Tag Archives: Norway

Perhaps you want to go Faroe Faroe away?

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


Faroe Islands

Faroe Islands

And now, for the island that hates human visitors…

ImageBouvet Island is a volcanic island covered with glacial ice and surrounded by more ice, located about as far away from Norway as you can get. It’s waaay down on the southern side of the world, below the 50th parallel. No one has ever lived there. And yet, Norway owns it. They fought to have it.

And the island has been trying to kick them out ever since.

It didn’t like people earlier, either. Bouvet, the explorer, found it first in 1739, but recorded the wrong coordinates so no one else could find it. James Cook tried to find it, and couldn’t. The next explorers did find it but couldn’t land on it thanks to the glaciers and sharp hillsides. An American explorer pretendedto find it and hunt seals there but since he never mentioned the glacier, people think they maybe weren’t at the same island.

It gets more confusing because there is a secretive second island, Thompson Island, that is there sometimes, but not there other times. The UK, in trying to claim the island, got legally stopped by the question of which island they had actually landed on.


When a convenient rock slide finally allowed landings on the island, people came and built a hut for meteorological study. It washed away. They brought a more sturdy building and set it up. An earthquake happened – 6. something on the Richter scale – and it shook the building loose. It washed away, just as if the island shrugged its shoulders and tossed them off.

Strangely, it has an internet code. .bv What the he..?

Seriously, it’s a nature preserve, with thousands of migratory birds breeding there, and lots more passing through on their way to better vacation spots. Apparently they eat snow lichen. Yummy.


Go home! Stay away! Macaroni Penguins want it that way!



But if you’re human, I suggest you stay away. The island doesn’t like us much.