High above the valley, Stalheim is a place of extraordinary natural beauty with an interesting, lively past. Between 1647 and 1909, Stalheim was a stopping-off point for travellers on the Royal Mail route between Copenhagen, Christiania (Oslo) and Bergen. A road was built for horses and carriages in 1780. The mailmen and their weary steeds rested in Stalheim and changed to fresh horses after climbing up the valley and through the Stalheimskleiva gorge, flanked by the thundering Stalheim and Sivle waterfalls.
Although a modern road winds up through two tunnels from the valley floor, the old mail road (Stalheimskleiva) climbs up at an astonishing 18% gradient. As tour buses, improbably, use this road, it's one way only: you can drive down it, but not up.