THE FIRST EXCURSIONS
The first tourists showed up in Briksdal in the middle of the 1800s. At this time, most of the visitors were wealthy, English people. But tourism increased when the road from Rustøen, at the southern end of the lake, to Briksdal was built in 1890.Transport to the glacier by horse and hay-wagons was arranged by the farmers, and later of course with carriages.
BY BOAT ALONG THE LAKES
Boats would take the tourists to Rustøen, and the first one was S/B “Victoria” and was built around1895. Right after that the farmers bought a second one, S/B “Briksdal”. The Briksdal excursions became very popular, and after WW I tourism exploded in western Norway. One to two thousand tourists could visit Briksdal in one day! A roundtrip ticket on the Olden Lake would cost 30 øre in those days, a little more than 1/3 of one kroner.
NO ROAD ACCESS UNTIL 1955
Olden Valley had no road connection with the outer world until 1955, so the locals were dependent on boating on the lake – the lake was the highway so to speak. The first boat with a combustion engine came to the valley in 1915 and served the population and the tourists on a daily basis all year round.
FROM FARMING TO TOURISM
I 1891-92 Anders Briksdal built a mountain lodge where he among other things sold beer, soft drinks, milk, bread and sour cream porridge. Those who were passing by the route over the glacier through Oldeskaret could also find lodging there. During WW II we had of course no tourism here, and after the war we combined farming, especially keeping goats, with tourism. As tourism increased, the goats were sold in 1966 and the goat house was rebuilt to serve the purpose of providing overnight stays and a souvenir shop. In 2005 the Troll Cars took the place of the horses and carts to increase the capacity.