Long time, no verbal diarrhea! I am just at the airport on my way from the Faroe Islands. It was my first time visit to this mythical island group, and in style with the post I did after my visit to Taiwan earlier this year, I wanted to do a First Impressions of the Faroes.
Below you will find some of the things I took note of during my first few days on the isles:
Whale hunting is most definitely a thing.
On our first night on the islands, as I am brushing my teeth in the hostel bathroom, there is suddenly a whole lot of stuff going on outside the window. Boats are going around in circles, shots like fireworks are going off and the side of the road is cramped with on-looking cars.
As it turns out, there is a 'traditional' whale hunt going on. The fishermen have chased the a passing herd of whales into the shallow waters of the bay, only for licensed killers to run out with their knifes to cut these grandios creatures. Luckily, I didn't witness this 'fiesta' myself. I did however see the catch of the night lay sliced open on one of the nearby piers the following day.
You know that McCartney saying "if slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian"? I believe that to be true and particularly in this case. There seemed to be a split in tourists. 50% horrified, while the others were more understanding of 'the way to make do living in a remote end of the world'. We are so disconnected from the way that the food in our produce aisles actually end up there. I think things like this are particularly important to take note of.
The unique Style of Housing.
We must of course begin to adress the grass covered roof tops. I mean, how cute?! Apparently the roofs are filled with soil as a mean of isolation. According to the manager of the hostel I stayed, it reduces energy by some 40%. Ain't that something?! They also used to put sheep on the roof for maintenance.
While the houses look very much like elsewhere in Scandinavia (particularly the north!) there was one tiny detail missing. While most Nordic houses tend to have different colours at the corners, the majority of the Faroese are all the same colour. Furthermore, they LOOK like they are made out of wood but again the majority are covered in sheet metal. Perhaps that explains the variety in colours too. No need for that Falu Red for easy maintenance.
... But where do I recycle?
Remember in my Taiwan-post, where I hurrahed the many ways you were encouraged to recycle? Well with the exception of perhaps PET-bottles, there really did not seem to be much going on in the recycling department. This is a little bit disheartening. I mean, it is 2018 and there is a tourist boom approaching the country as never before. I fear it will be Iceland/New Zealand all over if they do not step up their recycling game ASAP!
Too much of a good thing?
While the image of rural countryside, more sheep than humanss and rugged, deserted beaches might be what springs to mind when you think of this island group - you are most definitely not going to be the only one visiting. The tourist bureau has really done an ace job in recent years in their attempts on putting the Faroes on the tourist map. (For me, it was a post by Äntligen Vilse that made me start dreaming of this destination - and that was a collaboration with Visit Faroe Islands.)
While fishing is the main drawing card in terms of income, it is also an extremely vulnerable one. Tourism is great as it enables life in thus rural end of the world to go on BUT it still leaves me with an uneasy feel at times. Especially when visiting the tiniest of villages, with say three households all together and you pass some crooked back-wind beaten-senior that has lived on this land for 60+ years. How different life must be when there are suddenly bus loads of tourists strutting through your backyard every day of the week.
There are no trees!
Well at least no native trees, all the ones you see are actually planted and you will mainly see them in the capital of Torshavn.
That's a wrap for now as I will tend to my SD card and go through the dozens photos from this trip. Expect plenty of steep cliffs and hikes through sheep shit coming up soon.
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