Hvaler

 

Hvaler is a municipality and a group of island located on the South-East coast of Norway, south of the city of Fredrikstad. The name is the plural form of hval, which means "whale". The form and shape of the islands resemble a pod of whales. The last Ice Age formed the rock, creating soft, sculptured forms.

 

The municipality consists of four main islands, connected by bridges and a tunnel. All told, it municipality has 833 island larger than 20 m2. The permanent population is around 4500 inhabitants. Skjærhalden is the community center. Originally, this was a fishing community, and production of granite blocks from a number of quarries. Fishing continue to be the main business, where about 1/3 of the population is employed.  Hvaler has the largest fishing harbour - Utgårdkilen - East of Lindesnes, on the southernmost tip of Norway. Shrimp fishery is still the mainstay.

 

The highest elevation is only 72 meter. A large body of water towards the mainland combined with the low elevation, contribute to the very nice summer weather the area is blessed with. Therefore, many people have summer houses here, and during the high season the population may exceed 20 000.

 

The South-West coastline is facing the Skagerak Ocean, where the weather may be pretty rough. Therefore, this part of the coast has sparse vegetation, providing open spaces and grand vistas. These factors provide many nice photography opportunities, and in particular the soft landscapes, created during the last Ice Age.

 

The picture collection shows the sculpered coastline, fishing communities, people enjoying their vacation, as well as sparse, windblown plants and other vegetation. The sunsets are indeed very nice, partly due to the coastline on West side of the Oslo Fjord collecting low clouds during the evenings.