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, Faroe Islands – At the edge of the world , Faroe Islands – At the edge of the world

Baltic Travel Blog

Faroe Islands – At the edge of the world

Posted on August 3rd, 2018.

The Faroe Islands were honored by National Geographic as the world’s best archipelago for unspoiled authenticity, a strong cultural integrity and well protected nature and I was proud when I have received my invitation from Visit Faroe Islands tourism board to visit this wonderful place in April.

On my first day I had a chance to visit Gasadalur, which is a remote island village and was in danger of depopulating completely until a tunnel was built in 2004 to connect it to the rest of the world. Before that the only way to get to Gasadalur was by hiking over the mountain from Bour. Until then the postman hiked over the mountain to the village three times a week. The view of Gasadalur is one of the most photographed places in the Faroe Islands and once you see it you will understand why. , Faroe Islands – At the edge of the world

I knew that a lot more is waiting during this week and I was ready to try everything that has been planned for us by our wonderful hosts Maria & Kent.
Our next stop was Ravnagjogv – Raven’s Gorge which is 31 m high rappel and is often used for the beginners and people who just want to have some fun. We were met by Johannus and his brother who spent most of their lives in mountains of Faroe Islands and works as mountain rescuers. When we walked to the mountain brothers told me that rappelling has been done by the Faroese people since the first Vikings settled on the islands. It has long been used for survival, hunting birds, and gathering eggs. They still use it for hunting today, but they also rappel for fun, excitement and to experience nature on another level. Although I was ready to have some fun I have decided only to support the team from the top of the mountain. , Faroe Islands – At the edge of the world

After 4 hours fun our hosts Maria & Kent invited us for a dinner at their Cafe Fjordoy in Sorvagur. They call this place “home away from home”. They kept the retro style from the old shop from the 50s all the way in the cafe on the first floor and the Hugo Guesthouse on the second floor. This place reminded me grandmothers house where you have many different items on the shelves like porcelain figurines, antique furniture, lace and of course home-made food.

, Faroe Islands – At the edge of the world

The first night we have stayed at Giljanes Hostel in Sandavagur, which is a pleasant hostel close to the shore and has a beautiful view.
On our second day we drove to the largest lake on the Faroe Islands – Sorvagasvatn. The trip with the peculiar vessel Lakeside is the only one of its kind in the Faroes. Here you will sit in comfort as in a conservatory with a fantastic view and glide across the large expanse of water. We sailed from a jetty in the village of Vatnsoyrar, which was called Lakeside by the English soldiers who were stationed here during the Second World War, over to the lakes south side where we disembarked and walked to the Bosdalafossur. , Faroe Islands – At the edge of the world

After the tour we drove to Torshavn to our hotel for the night. Our home for the rest of the stay was Havgrim Seaside Hotel 1948. We were the first lucky guests to stay in this historical house. Everyone in the Faroe Islands is familiar with the impressive, white house also known as Commodore’s House. Havgrimur Johannesen from Torshavn built the house. It was designed by Eyolfur Heygum to Havgrim’s specifications, taking inspiration from his many sailing trips to Great Britain (Photo, credit Havgrim Seaside Hotel 1948). , Faroe Islands – At the edge of the world

After we settled in we drove to southwestern Streymoy where we have been visiting one of the two breweries on the Faroe Islands – Okkara. Here we have been explained about the production and tasted some of the very tasteful special beers – Rinkusteinur – a beer brewed with volcanic rocks.
Just down the road from the brewery Okkara you will find the home of Anna and Oli and they have invited us into their private home for dinner – Heimablidni – traditional home cooked meal in a farmer’s home using food they have raised, prepared, and cooked themselves. For the Rubeksen’s it is the perfect way to combine educating people about the Faroe Islands, experiencing good food and drink, wonderful company, and using the ingredients and produce from their farm and as how Oli would say: “the main goal during this dinner, is to connect”. What a perfect way to end the evening.

, Faroe Islands – At the edge of the world

Following day it was the time to introduce ourselves with Torshavn, one of the smallest capitals in the world and the city where the action is. We walked around the east part of the harbour to the old town which is called Tinganes. This is where the Vikings started holding their annual governing meeting in the Faroes in the 9th Century. Later it became a trading center, probably because of the excellent harbour. Today it is made up largely of wood slatted buildings painted bright red or black, many with turf roofs.

, Faroe Islands – At the edge of the world

The tour ended at the harbour where we with the high-speed Rib-boat made it across to the island of Nolsoy. It is the beautiful island that dominates the view from Torshavn. It takes 20 minutes to reach Nolsoy from Torshavn by boat. From the little harbour you enter the village by passing through a gate that is made of the cheekbones of a huge sperm whale. The village is surrounded by the small and colourful wooden houses. The cosy small houses are placed extremely close to each other and you can imagine how they will shelter each other from the cold winter storms. We had lunch at Kaffistovan followed by a small sightseeing on the island before we came back to Torshavn to meet up with the rest of the participants for this year’s Visit Faroe Islands.

, Faroe Islands – At the edge of the world

On Thursday evening we had a get together at the M/S Norrona which sales the route Denmark-Faroe Islands-Iceland. We were welcomed aboard to see the vessel that has been dedicated to operating in the North Atlantic all year round. For passengers the ship is equipped with restaurants, a swimming pool, a small cinema and a fitness centre in fact everything you might need for your holiday. Our get together had to end before 9pm as passengers aboard were waiting for the departure to Iceland. It is a shame I couldn’t join them, but this will be an excuse for me to come back and explore two magnificent destinations in one journey.

, Faroe Islands – At the edge of the world

Friday was dedicated for workshop followed by Visit Faroe Islands dinner and dance at the local theatre. The main fun started when the Faroese chain dance started, and I have decided to join dancers. The Faroese chain dance is a direct descendant of the medieval ring dancing performed by a group of people hand-in-hand behind a leader who sings the verse. Over the centuries, medieval ring dances have all but disappeared from Europe as the church saw a threat in their pagan origins and today survive only on the Faroe Islands. The steps were simple (two forward and one back). The atmosphere was wonderful as everybody tried to learn steps.

On my last day I was invited on an inspirational tour of the central part of the Faroe Islands. I was picked up from my hotel to the Torshavn harbour where we boarded the beautiful two-masted schooner. We have crossed the sea to Eysturoy were we have entered the longest fjord on the islands. En route the skipper has served a fish soup, which was so delicious that I have asked for more.

, Faroe Islands – At the edge of the world

Back on land we drove north to the bottom of the fjord and continued further north along the east side of Eysturoy to Funningur and via winding and scenic mountain road to Gjogv, one of the most visited villages on the islands. We have made a stop and went for a walk in the village and also visited the characteristic gorge, that gave the village its name.

, Faroe Islands – At the edge of the world

Next on the program was fun and challenging Adventure Race and a beautiful hike in the valley beneath Slaettaratindur, the highest mountain in the Faroe Islands, with team building elements and fun tasks.

, Faroe Islands – At the edge of the world

After we have honoured the winner of the race we headed back towards Torshavn. Our last stop on the tour was the village Hvalvik where we had a chance to visit the oldest wooden church in the Faroe Islands. I loved the idea of a local tradition – a beautiful sailing ship hanging from the roof. Quite often the church ships were gratitude gifts from sailors who survived dangerous trips on sea. In some villages with strong sailor traditions the ships could be a way of protecting and praying for the ships and their crew. To bring them back safely.

, Faroe Islands – At the edge of the world

That night I have visited Barbara’s Fish House for a final dinner. It is a charming house that is cut between rocks and tucked away between turf-roofed houses in the olden part of Torshavn. I was suggested to try monkfish with potatoes and must say it was the best seafood dish I have ever had. After this wonderful dinner I had a nice walk back to my hotel where I have spent my last hours of this unforgettable journey.

, Faroe Islands – At the edge of the world

All of this and more creates a unique and incomparable destination at the edge of the world. A place truly unspoiled. A place where I will definitely come back.

Author: Inga Navickiene


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