Published: August 6th 2007June 23rd 2007
Three friends and I flew up to the Faroe Islands the weekend after the summer solstice. The Faroes are a small Danish protectorate and lie north of Scotland and east of Norway. They are well off the beaten tourist path -- sparsely populated with a changeable, chilly climate (doesn't get much warmer than 50 degrees Fahrenheit) and nearly around the clock daylight during the summer.
We flew into the small international airport and got a bus to Torshavn, the capital, which is basically a small fishing port. We arranged to rent a car from a guy there and he met us in the parking lot where the bus dropped us off. He was really nice and young and had returned to his homeland to open a car rental business after attending University in Birmingham. When we told him we lived in London he started reminiscing. Apparently the two things he misses most about living in England are the food and the weather. We just looked at each other in the back seat and tried not to burst into hysterical laughter. We braced ourselves for a weekend of very bad food and constant rain.....
He gave us a quick little
tour around the town. There are a few restaurants to choose from and a couple of bars but that is about it. The most striking feature of the hilly capital is that all the houses have grass roofs! Very picturesque. The harbor is a busy area of town with lots of little boats and bigger ferries and cargo ships.
On Saturday we took a ferry to the southern island for a summer solstice music festival. We weren't alone - the ferry was packed with teenagers going down for the night and the partying started on the boat at 10 am. The headliner of the concert was John Lawton. We hadn't heard of him either but he was on our plane from London and we saw posters of him everywhere so by the time he came on stage at the end of the night we felt like his biggest fans and were screaming his name. Erik even got his autograph in the airport on the way home!
In addition to enjoying the boat races, music and general atmosphere of the summer festival we also drove all over the island, saw dramatic cliffs and valleys, survived the tunnel of death
(a one lane death trap through one of the mountains with no lights inside and the occasional oncoming vehicle which always induced lots of screaming from the backseat). The little town we stayed in on the southern island was so small there was only one hotel (which we were staying in), one restaurant (in our hotel), one kebab stand (which was closed) and a gas station (we bought snacks to tide us over).
The concert carried on late into the night and we rocked out with the locals who were all very friendly and spoke beautiful, perfect English. We went to bed very late and had to get up a few hours later to make the 7am ferry back to the capital.
On Sunday when we got back to our apartment in Torshavn we took naps and then drove all around the island. We saw more beautiful scenery including cute little lighthouses and churches and visited one of the oldest wooden houses in Europe. Early Monday morning we drove back to the airport (we got there an hour and a half before our flight and the airport wasn't even open yet!) and then went straight into work. Not
my favorite way to start the week but completely worth it for a Faroese experience we won't soon forget.
There are more photos below