Posts Tagged ‘Hotel Foroyar’

The view from my window at the Hotel Føroyar was quite spectacular – when the fog lifted.  The city was laid out below me with a pale blue mother ship lying at anchor in the bay.  Because there’s not enough permanent cold-storage available in the city for all the fish caught in the surrounding seas,  the Phoenix lies at anchor to take up the slack.

View from my bedroom window  (P1010621 ©  DY of jtdytravels)

We started our day with a walking tour of the old centre of Tórshavn.  This part of the city is called Tinganes.

Traditional black and white house with sod roof   (P1010625  ©  DY of jtdytravels )

Traditionally, only two colours were used for the houses: black and white.  The walls of the buildings were painted black while the window frames were white.  The black, I believe, came from the use of creosote, a preservative.  This was necessary to protect the wood from the elements, particularly due the ever-present salt-laden air.  Nowadays, black paint is the chosen material as it is not so injurious to health as creosote.  Sod, or turf, was the traditional roof covering with the practice still continuing today on some buildings.

More traditional houses and paving stones ( P1010627 © DY of jtdytravels)

A stone and timber dwelling   (P1010633  ©  DY of jtdytravels )

We walked on to the small harbour which is surrounded by old and new buildings.

Tórshavn Harbour  ( P1010640  ©  DY of jtdytravels )


Reflected boats and some new buildings   (P1010642  ©  DY of jtdytravels )


Old wooden boats    (P1010644  ©  DY of jtdytravels )


An Arctic Tern    (P1010638  ©  DY of jtdytravels )

The port was protected by the Skansin fortification which was built on a small hill.  Today, this is the location of a lighthouse.

The lighthouse and old cannon  (P1010650  ©  DY of jtdytravels )


The fort from the harbour   (P1010657  ©  DY of jtdytravels )


On old cannon with the mothership Phoenix in its sights!   (P1010653  ©  DY of jtdytravels )

After this walk,  Dagfinn, our driver/guide, decided to head for what he believed would be a sunnier part of this island. And we’ll go there in my next musings.  D



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After a night back in Iceland, reunited with the passengers left behind when we went to Greenland (Oh, what they had missed!), it was time to fly off to the last of our Viking Islands – The Faroe Islands.  We took off around lunch time in a BAe 146 (OY RCD), a Short Take-Off and Landing (STOL) type aircraft.  This meant that the runway on the islands was not going to be long enough for regular aircraft.

The green hills of The Faroes    (P1010434 © DY of jtdytravels)

Again from my ‘seat with a view’, high above land, I was able to take my first look at these small islands. And what I saw was GREEN! A change of colour. Not the white ice and bare brown mountains of Greenland – but lots of green.

The Faroe Islands, lie north west of Scotland in the North Atlantic at a latitude of 62°00’N. Lying in the heart of the Gulf Stream, they are half way between Iceland and Norway. This archipelago of eighteen islands forms roughly the shape of an arrowhead, 113km long and 75km wide.

An autonomous region of Denmark since 1948, the 50,000 Faroese people have their own flag, parliament and official national language.  With so much coastline and not much arable land, the economy is almost entirely dependent on fishing and fish farming.  Some petroleum products have been found nearby and this gives these islands some hope for sustained economic prosperity.

Rugged cliffs   (P1010478 © DY of jtdytravels)

The islands have towering cliffs and are quite rugged although the highest peak is just 882m above sea level.  The climate is categorised as Maritime Subarctic and is greatly influenced by the warm North Atlantic Current.  Winters are mild considering their location with a mean temperature of 3-4℃, while summers are cool with a mean temperature of 9.5-10-5℃. The islands are windy and cloudy with over 260 rainy days a year.  Sunny days are rare.

Close up of cliffs (P1010486 © DY of jtdytravels)

I liked these islands immediately, with their wonderful, rugged cliffs, clearly visible as the plane approached the airport and no less impressive, later on, up much closer by boat. This was a very scenic approach to the airport.

First sight of a Faroese village   (P1010435 © DY of jtdytravels)

A village, straggled out along the coast below us.  By far the greatest number of Faroese now live in Greater Tórshavn, the capital of the islands – the rest of the population live in scattered, tiny villages like this one.

A Faroese village    (P1010438 © DY of jtdytravels)

The island houses are very colourful indeed.  It appears that no-one would dare paint their house the same colour as their neighbour’s. And the style of church is quite distinctive in its architecture – and again colourful.

A closer view of Faroese houses   (P1010442 © DY of jtdytravels)

Our plane touched down at Sorevag on a small island that has enough flat land for a short runway.  There, we were met by a representative of Arctic Adventures, our Danish travel agents.  We were then transferred by road through a tunnel to Streymoy Island and the capital Torshavn. Our home away from home for the next three nights was the Hotel Foroyar. Our final Viking Islands adventure had begun.   D


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