"You know, this could really have been the perfect setting for the Lord of the Rings-triology", I say as we fend our way between sheep shit and viciously slippery mud. We are a tow of three making our way up the hill that separates Bøur and Gásadalur. Me, mum and this German guy we meet along the way.
Up until 2004, before they dynamited their way through the mountain to make a tunnel, this was the only way to access the small village of Gásadalur - making it one of the last places on the islands to be accessible by road. The hike that we are making today, The Old Postal Route, gets it name from just that. Three times a week the poor postman would have to climb the hill to deliver mail to the villagers. Rumor has it, it would take him around 45 minutes one way. We spent a good 2,5 hours making our way across but hey, practise makes perfect!
At times we are so focused on were we set our feet that we end up straight at the edges of the steep cliffs, towering over the Atlantic Ocean. A sweet reminder to stop and embrace the surroundings. "To think, last week I was sat reading of this hike, and now here are." The live version is ten times better than the photos.
The Hike in Brief
While there isn't much of a path to follow (thank goodness it is not a foggy day!), there are three markers along the way. The first one is Liksteinur, which roughly translates to Corpse Stone, around 320 metres above the sea. As Gásadalur is one of few Faroese villages without its own church, they would have to carry coffins of the deceased across the mountains as inhabitants passed. Liksteinur would be the final (somewhat) flat part to rest before continuting down the steep hills to Bøur. Safe to say, I feel quite lucky to only be carrying my DSLR and peanut butter sandwhich.
The second marker is known as Keldan Vivd and has a sad story to go with it. A baby of Gásadalur fell ill and thus had to be taken to Bøur to see a doctor. However, throughout the hike the condition of the child worsened. As it was widely believed at the time that a child could not go to heaven without first being baptised, a priest who was accompaning the group quickly blessed this spring and used its water to christen the child.
From Keldan Vivd it is a pretty straight forward walk (along an actual path!) until you reach the third marker of Skardid. This is the highest point of the hike and from here you will enjoy epic views over Gásadalur, as well as the island of Mykines on a clear day.
The steep descend from the plateau of Skardid is where you really have to walk mindfully as it gets really slippery.
This is only our second day at the Faroe Islands but I still feel like it will be a classic. Classic ever-changing weather and scenery that knocks you off your feet. I mean, the back drop of the tiny village Gásadalur with a darn waterfall coming out from underneath. It is the setting for fairytales.
Better yet, once you make your way down to the village there is actually a little café there. PERFECT way to round off a hike, a cup of steaming hot coffee!