Sunday, May 30, 2010

Mountains and Setters

Setter, that's a word well known in Shetland, since many places bear the name in one form or another.
Here in Norway, where undoubtedly the name came from, a 'Seter' is basically a hill farm. In times past the cattle would be taken up to the high pastures for the summer months, and either the farmers wife, or daughter would go with them to take care of the herd, milk them, and make cheese and butter from the milk. Small cabins were built for accomodation, and many of these small cabins still exist. In the case where it was the farmers daughter who was living at the setter during the summer, you can imagine that it was a popular place for the young men to visit, and many a lasting relationship was formed in such a setting.
In more recent years many more cabins have been built as summer cabins. I think most of the locals I work with have a cabin somewhere in the local mountains.
The access roads to these setters are just gravel roads, but are maintained to a fairly high standard, thanks to the Toll charge for access.

We took a run up one of these roads today, to Daugstadsetra.
At the bottom of the road there is a payment point.
The charge in this case was 40 Kroner. There are envelopes which you write your name and registration number on, tear off the duplicate slip from the front, which is your 'pay and display' ticket, then put the money in the envelope and post it in the cash box. It's a payment system designed around trust, but the fee is always worth paying for the views that can be seen from these roads.
As can be seen from this picture, the lower part of these roads are like most roads in Norway, nothing but trees.
But once you get up to the setter where the cabins are, everything looks different.
At about 460 metres there aren't very many trees.
Signposts point towards suggest walks. Note that there are no distances given, just estimated walking time. (time = hour, hence the t after the number)
But, as the title of this post suggests, the following pictures are the reason for driving up to a setter. Click on any of the pictures for a larger view.
I never stop being fascinated by scenes like those.

On the way back down I snapped this picture, looking across Tresfjord, towards our home at Vestnes.
Just about where I took this picture there was a picnic spot, with table and chairs which could certainly stand up to a Shetland storm.
Hope you enjoyed the scenes.
I have a lot more pictures from this afternoon out, mostly of the river which runs down from Daugstadsetra. I'm also going to stitch together some panorama pictures, so the next post could stretch my picture handling capabilities a bit.

Yun's aa fir enoo,
Da Auld Een

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