We made it! We are in the Faroe Islands.
Following another very rough night, after Lauren’s over-ambition at the buffet led to a swift return of her dinner, we docked this morning at 5am.
Despite assurances from staff on the ferry (which is operated from here) that there would be a café at the ferry terminal that would be open from 5, no such thing existed, so after disembarking we spent an hour and a half waiting in the rather empty and uninspiring ferry terminal until a reasonable time to turn up at our airbnb.
I had agreed with the host that we could check in at 7am, and he’d even offered to make us breakfast. He doesn’t live on site, but rather constructed the house himself and rents out the rooms.
At 06.30 I arranged a taxi, but Torshavn (capital of the Faroes, with around 20 thousand people) is so small, we arrived at the place at 06.40! The taxi driver seemed a little unsure of leaving us, but he said if the host said 7, he’d be here at 7.
It was bitterly cold, drizzling, and very, very dark. Lauren was incredibly good natured to say she’d been up since 4.15 and only had rosemary breadsticks in a cold ferry terminal for breakfast. She proceeded to keep warm by pirouetting down the deserted street in her waterproofs.
At 06.58, the wonderful Jorgen turned up, as promised, and looked surprised to see us standing outside. Of course the door was unlocked and we should have just let ourselves in: “there are no criminals in the Faroe Islands, nobody locks doors”…..
While we defrosted and de-waterproofed ourselves, Jorgen whipped up coffee and a tray full of rye bread, rolls, hams, cheeses, boiled eggs, chocolate spread and his wife’s rhubarb jam. I noticed this latter only came out after a good while. I took it as a good sign. It was delicious, and I don’t normally like rhubarb.
We have designated today a ‘domestic day’ – washing clothes, shopping, organizing our plans for the next few days. We did go out and visit tourist information (like everything else in Torshavn, 2 minutes away) who I don’t think have fully comprehended their brief, as every answer was ‘there is a website for that’, with the subtext of ‘Its November, you idiot’.
We did visit the famous mall, the only one on the Faroes, with about 15 shops and a coffee shop (and a burger king). The supermarket was very well stocked and prices not as horrific as I’d been led to expect. From reading blogs and forums online, I’d got it into my head we’d be forced to contemplate eating whale blubber or grated puffin, so was quite relieved to find some pasta and some mince! We even found Heinz baked beans, Typhoo tea and Mcvities biscuits. Apparently, Faroese have a particular penchant for British food, following the peaceful occupation by British troops during WWII (to pre-empt an invasion by Germany following Danish invasion).
The christmas decorations were already up, and there was a weird little Christmas display for kids, where the characters moved and played music when you turned a handle….
After the excitement of the mall we headed ‘home’ to the flat for chores and planning. No one else is in residence right now – a British guy left this morning – so for now we have the place to ourselves and are enjoying spreading out. Lauren is watching National Geographic in Danish/Faroese.
For the rest of the week we plan to hire a car and explore, go in search of snow, and, fingers crossed, get a helicopter shuttle to one of the more remote islands, only reachable by helicopter or boat.