Day in Torshavn and hiking at Vagar

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July 10th 2013
Published: July 12th 2013
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Monday was a rainy day all over Faroe Islands, so we decided to stay in Torshavn to look around the town and to rest our feet after several days of hiking. We started by taking a little walking tour around an old citadel and lighthouse, as well as Tinganes, which is the old town of Torshavn and is still home to Faroe Islands government buildings, for example office of the prime minister (which btw is located in a cute, bright red wooden house with grass roof 😊. After a coffee break we walked some more around the town, via a church to a shopping mall. We thought we would possibly buy a book about Canada, but couldn't find any.

In the afternoon we attended a free concert at the Nordic House, which is a Nordic cultural center. The concert was part of classical music festival and seemed to be quite popular, as quite many people attended it even though it was in the middle of the day on a normal working day. After the concert we had to walk back to the apartment in miserable weather. We stated that indeed we have found a place on Earth where climate is worse than in Finland: Faroe islands. The weather was like late fall in Finland - cold, misty, windy and drizzling rain. Ok, it could have been also pouring rain, but this was bad enough. We stayed inside for the rest of the evening, cooking at our private kitchen, reading and using the Internet.

The next day the weather then again was fantastic: sunshine all day at our intended hiking destination Mykines island. We set off by bus to Vagar island to catch the ferry to Mykines, but faced a big disappointment at the harbor as all boats to Mykines that day were fully booked. We hadn't realized you had to book the ferry beforehand (that ferry is operated by a different company than every other transportation). Mykines is said to be the most beautiful of the islands and is mostly visited by tourists, unfortunately we didn't get to see it this time. Mood being a bit sour due to the circumstances we bought some ice creams and took a break sitting on grass to think of plan B. We got a surprise companion as a golden retriever decided to join our ice cream picnic for some scratching and good company 😊 Faroe Islands not only has friendly people, but also probably the friendliest dogs in the world. People let their dogs run free in the villages and often times they have approached us for some cuddling when we walk by.

We found out there would be a hiking route starting from Sørvágur village, where we were located, over the mountains to another village called Gásadalur. It was an old post delivery route which was used until 2006 when a tunnel was build to connect the villages. That hike turned out to become our top 1 hike at Faroe Islands, so after that we were no longer disappointed to have missed Mykines. The hike had splendid views to Mykines and few other islands, and from the top to Gásadalur village over a deep valley. Again, it doesn't seem like the pictures can really capture the views, but we tried our best. As in many other places, also here peace was complete. We hiked for several hours and did not see any other people during the whole time - except in the very beginning of the trail we saw some locals herd sheep down the mountain. We took a coffee break observing them getting all the sheep walking in line for having their wool cut. But after that, not a single person came across before reaching Gásadalur. This we certainly couldn't have enjoyed at Mykines where boatloads of people were taken. The hike was quite steep upwards climb at first, and then after the peak same thing downwards. I think this could have been quite dangerous in misty or rainy weather, but in dry sunshine it was fine. At Gásadalur we tried to get a lift through the tunnel now connecting the villages, as we didn't think it would be allowed to walk in it. This time we were unsuccesful, and ended up walking 2 kilometers in a car tunnel. After the tunnel we immediately got a ride from a friendly local guy back to Sørvágur to catch the bus back to Torshavn. Back in Torshavn we tried to have a bit nicer dinner at a seafood buffet and few other of the better restaurants, but everything was fully booked. So we ended up having sushi, which was also pretty good.

Our last day on Faroe Islands we walked to Kirkjabour, an old village which supposedly is one of the top sights of the islands, and has an old church and some of the oldest houses of the islands. We took a few hours walk there in misty weather, but as we reached the place it was a small disappointment - the old church was covered in construction racks and as a whole the village seemed unimpressive after all the great things we had seen before. So, after probably less than 10 minutes we took the bus back to Torshavn to eat and pack for departure to Iceland. It was funny btw that at least few locals told us that buses to Kirkjabour are running "all the time", but apparently for them all the time regarding buses means different thing than to us, since buses were only going every few hours 😊

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