Utstein Abbey, Harald's Home
The Calm after the Storm
Harald and his troops must have been relieved to settle and farm the area around the present Utstein Abbey after their long fight for dominance. There is some doubt over the dates of the Battle of Hafrsfjord since 872AD would have made Harald a twelve year old at the time. Around 900AD is more likely. Either way his tenure at the farm was a long one before the farm fell into ruin. The present Abbey was built on the same site starting in 1260. It is possible that Harald’s descendant Harald Hardrada ‘The Last Great Viking King’ moved to found Oslo in 1049 but the archeological work is still in progress.
Whatever the facts are the area today is peaceful and quiet and the stillness paved the way for our minds to travel back across the centuries to the birth of Norway as a united country and the hustle and bustle of farming at Harald’s farm.
The view from Fjoloy Lighthouse at the end of the neighbouring island from south to north out over the North Sea, the way we would be heading the next day was spectacular and Svein’s lighthouse was clearly visible on the mainland to the south.
Our short sojourn in Norway was nearly over but one thing was for sure, we would be back for more.