You could do worse than a wander to the Faroe Islands. I went looking at them today as I wanted a northern turn. It hasn’t snowed here in Nova Scotia yet and I am wishing for a little whiteness to make Christmas come sooner. So I thought I’d take an imaginary trip to somewhere close to the North Pole.
The Faroe Islands are located just off the tip of the UK – bathed in the gulf stream leftovers perhaps, they are warmer than they have any right to expect to be. Quite tolerable at this time of year.
The Vikings lived there for years, and the 49,000 souls living on the 18 islands in this little archipelago remain furiously independent. Though they are technically part of Denmark, they fought with Viking ferocity to gain self-government status and have cleverly opted out of the EU, leaving them out of the mess that is at the moment. They’ve even managed to have their own national anthem, and are hoping for full independence if the oil reserves they think are there can be developed. Right now they live by fishing, and I think I should help them out with a bit of tourism.
It seems a breathtakingly beautiful place, with similarities to Newfoundland in geography and style – green mountains end in rocky drops to the sea; residents paint their houses in multiple colours much like they do in St. Johns. Newfoundland was a big Viking place, too. Perhaps the blood that runs through the Faroese is like that of the Newfoundlanders…
Their slogan, “Mitt alfagra land” means “My fairest land” and it seems justified. I mean – look at this photo:
How does anything that awesome actually exist? I could look at that for a couple of days straight and still not believe it. Check out Lonely Planet’s site for more amazing photos that fill me with wanderlust.
Add the fact that the place is a haven for all sorts of migrating and northern birds, like the puffins, kittiwakes, fulmars and guillemots(they come from the auk family!), and well, I’m looking at flights now.
It seems to be a place where you can wander lonely as a cloud, but link up with wireless and get a good fish cook up after you wander. And while you eat, you could get called into some live music or an art gallery filled with vibrant art.
Hmm. Sounds more and more like Newfoundland. Pity we can’t push these places together. They’d probably have a lot of fun with each other.
Faroe on the bottom, Newfoundland and Labrador on the top