And now, we’re saving one of the best ports for the last. I’ve taken you through the cobblestone streets of Copenhagen, up the Geirangerfjord in Norway, up and around the grassy hills in the Shetland Islands, into the Blue Lagoon and the Golden Circle in Iceland, and finally, we’ve come here. Torshavn in the Faroe Islands. The last post in a travel series is always bittersweet but I promise these pictures and memories will bring smiles to your faces. It’s a tough feat to hate the Faroes (even with their funky weather).
Torshavn was so pleasantly surprising. The views were so beautiful and it’s exactly the kind of view I wanted to see this entire trip. It served as the perfect last port of call to this European Getaway because the Faroe Islands really are the perfect getaway from a busy life. Life in the Faroes seems so peaceful and simple, but you’ll get to see more of that later.
For the day, we drove around to see the different islands which are connected by tunnels, some of which stretch on for miles on end. Seeing the Faroes by car was such a great way to get to see so much of the island. Already in the car, you can get a sense of the beauty of the Faroe Islands.
Lush green mountains, calm grey waters, looming dark clouds overhead but with a bit of sunlight peeking through, trickling waterfalls, protruding rock – it was all so pretty. The scenery is hard to beat. And as you’re driving up hills and mountains, all you need to do is look out the window and see the world out there.
Our first stop was Saksun, a little spot on the island of Streymoy, which is the same island that Torshavn is in. Here, there’s a quaint little church that is seemingly in the middle of nowhere. What’s special about many buildings in the Faroe Islands is that their roofs are covered in grass, just like the one for the church.
Next, we hopped back into the car and drove to Eiði. In Eiði, you’ll find the famous Risin and Kellingin stone blocks or “sea stacks”. In English, this translates to ‘The Giant and the Witch’ and goes back to an old legend that the Faroes have. The Giant is the wider sea stack and the Witch is the pointed one.
The legend is that once upon a time, the giants in Iceland were jealous and wanted to own the Faroe Islands. So the giant and the witch, which was his wife, were sent to the Faroes to bring the islands back to Iceland. The legend states that the witch climbed up the mountains to try and tie the islands together so she could push them on the giant’s back, but when she attached the rope to the mountain and pulled, the northern part of the mountain split. They both kept struggling to find a way to move the entire mountain and they were so busy struggling that they didn’t notice the time pass. A giant or witch turns to stone when sun shines on it so when the dawn broke, they both turned to stone, with their heads turned longingly towards the direction of Iceland across the ocean, desperately wanting to return home.
I can see why the giant and the witch wanted the Faroes. Everything is beautiful.
We also got some good shots and good views of the “locals” there.
A local gathering?
The gem of this whole trip was probably Gjogv. They have a great guesthouse where you can enjoy some coffee and pastries, but also, there’s a cute little spot a short walk away for the best pictures.
Descend the stairs until you’re standing on one of the rocks by the water’s edge and staring down into crystal clear water below. Try to see what’s underneath the glassy surface. Enjoy the crisp air, the sound of the birds and water, and the feeling of the wind on your face.
It almost felt like a bigger and more open grotto. I loved it.
Families even leave their boats by the side so they can just hop in and go off. The traditional boat looks very similar but doesn’t have a motor and instead, it has more grooves for the oars.
If you go back up the stairs, you get a great view of the mountains and the water as a whole.
We drove a little more into the main area of the Islands and found yet another church with a grassy rooftop (not hard to find considering every building actually does have the same rooftop) We peeked inside and the man who showed us around actually told us he got married in that very same church so many years ago. Every week, they still have service in the church, too, despite its small size.
That’s what I loved about the Faroes. Everything seemed so simple. Everybody knew everybody, you went to a church that’s been around for more than a hundred years, you sat in the same pew every week. Your family eats lunch at 3 some days, you walk into the city and people greet you by your first name, you go to another part of the islands for a weekend getaway. It all seemed so familiar.
Afterward, seeing that we had a bit more time to stay in Torshavn before boarding the ship again, we just walked around the downtown area. The colourful houses in the main square reminded me a lot of Nyhavn in Copenhagen.
The blue sky in the picture was such a rare thing to see. For the whole day, the weather was so strange, just like you’ve probably heard about the Faroe Islands. It rains for 5 minutes and then it’s sunny and clear skies right after. 5 minutes later, the skies are dark and it’s pouring again. The umbrella goes up, then down, then up, then down.
So, that was the Faroe Islands. And that was my Summer 2017 European Getaway. It was such a good trip (despite the weather – I had to throw a weather comment in there one last time) and even to this day, as I’m scrolling through my pictures, I still miss it even though it’s been more than a month since I’ve been back. Europe has that effect on you. You see so much but you leave always wanting to come back and see more. You can’t resist it. I hope the posts in this series left you feeling the same way too.
The next series coming up is from my week-long trip to Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic! It was a last minute booking but such a relaxing vacation spent by the pool and beach every day. I just got back a few days ago with a nice sun-kissed tan so hopefully that’ll last me well into when the Canadian winter starts up again.
Happy travels and happy summer! Enjoy it before it comes to an end!