When we arrived at the Keflavik airport in Iceland it felt like a ghost town… We were confused until we looked up at the info board and saw flashing red letters. The majority of flights were showing “cancelled”. Icelandair is on strike! Maybe we won’t be coming home after all…
Thankfully our flight was via a different airline that was not affected, which left us with the whole airport to roam for ourselves until our flight to the Faroe Islands!
The Faroes: What Are They?
A small set of 18 islands (population: 48 000) situated halfway between Iceland and Norway:
They are part of the Kingdom of Denmark, though they have their own government and own language (Faroese).
Why did we chose to see them? They’re on our way to Europe and we’ve heard they are beautiful. National Geographic rated 111 islands and ranked the Faroes as the most appealing destination worldwide, as well as the most unspoiled (in relation to its preservation of nature, architecture and national pride). So, why not?
So we’ll be honest and say we got a Shutter Island vibe when we first arrived. Mostly because we had a couple of interesting people come speak to us on the street on separate occasions that left us eerily confused. Then it didn’t help that our guesthouse was booked and the hostel we ended up in was probably a previous prison or psychiatric institution with it’s dark basement hallways, barred windows, and steel reinforced doors. This was the “front entrance” (which was actually at the back):
It also didn’t help that on arrival there was a grey, hazy fog over the city bringing with it a wet mist in the air. You know that “mist” setting on the sprinkler? It was like someone was spraying us relentlessly with that…
Don’t Worry, It Gets Better
Thankfully it was only a first impression and when we took to the sunny streets of Torshavn, Faroe’s capital, the next day we saw the true personality of this town!
Like many islands, the capital is a harbor town. The tiny streets are a maze around it, with characteristic grass roofed buildings.
These roofs date way back to when the homes used to be built into the ground to protect them from the wind and ocean conditions. The homes would blend in among the environment as if they were meant to be there. Now, as grass is quite insulating, many homes are still that way.
The only downfalls are that this growth can be quite heavy for the structure, and can bring with it pests and other weeds.
Not to mention the fact that sometimes it needs a mowing:
The town also had a cute set of parliament buildings, all out on the harbour overlooking the ocean, decked in red siding within the same grassy tops.
We are exploring the island by car tomorrow and can’t wait to see some more of its natural beauty (and share it with you of course!).
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Getting To The Faroe Islands
You can get to the Faroe Islands via ferry or plane.
By Air: Atlantic Airways has daily flights leaving from Copenhagen and twice weekly flights leaving from Iceland. The flight takes about 1.5h either way.
By Water: The Smyril line runs a ferry that takes between 13 and 16h depending on departure location and date.