Etikettarkiv: historical

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.


Old HeaterThis is an old factory where they used to make iron cast wood-fired stoves and other products like that. It is now the home of a broad range of small companies inhabiting the old factory houses. Here are some pictures of the factories that I have taken.

Bolinders grundades 1844 då bröderna Jean och Carl Gerhard Bolinder grundade J. & C. G. Bolinders Mekaniska Verkstads ABKungsholmen i Stockholm. Under de första årtiondena var produktionen inriktad på ångmaskiner, träbearbetningsutrustning och råoljemotorer för till exempel båtar och sågverk. Man producerade också olika sorters gjutna produkter som till exempel vedspisar, kaminer och köksutrustning som stekpannor, grytor, våffeljärn och köttkvarnar.1893 byggde Bolinders sin och Sveriges första motor med intern förbränning. Motorn designades av ingenjör Weyland men var inte så framgångsrik. Istället tog man in ingenjör Rundlöf som konsult och 1897 hade man en tvåtakts råoljemotor som blev en väldig framgång. På 1920-talet hade man en världsandel av 80% av alla fiskebåtar tack vare motorernas pålitlighet, låga bränsleförbrukning och långa livslängd.Efter brödernas död i slutet av 1800-talet togs företaget över av Erik August Bolinder. Vid 1906 ansåg man att lokalerna på Kungsholmen hade blivit för små så man köpte Kallhälls gård eftersom man ansåg Kallhäll i Järfälla hade bra kommunikationer då den låg vid järnvägen mot Västerås och man kunde också använda sjövägen via Mälaren in till Stockholm. 1909 började produktionen i Kallhäll. Man tillverkade då spisar och köttkvarnar samt gjutgods som transporterades sjövägen till fabriken på Kungsholmen. Vid 1919 hade Bolinders 1900 anställda på de båda fabrikerna.1913 byggde Bolinders sin första traktor. Den drevs av en tvåcylindrig tvåtakts råoljemotor på 30 hästkrafter.

Main Street

1932 delades företaget i två delar. Motoravdelningen slogs samman med Munktells i Eskilstuna och fick namnet Bolinder-Munktell. Resten av företaget fortsatte produktionen i Kallhäll under namnet Bolinders Fabriks AB. Under 1930- och 1940-talen tillverkade man Trim utombordsmotor, diskmaskiner, sanitetsgods och emeljerade hushållskärl. Under 1950-talet tillverkade man mycket kylskåp och elspisar men konkurrensen från Elektrolux, Husqvarna och Electro-Helios var svår och 1956 köptes Bolinders Fabriks AB upp av AB Svenska Maskinverken, som då flyttade större delen av sin verksamhet till Kallhäll.

Under andra världskriget tillverkade man mycket utrustning till den svenska försvarsindustrin som till exempel gengasaggregat.

Källa: Wikipedia

Older building

Brick Building

Gjutmästare Rosbergs väg

Reflection in old Glass

Old chimney

Brick Facade

A Peninsula Called Shoe

There are many historical grounds not ver far from where I live. One such place is a Peninsula called ”Sko” in Swedish which means ”shoe” in English. The name probably comes from that the peninsula resembles a shoe from the air, or when viewed on a map. Check out the google map of the area and you will see what I mean.

The weather was not very nice for photography, a thick cloud layer making all the photos very dull and bland, to the point of being completely ”flat”. Sometimes I use a flash as a tool to fix this, if you have a dull landscape in the background, place a person in the foreground and use a flash properly you can get a very nice effect. Especially with some gels that gives yellow color. When you compensate the white balance for that yellow colour you get a very nice blue cast on the sky even if it was completely dull when you shot the picture.

But today was different, I decided to work with contrasts and black & white photos instead to the point of almost making them cartoonish. Here is the result of today’s little excursion…

Douglas DC-3 in Skokloster
Swedish Air Force DC-3 on display. Originating from flotilla F13M "Malmslätt" in Linköping. Last time it was flown was in 1983 when it was flown from Bromma to Skå-Eneby airfield. The day after there was an unnamed civil pilot flying it without any military or civilian designations to the current location, landing in a nearby field. The authorities are about to move it to a different place.
"Idealbyn", the "ideal village" was created in the early nineties as a kind of haven for people adhering to the teachings of Transcendental Meditation (TM). The photograph shows the school in the village.
DC-3 insignia
Part of the insignia on the DC-3 at Skokloster. This is a close-up of the first picture from a slightly different angle. It says "Swedish Air Force" and "Air Support Command F13M" which relates to the F13 flotilla in Malmslätt, Linköping. The motto was "Volare necesse est". I leave you to look that one up yourself!
Upplands runinskrifter 676
Typical "uppland" (the county) where this peninsula resides. To the left in the picture is a rune stone from around year 1000. The flat agricultural landscape are broken by roads that are usually built on very very old roads travelled by foot and then by horsemen probably from the stone age and forth. Runestones where almost always placed at the side of the roads where people traveled at the time they were erected and in these parts there are usually newer roads built on top of these ancient paths. Like in this case.