Post 278: 31 July 2018, Torshavn, The Faroes
Having left the Orkneys at 4.30pm and enjoyed a sunset from the ship, we arrived at 9am to one of the smallest capitals in the world, Torshavn on the Faroes.Torshavn has a population of 13,089 (2017) and the greater urban area 21,000. It has over a third of the Faroes population. It named after the Norse God Thor, the God of Thunder.
We only had until 2.30pm on the island and so the opportunity to walk was minimal. Even more so as we were booked on a coastal villages tour to the village of Saksun.
We had an opportunity to see the Parliament area from our ship. There was also the car ferry MS Smyril in dock, the largest ship in the Faroes transport company fleet at 12,650 tons and which can carry 200 cars. Our tour coach climbed rapidly and inevitably conversations turned to the controversial killing of whales in the Faroes. Figures of 60 and 160 were mentioned of whales killed recently, apparently for ‘free meat’. Not everyone was convinced that this was justified. It seems a bit different in Greenland where the Inuit had (and still have in some places) little alternative but to hunt for whales to survive as there is little else to live off.
People from the Faroes also hang dead birds to scare off other birds from fields. Why not use a scarecrow?
Our ship could just be spotted in the harbour below. The advantage of smaller ships is that they can dock in smaller ports near the town centres.
We stopped briefly at a viewpoint over a sea inlet, with a first sighting of green grass roofs!
We also went to the village of Kollafjorour, which lies along a broad fjord and is home to many salmon farms. The old Lutheran Church was built in 1837 and was constructed with black-tarred wooden sides and a turf roof and white bell tower. Like most churches in these northern areas a ship hangs from the roof inside.
After a journey of 48 kilometres (30 miles) from Torshavn we arrived at Saksun one of the most idyllic villages in the Faroes, with a well preserved folk museum.
The old turf-roofed farm house of Duvugarder is now a museum. It is a well preserved Faroese farmhouse of any period from medieval times to the end of the 19th century. There are many domestic items on display.
We arrived back at our ship for a late lunch.
We had not had much opportunity for walking, but the little we did was very interesting.