Day 1 in Faroe Islands

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July 13th 2014
Published: July 13th 2014
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Faroe Islands - 11-13 July

We arrived at Torshavn, on Streymoy Island, the largest of the 18 islands making up the archipelago of the Foroe Islands, at 3.00am. The ferry system is an incredibly well oiled machine. We drove into the town, found a car park and woke up at 8.00am. I love the convenience of the motor home. We drove back into town centre which is 2 streets away from the harbour, and visited the Tourist Information Centre.

We came out with a great map of all the islands (as GPS data is not yet available for these islands), fantastic info on where best to go, and tickets for the boat trip to see the grottos and bird cliffs at Vestmanna on the west coast of Streymoy Island. The guy is the tourist office was excellent.

One of the main reasons that people visit the Faroe Islands is the incredible nature and scenery. We discovered that the Faroe Islands turn extraordinarily green during the summertime. The fresh air, the deep blue ocean, the vertical sea cliffs and the green mountains with their picturesque valleys and a multitude of waterfalls, is something which would amaze anyone who enjoys being surrounded by nature.

We soon learned that everything was very close going from island to island and fjord to fjord...and there were 10s of those. We also learned that they described the distance by time travelled and not by kilometers.

Many of the roads along the shorelines of the fjords were dead ends so we drove out and back to see the sights. There are 2 major sub-sea tunnels (which are the only toll roads) and a bridge joining 3 islands and of all the other islands, we need a ferry or helicopter to travel from one to the other. As we only had 2 days to explore the Faroe Islands, we decided to concentrate on the 2 main ones.

It only took 45 minutes to travel to Vestmanna, waited an hour before hopping onto the 2.30pm boat trip. I'm just going to let the photos tell the story of our trip, but is suffice to say the scenery was absolutely amazingly rugged, with many surprises such as arches, large grottos, deep crevices and cliffs that reached up to 300 m. It was over powering to be beneath them.

The bird life was plentiful. We saw more puffins (but very difficult to photograph), terns, oyster catcher, fulmar, Black Guillemot, gulls and many more (I'm definitely not a birdo). It was stunning.

Next then drove another hour, crossing the only island to island bridge between Streymoy and Eysturoy. Soon after crossing the bridge, we went through one of their long tunnels and then along the shore of one of the fjords to Gjðgv. Another note I think is worth mentioning is the pronunciation of Faroe words - many of us English-speaking people agreed that it was almost impossible to say some town names!!! We can sleep at night knowing that it's OK to fail the Faroe language test!!!! By the way, they pronounce their 'Vs' as 'Ws' so we saw lots of willages (lol ). .

Gjðgv is on the northern shore of Eysturoy and 2 of its special features is Risin og Kellingin (The Giant and his Wife) - two magnificent basalt sea stacks off the northern tip of the island,. Legend has it that the two giants had come to tow the Faroes back with them to Iceland, however, the sun rose and they were both turned into stone. They both stand looking towards Iceland which they will never reach. We saw these rocks from the west of them at Gjðgv and the next day, from the east from Tjornuvik on the northern coast of Streymoy Island.

The other special feature of Gjðgv is a deep crevice out to sea where they have built a concrete platform to dive from. Houses in the village were tightly packed, so much so that there was a gravel road around the town for motor homes to use rather than having to unsuccessfully negotiate some of the tight squeezes.

The camping facilities were new so that was excellent. It showered with rain most of the night and was very cloudy the next morning....but that's the Faroes!!

You may be interested to know that because the islands are so close to the Arctic Circle, the amount of daylight varies by season. The sun sets briefly each night in June, so there are several hours of twilight, before the sun comes back up again. During the winter there are no days of complete darkness, but about five hours of daylight.

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