An Irish Monk on his voyage through the North-Atlantic ocean came across a group of Islands. To him, it was the most breathtaking landscape he had ever seen.
“It was the Islands of the Sheep, but also the Paradise of the Birds” he discovered.
It was the Faroe Islands!
The name Faroe is believed to have derived from Norwegian culture, which means Sheep Islands, a name given by the Viking age settlers who arrived on the Islands from Norway in the Ninth century.
The Green Spots in Ocean!
Cloistered over a distance of 200 miles from Scotland, this splendid archipelago is about halfway between Iceland and Norway. What makes up the Faroe Islands embraces 18 major islands, most of which are volcanic, and more than a hundred of islets.
These verdant mountainous islands can be seen as scattered chunks of rocks in the middle of the Atlantics.
“Why Faroe Islands?”
Of all the reasons why this unfathomable beauty of nature should be on top of your Bucket List, one that greatly outweighs the rest is, its stunning green terrains that edge mostly into cliffs, offering a breathtaking view of large blue waters.
To sum up, this could be the most awe-inspiring heaven on Earth.
“Breathe, Hear, Feel the Nature!”
On Islands, you ought to lose yourself in the tranquility of the place, and the good thing is there isn’t any cardinal to do it correctly, just close your eyes and let the cold winds blow over your face while you hear the running streams of water, (and bleating if there are sheep around).
“Be Lost only to Find Yourself!”
Follow a trail, or leave your own, explore the far lands, and don’t worry if you’ve wandered too far. The Islands are great place to get lost!
(Pic by BEN CAMPBELL)
The Paradise Lost in Time!
Being one of the most pristine lands on the European continent, the Faroe Islands are an idyllic escape for Nature lovers. No matter where you stand, you will always feel invited by the spectacular view of the grounds, pleasantly back-dropped with the vast ocean.
“It’s more than just the Oasis of Serenity!”
There are Multicolored Cottages, Picturesque villages, and Turf-roofed houses that make the Faroe islands truly special.
Take a walk through some of the oldest villages of the Islands and you could even make your walk to remember by spending time with the locals and hearing their stories. The Faroe Islanders are always eager to share the best of Faroes, and it is these moments that make any journey truly memorable.
Heaven for Hikers and Bicyclers
Hiking from the old secluded Mykines village to the lighthouse at the end of the islet of Mykineshólmur is a must-do thing on the Islands.
Truly the Sheep Islands
The Monk wasn’t the first person to explore the Islands. Presence of the Sheep during his visit was a sign that humans already left a trail, and these grazing-creatures behind.
Surprisingly, these four-legged wooly creatures have a population of around 70,000, whereas the population of the Faroe Islanders is just 50,000.
These native creatures leave no end of the Islands for grazing, and it is the reason they were chosen to capture footage for the Google Street View by strapping cameras on their backs. The footage was called as the Sheep View of the place.
“Hear the Most Heard Folklore of the Islands!”
“Once a year, they were allowed to leave the water and come on land where they would strip off their skins and enliven themselves as human beings, dancing on the shore and enjoying their time.” They were the seals, the marine animal believed to be the former human beings.
The folklore talks about one such being, named Kópakonan, meaning “the seal woman”, who is believed to have left a curse over the Island of Kalsoy. A curse that is making the men from the village of Mikladur to fall prey to death by either falling from the top of the cliffs or by getting drowned at sea.
The tales of Kópakonan was molded into eternity when the statue of her was raised on the edge of Mikladur on the Island of Kalsoy. Made entirely of bronze and stainless steel, the statue is raised to a height of 2.6 meters and is designed to withstand the sea-waves as high as 13 meters.
Experience all four seasons in one day!
The weather on the Islands makes up the best of Faroes. It’s cloudy throughout the year, with cool winds blowing across the islands. The most beautiful thing is the climate that differs even at small distances.
With its highly unpredictable weather it’s not at all an unusual thing to expect snow on one location, and sunny on the other. This sums up why the Faroe Islands is the place to live all four seasons in a day!
Did I mentioned the “Paradise of Birds?”
Oh yes, it is. Not sure the season when the Monk explored the islands but saying it “the paradise of birds” hints it was summer, the season when the Faroe Islands turns into a breeding ground for a variety of birds. The species count that visits the Faroe Islands was recorded to as high as 305.
It’s all Puffins, the truly adorable bird species, sitting over the precipitous cliff of Mykines during summers!
Aah, the Food!
Living on an Archipelago is probably the reason why the people of Faroes are strongly rooted in their traditional culture. And one of the most cherished parts of their traditions is the Faroese Food. So, welcome to the Faroe Islands, “The New Nordic Food Frontier” as bestowed by ‘The Guardian’.
What adds to the distinctive flavors of the Faroese Food is the use of a traditional method called ræst, which is nothing but a sort of fermentation. In the process, the meat and the fish are dried outdoors to ferment it.
As the process is carried out in the open air, the desired taste heavily relies on the right weather conditions. It should be neither too warm nor too cool, and if it’s too windy, it simply leaves it tasteless.
Even with the emerging culture of restaurant-dining, the traditional food culture is still of great significance to the Faroe Islanders. In reverence to its unique taste, the restaurants have accepted the traditional Faroese food as a part of their dining menu.
aND there exists a Government too!
Since 1948, the Faroe Islands is functioning as an autonomous nation of the Kingdom of Denmark. Despite being under the Kingdom of Denmark, the Faroe Islands is not a member of the European Union whereas Denmark is.
Thus, being a self-governing nation the Faroe Islands can lead, legislate and practice independent governance in a wide range of areas such as trade, taxation, education, etc.
“So why do I choose to write about the Faroe Islands?”
When I first saw this image, I felt it like a dreamland. I even reposted the picture on my timeline captioning “Do you really exist?” Coz’ I was deeply amazed by the beauty of the place. I mean how could something be so beautiful, so heavenly close to nature! And so I started to explore more about the Faroe Islands, and when I did, I was just not able to keep the things I learned to myself, and I went ahead with writing about this untouched heaven on Earth.
Honestly, I never heard about the Faroe Islands before nor do I think I will ever be able to visit the place, but I strongly believe that there is a freshness, there is inimitable magic in its air…and you must experience it!