Great To Get A Brief Look At Faroe Islands
After our stop in the Orkney Islands with Oceania Cruises, we headed for a brief look at the Faroe Islands. We were excited to visit this destination that was not yet a major tourist destination. But we did hear that many new hotels were being built as tourism heated up.
We enjoyed the morning wandering through the colourful port town of Torshavn. Later in the day we headed off to tour this island. As the clouds moved out, we really got a view of how beautiful the scenery was in the Faroe Islands.
A Bit About The Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands are a group of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean between Iceland and islands off of Scotland. They have their own government but still have an administrative alliance with Denmark. The original settlers were Norwegian Vikings in about 800AD. Seventeen of the islands are inhabited today. Torshavn was the capital and sat on the island of Streymoy.
This is yet another set of volcanic islands that we have enjoyed on our travels. We explored the Canary Islands as cruise ship ports. And spent 10 days in the Azores. So we were familiar with the rocky ground and dramatic cliffs we saw on the Faroe Islands.
We were so far north that we expected a sub-Arctic environment. But while it was grey and windy, we learned that the weather in the Faroe Islands was moderated by the warm North Atlantic current. The climate is ideal for puffins. But we were very disappointed that we did not see any on this visit. The economy was originally agricultural (primarily sheep raising) but has moved to fishing and related industries. We saw both when we toured from Torshavn on our brief tour of Faroe Islands.
Colourful Port City
When we docked in Torshavn, we saw the old fort perched high above the town. As we walked through the harbour, we were delighted to see all the colourful boats.
The houses with sod roofs showed up as soon as we started our walk in town. We studied these buildings with interest. When we visited Vancouver Island, we loved to visit the small town of Coombs with the goats on the roof.
As our eyes scanned the streets, we found all kinds of interesting art work on display. Most depicted people in everyday life. Of course, we could not pass on an opportunity to pose with the art.
The streets of downtown led down to another harbour area. It was almost 11am and we still had not found an open coffee shop. We were not sure if we visited on a holiday. From the harbour, we got a great view at the next hill. And we caught a view of our cruise ship docked.
We wandered around the Tinganes government buildings. It was interestin to read that this was the site of the oldest parliamentary meeting places in the world. The Faroese general assembly met in this building around the time of the Vikings.
We were certainly intrigued after our first view of Torshavn on our brief look at Faroe Islands.
Churches On Faroe Islands
High above the grass-covered roofs we saw the steeple for the small local church. We climbed the hill to see if the church was open. Inside we found a simple church. So different from the elaborate Salisbury Cathedral we visited when we finished our Nordic country cruise in Southampton. It was interesting when we found several different boats hung from the ceiling. Although this tribute to fishermen should not have surprised us.
When we toured from Torshavn, one of our stops was at the grass-covered church in Kollafjardar. The inside of this church was very similar. And we found a boat as well.
As we walked around Kollafjardar, we were delighted to find more of the small houses with grass on the roofs. The sheer walls of the fjord provided us with views of water as it streamed down the walls.
Our look at the churches on our quick stay in the Faroe Islands showed us the simple life led by the locals. And reinforced that this was a sea-going nation.
Stunning Countryside Scenery
As we toured from Torshavn, we got some amazing view. The clouds moved off and the scenes became more beautiful with each stop. We started with views of the fjords close to Torshavn. Small colourful towns dotted the shore and hillsides. We saw large fish processing plants.
The hillsides were steep and craggy. In many places we saw sharp rifts in the rock. And waterfalls. When we moved from the coast inland, the valleys flattened.
Our brief look at the Faroe Islands captivated us. We found the beauty we expected. But so much more.
We had another stop on our tour from Torshavn. The bus left the larger road and headed down a single lane road into Saksun. When we parked, we looked out over an amazing valley and the fjord that went out to the sea. On one hill, a small waterfall drew us up.
At the bottom of the hill was the small local church. Behind the church we found a small cemetery. With a view! The church was not open to explore. And it was clear that visitors were not respecting signs.
The Duvugardar Museum was another grass-roofed house. Inside we wandered through room after room that showed how people in the country lived.
It was great to get a closer look at life in the country on our brief look at Faroe Islands.
A Final View Over Torshavn
On our way back to the cruise dock, the bus climbed high above the port first. At our first viewpoint, we got a great view of the fjord. And the large grass-covered prison that sat high on the hill with a view.
We wound our way down the hill and over the town of Torshavn. From there we had a great view over the town. And saw our cruise ship waiting for us at the dock.
This was a great way to finish our quick visit to Faroe Islands.
So Glad To Get A Brief Look At Faroe Islands
Our day in Torshavn started a bit grey and gloomy. The colourful and interesting town dispelled the morning clouds. But as we toured from Torshavn in the afternoon, we got an amazing view of the stunning countryside. And life in the country.
We were so glad we had a brief look at Faroe Islands on this cruise to the Nordic countries before the tourism boom hits. And destroys some of the charm we found on the island. I can’t imagine seeing Saksun over-run with multiple large tour buses. We will have to return to the Faroe Islands for a longer stay while it is still a less common destination.
From the Faroe Island we headed to the north coast of Iceland. It was fascinating to add yet more volcanic islands to our travel adventures.
Have you had a brief look at Faroe Islands? Did it tease you to want more?
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