The Faroe Islands: revisiting some favourite places and discovering new ones
For my last two days on the Faroe Islands there are a few specific places I want to see outside of bus times or without buses. So after I explored Trøllanes on Kalsoy, I got a car from 62°N car hire and headed around Vágar to redo a hike near Midvagur to see a waterfall over a cliff and also to go on to Gásadalur.
Hiking on Vágar
There’s a gorgeous night shot of Gásadalur on the Visit Faroe Islands Facebook page and I was hoping to get something similar. Except better obviously. There were still some very high winds and I picked a wedge between rocks at the sea edge of Leitisvatn so I wouldn’t get blown over the edge of the cliff. You can take the lower path (at the lake just after the town) straight to the waterfall and on that kind of day I wasn’t going up to the cliffs where I could see the spray com by right up over the edge). One thing I have a gripe with is the constant cleaning of the camera lens. The advantage of using the iPhone is the lens is a lot smaller than my 67mm one and doesn’t pick up every droplet of rain and spray. As the winds were so strong I decided against hiking over the mountain to Gásadalur as its quite steep in parts. At the path going down to the falls it ends in a set of steps where access is prohibited. I had to hold the tripod down in 60km/hr gusts and in the end gave up as I just couldn’t keep the lens clean as the wind was literally blowing the moisture out of the clouds. It was beautiful seeing the moon riding by Mykines though. (All of these shots are unedited because the sun is so strong I can’t even see if the horizon is straight on my phone!)
By the time I got back to the campsite it was just about midnight and I was too tired and lazy to even think about fighting to put up a tent so I curled up in my sleeping bag on the back seat of the car. There are some advantages of being a midget. Almost everyone had moved their tents over behind the caravans and were in the common area trying to avoid going out. Though I woke up early I decided to have a few lie-ins before heading into the town to get a new geansaí. Actually the Irish word for jumper, geansaí comes from Norse, though I don’t know what it is in Faroese. I’d my eye on a nice Sarah Lund from The Killing model, cream and brown. Hers is from Guðrun & Guðrun who are in Tórshavn and do mail order but in the end the best one was handmade and from a shop down by the harbour, though Sirri had a nice one and I went back there to get some other stuff.
Northern Faroe Islands
I wanted to go to Trøllanes on Kalsoy where the German couple from Mykines/Klaksvík said there was a nice walk. Of course I made several detours on the way including Lervik to see old Viking buildings and ended up on a late ferry which meant that being unavoidably stuck up the mountain due to a few squalls meant I missed the last scheduled ferry but thankfully there’s a later one you can request. On a good day you can see five islands from this point. Which I did. But the weather changes fast and not all of them were in sun. The cliffs at Enniberg where often covered in cloud so I made the right decision to put if off until I return someday. And I saw my friends the Giants from yet another angle. Still beautiful. To make matters worse when I finally got down I could see beautiful blue skies. If I’d only waited another half hour. There is a story about a seal woman in Mikladalur of a fishermen who steals a selkie’s skin and keeps her from going back to her seal family. I wonder if it came from the Irish and Scottish thralls the Norse brought here. On the plus side there was the most gorgeous sunset back west and a beautiful night scene in Lervik. On the ferry I was talking to Martin, from an island in the south. His wife is Filipino and met him visiting her friend. While there’s good money in working in fish factories the tax is 45%.
On my last day I went to the National Museum (30kr) just a half hours walk north of the campsite where you can see the geological, natural history, social and cultural history of the islands. I didn’t know the Faroe broke off from Greenland before Iceland was even formed. There are a few skeletons from graves, a lot about the fishing developments in the islands and it’s well worth a visit, though I felt guilty bring inside on a beautiful day. At the museum I managed to get a few 5kr coins in change, enough to do my washing, and though I begged around for more (doing my best skanger impression obviously) I’m still two short for the dryer! Thankfully the ferry is late so hopefully I can get things dry enough that they’ll dry properly on the boat. I was hoping my bags would be condensed into one but I have to bring my duty free stuff onto the ferry and show it to customs.
I’m really sorry to be leaving. These windswept islands in the middle of the ocean, battered by storm and currently bathed in sunshine and blue skies are unlike any place I’ve been and one of the most beautiful on earth. Please don’t go. Keep them unspoilt and secret, keep the people genuinely interested in travellers, keep the heavenly light, the sparking waterfalls and the howling winds as they are.
Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.
Breathtaking – a special place, Faroe
Thanks Stella! It really is!