or less self-sufficient when it came to materials and tools. For guests especially interested in these we will offer a tour. As we know what was cultivated on the farm during this time it is possible for us to say something about the diet.
It was limited how many people one could feed on the farm. A large family meant harder times. It was difficult to claim new land, and people in the countryside were looking for solutions and better prospects. Many emigrated to America, and we are one of many families in Western Norway who have family in the states, with whom we are still in contact. We will be able to say a lot about the emigration from Vik to America, if there is a interest for this. The emigration was formidable, in the village Arnafjorden, 110% of the occupants emigrated! We will gladly explain how this was possible. For more information on emigration from Hovland and Vik, visit the tag Historie-Our American History. Behind “Gamlestova” we find “Gamlehagen”, or “The old garden”, where Kjersti now has her kitchengarden and a greenhouse. This is a peaceful little garden, which was originally created by Kjerstis great grandmother, Brita.
To end we will take the coffepot, platters with «gamalost» and «fenalår», down to Theodor house. We will make our way via the cellar, where the guests will be able to make their own flatbread on our wood fuelled griddle. We will then bring the food in to the Theodor house. If the weather is nice we will eat outside overlooking the views, if the weather is bad we will end the visit inside Theodor house. Here we will enjoy coffee, fresh mountain water, fenalår – cured leg of lamb – homemade sourcream porridge, your selfmade flatbread, gamalost – old cheese – and cranberry jam, as well as converse about various food traditions here in Sogn.
Our understanding is that this plan opens for flexibility, depending on our guests interests. We can go back to various activities, techniques, machines and cooking if people wish. Meaning we are able to cater to every guest. We will be able to continuously tie the dialog up to history and the current running of Hovland farm. Please contact us for further information about time & price.
Hopperstad stave church lies in the centre of Vik. We will gladly extend the stop to include a tour here if wanted. Kjersti has worked as a guide in the church previously, and will join you as your guide.