Faroe Islands, the Land of Maybes
Have you ever felt like running away from the monotony and greyness of everydays? Have enough of the people surrounding you, the apathetic faces on the subway or the never ending noise and concrete jungle? Have you ever wanted to fly away to a tiny green island where you can be alone, where you and your thoughts can relax in a small paradise?
Well, me I felt this and I didn’t let it go. I grabbed my backpack and discovered the wonderful Faroe Islands.
I’m still keep missing every single days of that amazing experience, so I desided on finally sharing these thoughts, stories and advices with you. Enjoy!:)
I was always attracted by Northern countries, they are not only hiding beautiful landscapes, but they have something more, an extra emotional boost, what I have never felt in any other places. I’m in for the fun anytime when it’s about an exotic holiday, I’m in love with the sunny seasides and palm trees, but when I’m craving for adventure, love and unforgettable memories, I always turn my way to North!
After years I spent my summers in different parts of Scotland, then popping into the life of a Finnish family and experiencing the Finnish autumn turning into winter, meanwhile enjoying lovely weekend trips to the capital of Norway and enjoying the hospitality of Swedish and Danish people, finally I thought these journeys being all nice and good, but started to have bolder dreams about wilder and colder places if I can say that. That way came… Iceland.
During my trips there, I realized that dreams and reality aren’t that far from each other and my expectations met with the wonderful reality I found in Iceland.
But it still wasn’t enough, I wanted to sail into more dangerous water. My bucketlist’s next point was not else than the Faroe Islands.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure a lot of you can easily answer my questions, but for those who were never dreaming about this place and never pointed that part of the map, let me tell you a few facts.
The Faroe Islands are situated approximately halfway between Scotland, Norway and Iceland. Contains 18 islands on the Northern part of the Atlantic Ocean and it’s a self-governing country within the Danish Realm.
But enough from facts, these are not leading you to wonderland, neither me. Rather the endless green, the wonderful varied landscapes, the unexpected kindness and open-mindedness of people, that anything can happen to you anytime and that all your dreams can come true, maybe. „Maybe” in Faroese „kanska”. This is important to mention because the Faroe Islands are also called as „The land of maybes”. I know this from a kind local young guy who told me, here the answer for all the question is „maybe”.
Weather has taught them, there are things out of their control, the weather is over everything and everybody here, and they accept this. Maybe they can sail away tomorrow, maybe not. In case of planning some hiking and it’s bright and sunny now, there is no guarantee for that 10 minutes later. Most definitely this mentality makes them calm and balanced.
Wherever you go on the Faroe Islands, it can be even a tiny island with 5 residents, most definitely you will run into someone inviting you for a tea, but if you are lucky, you can find yourself in the middle of a big family dinner. Everybody is curious where are you from and what the hell are you doing in that corner of the World.
It happened to me to walk up and down on the street of the Faroese capital, Tórshavn, when finally I asked a middle-aged woman to help me. She responded enthusiastically and smiled at me. When she saw my uncertain face, she even offered to walk with until my destination. Meanwhile it turned out that she was an official tourist-guide, but in her opinion, doesn’t matter who do you ask, everyone will be happy to help.
At an other time, a bus driver seeing my clumsy attempt of taking some pictures on the way, he just stopped and asked me if I want to get out of the bus for a second and take some good photos. Meanless to say that this was a scheduled, not a tourist bus, I was amazed by that act.
But this was not the only surprising happening. The same driver hearing my dissappointed story about not being able to realize one of my big plans and sail around some North-East islands in the lack of a bus service by that time, he just stopped and asked me if I really wanted to do that? Then he organized a private taxi for me, free of charge, not expecting anything in return. I don’t know how about you, but these things are not really happening to me at home. Not that I want to compare and not that I can. The contrast is too big anyway.
These are the precious moments I’m traveling for. This is the love and goodness I’m looking for. This is what makes any horribly bad and grey day worth to survive. Sometimes have to go far for that, but at least it exists.
And when I was not all about people and new friendships, I was spending time all alone, deep inside my soul, discovering new pieces of me and new pieces of the World.
One of that pieces was Gásadalur, a place which is hard to reach, but the happier you become when you are finally there. For today there is a tunnel connection, but in the lack of driving license and travel buddies, I convinced myself about the coolness of taking the old postal root. Took me a while, not to mention it was pretty scary to do that alone in such a remote place, but when I finally found the tiny resting points on the way, it was priceless.
All of these places have their own story. One of these called “Keldan Vivid”, which means “The consecrated spring”. This is a mountain spring where a seriously ill baby was christened on the way to the doctor. The other one “Líksteinur”, literally “Dead Body Rock”, marks the place where bearers laid the coffin down , so that they could rest for a while.
Not to mention the breathtaking view and the feeling when you finally catch sight of the postcard-like landscape that you came here for. Everything makes sense in that moment.
But I have to mention, I was so tired on the way back that I chose hitchhiking instead of walking all the way back.
Prison or Paradise?
Just because… on the Faroe Islands even prisons seem wonderful! They more look like hotels, than a real prison, especially the one I saw near the capital in a beautiful valley. The roof was covered with grass – as most of the traditional Faroese houses- and seemed like heaven on Earth. Especially knowing that most definitely you won’t meet there any serious killers, the last murder happened in here was during the II. World War. Usually there are only a few locals there having too many drinks the previous night. So, maybe next time I’ll consider going to jail instead of hotel, it’s cheaper for sure! Maybe I would survive it for a night.
Lawn mover vs. sheep
I had a serious question to my new Faroese friend. What about the grass on the rooftops? How they cut it? The question is easy, sheep is the answer. And how do tourists react? Well, it’s not so rare that sheeps having their dinner on the roof are causing accidents among surprised visitors.
There are a few islands that are only connected by helicopter and habited by only a single family. Everything they need is transported there by this helicopter, even the tutor who goes there for a couple of months to teach the kids.
For my question about this being too boring, I got the simple answer, “no, why would it be? They have everything they need.” And actually if you come to think of that, it’s true and maybe it’s us in big cities who make everything seem difficult. I wonder how they can be so happy and satisfied in such a far way corner of the World and I wish we could learn from them.
If you happen to put the Faroe Islands on your bucketlist, here are some tips for you:
- Weather can change within 5 minutes, prepare with all kind of clothes.
- Ask the locals. They always have a good advices and some nice words to you. I guarantee you will find hidden treasures that way.
- If you can do, manage your trip for the time of Ólavsøka on the 29th of July which is the biggest summer festival here. You will find people wearing their traditional costumes and wherever you go, you’ll get some delicious local food.
- Always tell the bus driver your final destination. It often happens that a bus is canceled or only runs if it’s ordered before.
- One of the most expensive place I have ever been, so if you have the chance, take some basic food with you. And good to know that not all the villages have their own shop.
- Don’t be too surprised if you see sheeps on rooftops!;)
- And finally… don’t wait too long for this journey, it’s going to be one of the best time of your life!