Etikettarkiv: Places

The Faroes

Faroese Panorama
Panorama of the Faroe Islands in all it's surreal beauty.

It was in May 2006 when I got on the aircraft taking me to Copenhagen and the further on with the local carrier to the Faroe islands. This group of islands are scattered about in the north atlantic. If you draw a line from the northernmost point of Scotland straight to Iceland you will find the Faroes in the middle of this line roughly. Or you may explore them on this map here.

The name is Old Norse and means ”sheep islands” which is a very descriptive name. The language is a branch of Old Norse, grammatically close to Icelandic but when spoken reminds very much of some western dialects of Norwegian. I saw Faroese and Icelandic people speak with eachother and did not have much trouble understanding each other. I had quite some problems understanding spoken Faroese but written was easier and some words, though no longer in use in Swedish, were very similar to the dialect spoken in the part of Sweden where my father grew up which I learned to speak when I was 9.

Land & Sea
Fyords and Mountains...

Even though the Faroes are now Danish and Denmark is part of the European Union the Faroes is actually not, when Denmark entered the Faroese declined and remained outside the union. In this matter they are independent and people I spoke with said jokingly that this was due to the fishing restrictions put on by the European government wich would spell disaster for the Faroese people who has it as their main income source. Apart from fishing there are sheep farming and that is about it. Most other people work with supporting the fishing industry one way or another and there are very limited other natural resources on the islands that could sustain their economy.

In the whole Faro islands there are less than 50 000 inhabitants. All villages and the city of Tórshavn is located along the coast lines. The islands are quite mountainous and inhospitable and the wind is a constant reminder of the harsh climate. However, because of the sea the temperature is very moderate both in the summer with cool breezes and rain and in the winter the temperature drops but never hits the really cold temperatures that we sometimes suffer here in Scandinavia. On the average winter temperatures are around 5°C and in the summer they lie around 10°C so you see people wearing the traditional wool sweaters not unlike those of fishermen in the north of Norway or Russia all year around.

The Giants
The Giants, rocks out of the coast of the Faroes

The weather is constantly changing it is like it goes through phases and likes to throw tantrums. One day we were driving back from the job and the car was suddenly hit by a wind gush from the side and with it came driving rain. It rained so hard that the road was difficult to see even though it was broad day light. The next day in the paper we saw that a lorry had blown off the road in the place where we passed. As we drove the other way we saw the people trying to salvage the lorry, it had fallen off the road onto a spread of land just below. The driver was apparently a little shook up but otherwise unharmed. He was lucky though, had he gone through the fence in any other place he would have ended up falling 30-50 meters straight into the cold water of the north Atlantic. This is a serious hazard that actually kills a number of people every year in the islands.

The very interesting landscape on the islands


They had the same saying here as they had in the north of Norway in Narvik when I was there, ”if you do not like the weather, just wait five minutes”. And it was true of course, we had during one days rain, cloudy, sunny, calm, very windy and then a rain storm and in the evening we had nice and calm weather again. Very interesting.

Hiking the hills of the islands is quite popular both with the locals and as tourists. Though the winds may pose a hazard there are not very many other hazards you could encounter and it is a great opportunity to take some brilliant landscape photographs. However you should be aware that a reasonable physique is required to climb the Faroese hills, they can be steep and challenging. The old people there has a special walk where they keep their hands on their back and never walk directly in the direction of the incline, instead they walk in S shaped curves slowly scaling the hills and once up they love to have a coffee.

The Resting Place
Gjógv, a natural harbour

A lot of people keep sheep and apart from fish sheep meat is the main source of protein in the Faroese diet. Whale meat and blubber is also traditional but not as common any more perhaps of the restrictions of whaling (or just because the taste is a bit… difficult unless you have grown up to like it).

The flight was great, when we were about to land we flew in through this canyon-like gorge between two of the islands and then landing on Vágar airport, the only international airport in the Faroes. From there I got picked up by car and we drove to Tórshavn, the capitol city in the Faroes. Tórshavn literally means ”the harbour of Thor” and it is the main city of the Faroe islands. The Vágar airport is located on a different island and was built by the British troops during the later part of the WW2 when they occupied the Faroe Islands in an attempt to establish dominance in the north Atlantic sea.

The landscape is very different from the forests that I was used to. There are virtually no trees, the few I saw was planted in gardens in Torshavn and in the countryside there are grass, moss, lichen and shrubbery mainly. Perhaps a few other plants and flowers and the rest is taken care of by the grasing sheep. It is a common sight to see people break for sheep on the roads. The sheep don’t seem to mind the cars much at all they just wait for them to go past.

In the last years the focus on infrastructure has been high and several tunnels between the main islands has opened. There are two mobile telephone operators on the Faroe islands, FT (Faroe Telecom) and Kall (pronounced roughly ’kathlh’, the double-l sounds is very distinctive in Faroese).

Here are some more pictures from my trip.

Vidareidi Church
The Vidareidi church on the Faroe Islands.


Street SalesHötorget is famous for the people selling things in the daily market place all the way back to the early medieval days. This used to be a village called Väsby in those days and when they built the street ”Kungsgatan” (the King’s Street) they found several skeletons, money and other remains from some 700 years back in time.

In 1914 the trade with fresh raw meats such as beef, sheep, swine or horse. Later the same year all freshed and skinned animals as well as birds, salted or smoked fish, boiled shellfish, butter, bread, cheese and flour was also banned for sanitary reasons.


Many of the people selling foodstuffs then moved into the indoor marketplace nearby instead where it was still allowed.

Today you will find mainly people selling used second hand items, toys, mobile phone accessories, bags, handbags and valises, cheap clothes (with varying quality I must say) your various bric-a-brac stuff and old musical instruments, CD’s, LP’s and so on… and you can find pretty much anything if you asked around. I saw two laptops being sold as well. One looked severely used. The other looked brand new.

No questions asked.

The houses around is dominated by shopping but there is a huge blue house where which is the Stockholm Concert Hall. This building requires a page of it’s own but it is a great example of 1920s architecture.

The Small House

The Small House
The Faroe Islands. Nikon D70s, Nikkor AF-S 18-70/3.5-5.6, Adobe Lightroom.

The winding road by the North Atlantic Sea and a small house where a family lives.
A bright red roof offsetting the blue of the water and the nuances of the grassland around it.

The heavy rain clouds in the sky telling us that in five minutes there will be a downpour.
It may stop just as quickly again or it might continue for a day
but the weather is usually changing quite rapidly.

You can have sunshine, rain, storm, hail and then sunshine again all in one single afternoon.

These are the Faroe Islands.

Go Places – Inspiration – Geocaching

Yeast in Reality
Example of a Geocache

Do you have a difficult time to get inspiration for going on a phot walk or hike away in nature to take some pictures? Are you low on ideas of what to photograph? Do you have a GPS receiver suiteable for trekking/hiking (most car navigation systems are not, you want a smaller handheld device)?

Then this is an interesting hobby that you might want to check out! It’s called Geocaching and I will explain a little about what it is.

Basically geocaching is a treasure hunt. What happens here is that someone hides a ”treasure” for you to find. There is usually not anything valuable in it, it is just the location actually that’s the whole point of it. These treasures are referred to as geocaches and when they are hidden they are also published with GPS coordinates on this homepage.

Hunters go to the home page and find some caches nearby where they live – or where they wish to go hunting, then they download the coordinates, descriptions and perhaps also the hints – called ”spoilers” (they may spoil the fun of searching). Equipped with a GPS receiver, the coordinates, a pen they set out to try to locate the cache.

Fortsätt läsa Go Places – Inspiration – Geocaching