For those who feel that the country’s more developed mountain areas have become like miniature cities – both in traffic, population numbers and activity levels – Uvdal again stands as a liberating counterpart.
There is more room here in the per capita areas than any other municipality in Norway south of Mjøsa, with an entire square kilometer to romp on average, set against 0.08 in the rest of the country.
“It is probably easier to experience the quietness of Uvdal than many other places,” says Geir Prestegården, owner of Uvdal Snekkerverskted. “And to me the silence is crucial.”
Geir has deep family roots here in Uvdal, enough to have the family name sketched into the benches on the local stave church. He calls the experience of the landscape “soulbeat”: the meditative state one comes in when the heart beats slowly and the lonely width lies undulating and elongated toward the horizon.
“It is probably easier to experience the tranquility in Uvdal than many other places”
“These days, relaxation is more important than ever,” he says. “When you sit down in the evening, hurry up, full of thoughts, when the carousel goes around and around – then it is crucial to be able to seek peace here in the mountains.”
According to such criteria, it is easy to believe that the cabins in Uvdal will be of simple standard, but in Fjellsnaret the opposite is true. The plots – beautifully located at the top of the birch belt, with long sun day and magnificent views towards the Hardangervidda – are adapted with water, municipal sewerage, electricity and fiber optic cable for TV and the Internet. Some have district heating from their own wood-fired bioenergy plant; all are sold ready-made with all-year road and secured by boom and surveillance.
One who chose Uvdal and the mountain nets is the grandchild of Øyvind Flygind.
“I work a lot and rely on efficient infrastructure. But I also want good access to beautiful nature for myself and the family, ”he says. “Here I get both.”
A lot of consideration has been given to both nature and the environment, as well as the numerous cultural heritage sites in Uvdal and the old seating aesthetics.
“I want the children to have an early and strong relationship with mountains and outdoor life. In Uvdal everything is well organized, ”he says. “Not too close, not too distant, but just right …”
First and foremost, as with all cabin owners in Uvdal, it is nature that counts most for Øyvind Flygind and the family. The short transition between the valley and Hardangervidda; the many possibilities for alpine or cross-country skiing or just the pleasure of experiencing “soulbeat” in the mighty landscape.
The working day is nearing the end, the evening fog comes in from the Hardangervidda and the darkness has sunk over the landscape, but not at Uvdal Snekkerverksted
From the premises on the edge of county road 40, near the west side of the Fønnebøfjord, tailor-made interior solutions are produced for both households and holiday homes. A number of cabins, apartments and houses here in Uvdal, Nore, Fjellsnaret, Dagali and large parts of Eastern Norway, are decorated according to the carpentry workshop’s own design – whether modern, traditional or somewhere in between.
“There is plenty of inspiration to take off in the area,” says Geir Prestegården.
The furniture production has been going on in the valley since 1988, and although the workshop has now been expanded to employ a staff of about 20 craftsmen, Geir tells that the personal “touchen” is always preserved.
“Many who have only dealt with big producers before, like the close contact one gets with the workshop,” he says. “You do not come to an anonymous operator when calling, but the same person you have talked to from day one.”
“Nature,” he says with a smile. “The nature, the silence and the exceptionally good place. Everyone – both poor and rich – can get physical and mental replenishment of walking in this landscape. “
It is, as Geir Prestegården tells, an old truth here in Uvdal, which well summarizes the people’s close relationship with nature.
“Most people talk about being in the mountains, but here in the neighborhoods you talk more about being in the mountains. You may have to experience it yourself before you understand the difference, but it is great. “