The first trips
In the mid-19th century the first tourists, mainly wealthy Englishmen, ventured up to Briksdal. Tourist numbers increased significantly once the road was built from Rustøen to Briksdal around 1890. Many visitors were driven up to the glacier in hay wagons, which were later replaced by pony traps.
Ferry traffic on the lake
Tourists travelled up to Rustøen by boat. The first boat was called S/B “Victoria” and ferried passengers from around 1895. Then came the S/B “Briksdal”. The trip up Olden Valley and Briksdal was extremely popular. After World War 1 the flow of tourists here virtually exploded. Between one and two thousand tourists could visit Briksdal in one day. A return trip on Olden Lake aboard the “Briksdal” cost NOK 0.30 (in 2015, the equivalent of two English pence, or 3 U.S. cents).
Olden Valley was without a road until 1955, so inhabitants here were dependent on the lake as a thoroughfare out of the valley. The first engine-powered vessel began operation in 1915 and ran a scheduled service daily throughout the year.
From farming to tourism
In 1891-92 Anders Briksdal built a tourist cabin where he sold ale, fizzy drinks, milk, bread, and rømmekolle – clabbered milk. People planning to cross the glacier to Jostedalen or Jølster via Mt. Oldeskaret could overnight here. All tourism activities stopped during World War 2. After the war he engaged in both tourism and farming, but tourism took more and more of his time, and in 1966 the goat flock was sold. The milking shed and barn was rebuilt as a souvenir shop and accommodation for tourists. In 2005 the Fjording pony traps were replaced by “Troll cars” with better capacity.
More than 20 Fjording horses transported visitors to Briksdal in summer. At the close of the 19th century transport was first via hay wagons, followed by pony traps in the valley. Elegant carriages with Fjording ponies and pony traps carried tourists from Olden Lake up to Briksdal. The way from the Mountain Lodge (Fjellstova) to Briksdal Glacier was built by the farmers in the valley, who established Olden Valley transport association and offered this service to the tourists. In 2003 “Troll cars” took over the transport service from the Mountain Lodge to the holding place near the glacier.
Invigorating spray from the waterfall
When the glacier melts it swells many waterfalls so they thunder and cascade down the mountainsides. The invigorating spray or shower from the waterfalls adds to the overall fantastic experience one has when visiting Briksdal.