Tonje Lilleås


Close to my home village Stranda lies the beautiful valley Fausadalen. Here in Fausadalen, my mothers fiancé grew up in a picturesque farm, and we are lucky enough to get to spend time here during our visits.
One of the first times I visited P-garden and hiked the mountains around Fausadalen, I wrote a poem about its magnificence and the beautiful surroundings filling me with calm. I will not share the poem here as it is in Norwegian and does not translate well. But I will try to show what I wrote about through some selected images. I’m not sure the images do Fausadalen justice, but I hope it makes some of you want to go and visit the area and see for yourself.
The image above is of Nysætervatnet. I really loved the lighting conditions this day, and spent a lot of time shooting the lake. There’s something about the weather at Sunnmøre that often offers very difficult and flat light, so when one has a day like this one, one has to spend time with the camera. Originally the plan was to bring the camera on a hike with my wife, son and mothers fiancé, but they just had to go ahead, because I could’t stop shooting and they didn’t have the patience to wait.
Nysætervatnet were really depleted at the time we were in Fausadalen this year, and this gave some interesting elements to the images. Such as the red stones where the boat is resting. Normally these would not have been showing, they would have been under water, so this gave me some new ways to compose images from the lake. The reason for depletion is that the river from Nysætervatnet down to the fjord some 250 metres below Fausadalen, has been developed for hydropower.
I think I could have continued shooting all day as the clouds shifting and the sun moving behind me constantly gave new opportunities for composing images at the location I chose. But as my company returned and was ready to walk back home from the hike, I joined them. On my way back to P-garden I think I could have written a thousand new poems about the beauties of Fausadalen, I was filled to the brim with praise.
Over the next few days, the weather gave us pretty challenging light. A typical week at Sunnmøre during summer holds more than one day of rain, fog, mist, and clouds. But where there’s rain, there’s also rainbows. One evening we were lucky enough to get two at the same time, and it was truly a magnificent view from the living room window.
We hiked short hikes almost every day, and that’s one of the the things I love the most about Fausadalen. There are endless possibilities of hiking. There are good trails, but also many amazing places to discover if you just go out and explore. One of the places we always try to hike is to “sætra”, the place where one stayed while the livestock was grazing in the mountains during summer. This year we had to drive as far as we could, due to the fact that my leg doesn’t cope with all the walking uphill anymore (and my son being only 18 months also made the decision to get a little help uphill pretty easy). But we had a really nice hike, and my son really enjoyed being out with the whole family.
I had planned for some specific images that was my main goal to get from Fausadalen this summer. They are from a ledge hanging 250 metres above the fjord, and I had so much fun shooting there. I got some of the shots I wanted, and will share these in my next post. Stay tuned!

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