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Published: November 8th 2013
Let's talk about the weather for a moment, shall we? I know the topic is generally off limits, but to be honest I obsess about it as much as the next person back at home. I'm confident you can visit any work environment, and a popular topic of conversation always seems to be the weather. But here I am in the glorious Faroe Islands, banging on about the weather as if it's of genuine interest to the reader. The thing is though, my mind's been somewhat occupied trying to find a rational explanation as to why I haven't seen the sun in over a week, and it was the Faroese who finally set me straight. The Faroe Islands are in the heart of the gulf stream, which leads to consistently cloudy and rainy weather. However, there is an upside to the lack of sun in the Faroes, and that's the surprisngly mild year round temperatures for a country situated up in the North Atlantic.
I received an amusing comment on my previous entry from the Faroes, dear reader, regarding the fact there are no people in my photos. That was not a conscious decision on my part, there just aren't
many people living in this isolated part of the world! The captial Torshavn has 16,000 inhabitants, and there are only 40,000 people in total on the islands. When you walk past someone on the street here, it's quite an event. After a few days though, the crowds and traffic that are part of everyday life in many countries suddenly become a thing of the past. I spent the first part of my visit exploring the capital, and it was time to get out and explore the islands. The tourist office offers superb deals on all inclusive passes for either four or seven days duration. They include bus and ferry trips, and are real value for money.
My first big adventure was on the big Smyrill ferry south to Suduroy, one of the larger islands in the south of the country. The ferry ride is famous for the spectacular scenery as you head south, and also for it's abundant birdlife. I enjoyed getting on the boat, and most of the locals drive their cars on and off the ferry, which completes a couple of return trips a day to link the islands. It's nice and spacious on board, with stores,
a bar, and free wi fi. The weather was cloudy and rainy, as per usual, but it was a great trip heading out to Suduroy. I explored the town, and a typical feature is that most of the houses are huddled close to the water, with locals waking up to gorgeous views.
My travel plans became somewhat curtailed for a few days, as the weather took quite a serious turn for the worse. The rain started pelting down, and during the intermittent breaks in the weather the sky was so dark and ominous photography would've been a waste of time. With severe winds coming in off the North Atlantic ocean added to the mix I decided discretion was the better part of valour for a few days. But I've become so comfortable in Torshavn over time, and managed to scope out a hip bar in the centre of town catering to the musical talent growing strongly on the islands. The staff are so friendly and relaxed, and made me feel very welcome in their cool little bar.
Time marches on though, and I braved the elements for a bus journey up to Klaksvik. Coincidentally the bus
driver was a local from the town itself, so he practically doubled as a private tour guide. There were not many other passengers on the bus, surprise surprise, so I parked myself right up the front and we had a good old chat. When I told him my dream as a young boy was to grow up and become a bus driver his face absolutely lit up! He's spent his entire working life on the road, which is common for bus drivers right around the world. There's something about driving that just gets in their blood and they can't let it go. He told me he used to drive lorries around Europe for years, including unloading his cargo in the dead of night in southern France with just one other guy to help. Now he reckons he has the best job in the world, driving locals and tourists around the picturesque Faroes, and meeting a different group of friendly people every day.
When we arrived I bid my friend a hearty goodbye, and began to explore Klaksvik on foot. All the towns in the Faroes are compact so there's no need to use motorised transport, visitors can rely on
their own trusty engines to propel themselves around. I hugged the waterfront on both sides of the harbour and walked for several hours, before once again the weather began to close in rapidly. Fortunately by that time I was quite close to the bus station, and had all the right gear on anyway. So as I was aware of the timetable for departures I got myself out of the wind and rain at the bus stop. At the appointed time who should arrive behind the wheel but my old friend! He'd made a return journey, so we pretty much picked up the conversation on the bus where we left off. He had a CD on rotation with a song that captivated me, and I asked him who the performer was. He showed me the CD cover of the Swedish artist Jill Johnson, and put the song and a few others on rotation for me all the way home. I have great memories of my Faroese adventure when I was lucky to meet this lovely man, and shook his hand to wish him all the best when we arrived back in Torshavn. I've had a relaxing and enjoyable stay in the
Faroe Islands, it's a beautiful little country to recharge the batteries while enjoying the spectacular scenery on offer. In fact I might even suggest, basically all of you should be here now!
"A woman's heart is a deep ocean of secrets." Titanic
As I continue my travels, until next time it's signing off for now
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