Aursfjord is a branch of Malangen Fjord in Balsfjord. It is a beautiful little drive just 40 minutes south-west of Tennes. Autumn was an amazing time to visit, the trees were definitely giving us their best and the water was a gorgeous blue.
The main attraction is the old saw mill, Aursfjordsaga, which was officially opened in 1799. It was restored from 1977-1982 by one for the descendants of the original owner. An old school building has been moved to the site where you can view a display of old artifacts, browse the local craft shop and top up with coffee and waffles.
Aursfjord was originally a Sami settlement dating back to the late 1500′s. The area was later deserted for a decade before Norwegian farmers settled there around 1660. In 1796 the Aursfjord sawmill was built, but because of a dispute with the landlord and owner of another sawmill nearby the mill was not taken into use until it received a Royal permit in 1799. Unfortunately, the permit did not allow for export of timber out of the Malangen district, but the locals used it diligently.
Aursfjord has an interesting story from criminal history. In the mid-1700′s, a man was murdered by his wife and her brother in the nearby town of Kjervik. The two killers fled to Aursfjord where they were later arrested and sentenced to death. The two managed to escape from prison and fled to Sweden. They were re-arrested and their death sentences were carried through in 1742.
I wish we had known that when we were walking through the thick, dark forest…
Across the road from the saw mill is a beautiful little fishing river. It has walking tracks that lead through a fairy forest with lots of native treasures to discover. The cliff track takes you along the water and to a small waterfall. Fishing is controlled by permits which need to be bought at the City Council or sporting goods stores – but you need to be fast because they quickly sell out.
I must admit, whenever I see such a beautiful Norwegian mushroom I am tempted to look for the fairies. They must be hiding somewhere nearby, but I guess they are too shy to show themselves.
And yes, we did have to stop to do some berry picking!