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Sunnfjord and Nordfjord together with Sogn make up Sogn and Fjordane – a part of Norway with fjords, valleys and mountains, waterways and waterfalls. The climate is extremely varied, while the landscape ranges from arable to barren, and from mild fertility to storm and landslide.

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    Haakon Michael Harris / Norsk Folkemuseum
Farming, animal husbandry, forestry, hunting and fishing were the most important sources of livelihood. The closer one lived to the coast, the more important fishing became in relation to other livelihoods. Fruit and berries were often grown in sheltered, sunny places.

The older farms most often lay on natural terraces near the fjords and in the valleys. Hilly terrain led to farm buildings being gathered in clusters so that the best land could be used for crops.

The sea was the traffic artery between fjord and coastal areas, and back and forth to the town of Bergen. There was also traffic on foot or on horseback along the valleys and up across the mountain plateaus. Improvements came in the late 1700s with the building of main roads. From about 1840 steamboat traffic started up.