Faroe Islands Trip
Part of my reward as the top sales manager for a leading American pharmaceutical company was a trip for two to the Faroe Islands. I was so thrilled that aside from recognizing my hard work, the company gave me a much needed ten day vacation for this trip. They worked out all the necessary travel papers and tour packages. After being handed our plane tickets at the airport, I travelled with my wife in the middle of July to the Faroe Islands.
On the first day of our journey to Faroe Islands, we drove a rented car for a two day tour of Suduroy. Within 15 minute drive from Vagur, Eggjarnar is a row of mountain edges that overlooks the breaking waves of the North Atlantic Sea. I drove past narrow, curvy roads which lead all the way up to the mountain. We bravely climbed our way up to the top and got closer to the edge to enjoy the fantastic scenery. It was absolutely stunning view from where I stood. Down below I saw the blue waves crashing at the dramatic vertical cliffs! On the south part is Beinisvord that prides itself with high sea cliffs. I saw ruins of a shipwreck in Lopranseidi, west of the village of Lopra. It is found in between Eggjarnar and Beinisvord. Skuvanes, Vagseioi, and Gjogvarafjall are the great views towards the northern part. The next day we passed by the Ruth Smith Art Museum, an interesting museum with unique artworks. Ruth Smith is a famous artist from Vagur. Most of her works are self portraits, still life, landscapes, sketches, paintings and drawings. Her tomb is also located a few meters away from the museum.
The second part of our tour was a visit to Torshavn. Tinganes is dubbed as the world’s smallest capital. It’s a quaint little town with a laid back old world charm. Houses have grass roofs, unguarded government buildings painted in red. As we walked along the harbor front every Faroese we met was extremely friendly, very eager to tell visitors all about their little country. Our tour group then headed near Tora Tourist Traffic Day Tour. It was a great way to get a general overview of Torshavn and its surrounding islands. Our guide Samal was very personable and had a wealth of information for everything about this city. We got acquainted with another group of tourists and decided to buy food at the local grocery shop. We enjoyed a small picnic lunch in Sandoy. We took stunning photos with the green landscapes and the mountains as background. The highlight of this two day tour was the Rib 62 (Rigid Inflatable Boat). It starts from Torshavn up to Gjogv. We were outfitted in weatherproof suits, helmets, glasses and boots for safety. It was fun, fast and whizzing past basalt walls of the sea! Faroe Islands looked more rugged and beautiful from the sea with Rib 62. After dinner at the tiny Gjogv harbor we head back again to the rib and back to the berth. It was a wonderful way to explore and meet new friends.
On the fifth day, we visited Gasadalur, Vagar and Mykines Island. It was a strenuous hike to reach Gasadalur Village. The Gasadalur Tunnel connects other islands like Vagar, Stremoy , Esyturoy and Norooyggjar. We decided to go horseback riding to explore the whole mountain with a great view of the Mykines Island. The weather was unpredictable while we were there. But we still managed to get to the top for a good view and get some great photographs of a picturesque village facing a serene sea. The crest had a spectacular view of the underlying islets and the coasts. Tindholmur looked majestic from afar because of its five – castle like peaks. Gasholmur looked flat, while Drangarnir has a stack that forms into an arch. We took a boat trip to get to the Mykines Island. It is home to thousands of migratory seabirds. We met its number one attraction; the puffin bird. Puffins can be distinguished by their brightly colored triangular beaks. I was amused each time they dive into the sea and came up with a fish on its beak. They even gamely pose for a photo with their catch! I bought my wife three pairs of colorful puffin beak earrings from a crafty souvenir shop by the road.
We spent two days in the island of Nolsoy, Streymoy. We took a 20 minute ferry ride to get to Nolsoy. It’s a nice little island with only one village. The entrance to the town was a jawbone archway known as the Gate of Honor. It is made from the bones of a whale. At the basement of the Tourist Information Centre, is a row boat named “Diana Victoria” owned by a local Faroese named Ove Joensen. In 1986, he used this boat to row alone from Nolsoy to Denmark for 41 days. We also checked out a place called “Prinsessutoftir” where a Scottish princess once lived. Lunch was at Kaffistovan, a local café where we enjoyed a cup of coffee and waffles. The island has pretty houses, a football pitch, an old church and a cemetery, a small beach and a fishing marina. We rode the Nordlysid, a schooner. This tall elegant vessel with multi masts toured us around the island. From the ship we saw the storm petrels, a large colony of birds along with the famous puffins. It was a truly unique experience to watch from the boat, so laid back. On our second day, my wife and I hiked for an hour and a half to reach the lighthouses of Boroan. It is situated at the southern tip of the island. The hike gave nice views of the upward cliffs. It was foggy so we head back to the village.
We yearned for entertainment, so we visited The Nordic House. It is the main place for national events, art exhibitions and entertainment functions. It is built to promote Faroese culture. We walked on the Norwegian stone slabs outside the building. The interior made of glass and steel was built using materials sourced from each country in the Nordic Region. I was much amused by its architecture. It is divided into three halls. The Great Hall is mainly used for musicals, theatre performances and concerts. Art exhibits are held year round. An annex was built to meet the growing need for space. We watched the Summartonar Sorella String Quartet perform at the big Concert Hall. We browsed through Faroese newspapers and other Nordic newspapers as we have our snack and drinks.
Our last day in Faroe was spent in the small remote island of Fugloy. We rode a mailboat to get to Kirkja. The weather was rough but we still had a good view of the Kirkja and Hattarvik village from the sea. It has one of the highest mountains of Faroe called Noroberg. I took some more pictures and videos to document our trip to this lightly inhabited island. There were many sheep and birds. From here, a helicopter fetched us and took us straight to Vagar International Airport to catch our 7 pm flight back to America.
My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed our ten day Faroe Islands Tour. Despite the unpredictable weather, it did not discourage us from discovering all the scenic spots of those 18 islands. Will we go back? Definitely yes! We are planning to go back there again this summer with our kids. I find this country peaceful and absolutely charming.