August 07, Torshavn, Faroe Islands

Torshavn is the capital and largest town of the Faroe Islands. It is located in the southern part on the east coast of Streymoy. To the north west of the town lies the 347-metre (1,138 ft) high mountain Húsareyn, and to the southwest, the 350-metre (1,150 ft) high Kirkjubøreyn..

The Vikings established their parliament on the Tinganes peninsula in 850 CE, thus Tórshavn was made capital of Faroe Islands and has remained so ever since. All through the Middle Ages the narrow peninsula jutting out into the sea made up the main part of Tórshavn. Sources do not mention a built-up area in Tórshavn until after the Protestant Reformation in 1539. Early on, Tórshavn became the center of the monopoly trade, thereby being the only legal place for the islanders to sell and buy goods. In 1856, the trade monopoly was abolished and the islands were left open to free trade. The town has grown rapidly ever since the turn of the 20th century into the undisputed administrative, economic and cultural center of the Faroes.

 

We were welcomed to the Faroe Islands with unusually nice weather (for the islands!). It was overcast but no rain and the temperature was in the high 50’s. Today we have a tour arraigned with Cruise Specialists our travel agent. We traveled from Torshavn, the capital in the southern part of Streymoy the largest of the 18 islands making up the Faroes northward. No matter your locations on the islands, you are never more than 3 miles from the ocean. Torshavn has 17,000 of the approximately 48,000 inhabitants of the Faroes. All but one small island is occupied.

I was surprised by the development of the country. I guess I am not really sure what I expected but not the modern well developed country I encountered. Most of the islands are amazingly close. In fact the photo below is of a bridge across the Atlantic Ocean which connects the two largest islands.

The islands consists of many fiords and glacier carved alleys which give rise to a beautiful landscape. There are no native forests on the islands but a few small clusters of trees imported from the southern tip of South America are beginning to flourish.

 

 

To the left side of the fiord you can see a salmon farm. Fishing and fish farms are the largest industry in th islands.

 

 

 

A few hardy flowers flourish in this harsh windy climate.

We crossed the Atlantic bridge from Streymoy island to Eysturoy island. We then traveled to the northern tip to the village of Gjogv. This a very picturesque seacoast town where we had a morning treat of pancakes and coffee at the local hotel/hostel.

 

 

 

Along the wall of the dining room there were cubicles which contained a sleeping area. This was bed No. 37 located behind sliding doors.

 

This young local boy was playing with his boat attached to a string and pole. He was “sailing” his boat in a small pond formed from the stream flowing from the mountains to the ocean.

 

 

 

Inside this church as in almost all churches in Scandinavia, there is a ship suspended from the ceiling with the ship facing the pulpit, signifying a safe harbor.

 

There were many homes and public building covered with the traditional grass roof

 

 

 

 

 

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The glacier shaped terrain is very obvious in the above two photos.

 

A view of the city of Torshavn taken from the road above the town.

 

 

The harbor in Torshavn

 

Today, Wednesday we are arriving in Seydisfjordur, Iceland. We have no tour planned but expect to walk the small town and perhaps hike outside of town.

 

 

 

 

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