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High above the fjord, 600 metres above sea level lie the two Kjeåsen mountain farms.
Nowadays of course it’s a comfortable car ride through a tunnel, blasted out by the power company in Sima but until 1974 there were no roads to Kjeåsen, just – by our standards – an impossibly difficult walk up to the farms, but here they found the land to be rich in natural resources, with hunting, trapping and fishing as the main sources of income for the inhabitants. The rich soil at the farm is full of nourishment, and the sun is guaranteed almost all year round.
Many generations have carried all they need on their backs up to Kjeåsen. It took 30 years to build one of the houses. All the materials had to be carried up, plank by plank. The heaviest load carried up to Kjeåsen is said to be a 90 kilogramme grindstone. A motorised cableway was built in the 1930’s, making the transport of goods a much easier task.
The highest number of children at one time at Kjeåsen was 13. They attended school in Simadal, and the way to school was dangerous. During the summer months the children walked up and down every day, but the path was too dangerous in the winter so they stayed with relatives in Simadal.
The watercourse on the plateau has always been of prime importance to Simadal. The valley was flooded in 1893 and 1937, and in the last flood 20 houses were swept into the fjord, but there was no loss of life.
Construction of the power station in Simadal commenced in 1973 and was completed in 1981. “Modern times” came to Kjeåsen with the road and the construction work. The road served to increase the influx of tourists, and Kjeåsen is now one of the most-visited tourist venues in the community.
The road to the farm starts in Simadal, about 8 km from Eidfjord/Rv7. The road up to the farm is 5 km long and consists of about 2.5 km windy road, the rest through a narrow tunnel. It's not possible to go by foot or bike through the tunnel. Due to narrow road, hourly driving has been introduced. Traffic up to Kjeåsen every full hour, traffic down from Kjeåsen on the half hour. You can also hike the trail up the steep mountain side, starting below the Sima Powerplant, about 1-1,5 hours each way. Great view.
One can drive up just to enjoy the view, or groups can book a visit at Bjørg Wiik’s court yard, she will welcome you and play a CD that tells the story of Kjeåsen.Group booking at the tourist office. Sale of souvenirs to groups.