Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Faroe Islands: Tórshavn, pebbles to the extent of the Atlantic

Lovers of wide open spaces, listen to this little secret: there is a piece of land lost in the ocean, not so far than here, but which however seems to be another planet: Faroe Islands, these a few pebbles beaten by winds and scattered in the middle of the Atlantic.

Upon landing, where the aircraft launches over a stone wall that seems to stand before him at the last minute, the spell takes effect. Love's hectic life, the Faroe Islands are not for you. On the other hand, if you love nature, are a poet and a little contemplative strand also, you risk getting caught!

Your first stop will certainly be the 'capital' of this autonomous archipelago of the Denmark Torshavn. Close to 20'000 inhabitants and by far the largest town of the Faroe Islands. To make knowledge, a judgment must be the office of tourism of the city, located in the H. n. Jacobsens Boghandel, the oldest library still based on Europe (come back later for some souvenirs)!

We set off for the first part of the port (one of the ferries) to visit the ruins of Skansin, an old fort or operates a small lighthouse... Finally, we realize that despite its distance from the Mainland, the city is rather old. These are the Vikings, arrived in the ninth century who founded the. And as any communities of Vikings, they had a Parliament, the "thing", installed on the Tinganes peninsula. Today, still Tinganes is the political and administrative centre of the Islands. It is to the end that are the offices of government departments and the former Parliament. It is also historic. Lose yourself in its tiny streets between small wooden houses covered with tar and grass roofs. You can spend a long time to imagine life in what was a fishing village until the end of the 19th century!
Scroll down to the Cathedral and stroll along the harbour. Have a coffee in the Kaffihusid before you pass on the street shopping of the Faroe Islands: Niels Finsens Gøta. If you forgot to equip you for the capricious weather of the Faroe - windproof and waterproof hiking shoes required - it is the time to do so. Prepare your budget if you go crazy for a 100% wool Gudrun & Gudrun ferigienne sweaters, sweaters of the heroine of "The Killing"!
On the way to the Nordic House, you will pass the national football stadium. There are 6'000 seats but the Ferigiens are known to be among the hottest supporters of Europe. Given the number of kids I saw playing football in all weathers, it does not surprise me... You will also find the Museum of art of the Faroe Islands, Listasavn Føroya, with its entrance resembling a binker and the rest like to the huts where did dry fish. This museum brings together a good century of the cru. In this harsh land where the inhabitants were hard to labor, art was born quite late, but makes up for much contemporary with a unique vision of the world and a grain of somewhat similar to Icelandic artists madness.
Finally, your ride will take you to the Nordic House. the cultural branch of the Nordic Council, which includes the Nordic countries: the Iceland, the Faroe Islands, the island of Åland and Greenland. The Nordic House became cultural home to the Faroe Islands, offering concerts, exhibitions but also the feeling of belonging to a wider. In this black building as the basalt of the islands which saw it being born, its roof of grass comes from Iceland, its stone at the entrance floor, Norway, its furniture of Finland, its parquet of Sweden and its beams and his glass of the Denmark. No luck for me, an exhibition were in preparation but I was able to enjoy near one of the airy and warm place (all this wood!), typically northern and a small coffee. Need to come back at an event!
For the return, maybe will you go take a ride to the SMS, the largest shopping centre of the Faroe Islands, its supermarket (it also the largest in the country) and perhaps do you dare a few speciality as the deli of sheep, there are more sheep than people, or... the whale. Not very politically correct but if a Ferigien invite you, there is no doubt that it will propose you to taste!
Enjoy good of civilization... because the leave in these cities is done very quickly.
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