I still remember meeting Josef, finding out he was from the Faroe Islands and wondering where on a map they would be found. It wasn't until two years later that Ironman and I were finally able to go see for ourselves. We spent two weeks touring the entire country with Josef and his soon-to-be-bride, Gunhild. Then, the last few days of our trip was spent celebrating their wedding!
This was by far the most amazing place Ironman and I have ever been, so I want to give you 20 reasons why the Faroe Islands should be on your bucket list.
1. Wake up to beautiful views. While we were there, Josef's aunt was out of town and allowed us to stay in her apartment. We had everything that we needed and our bedroom window was enormous. So, each morning, we would wake up, lay in bed and look out of the window, shocked at the view.
2. Enjoy perfect weather. I can't stand heat and humidity and was excited to be coming to a cold climate for vacation. The day that we arrived was chilly for us, but hot for the Faroese people. However, the longer we stayed, the colder it became (apparently they had just been experiencing a random heat wave). Finally there was so much snow that we couldn't get the car back to the apartment one night and had to go on foot! It was a windy and slippery adventure for sure!
3. Take National Geographic worthy photos on your iPhone. I don't have a camera. About five years ago, I needed to replace my phone and camera so I decided to get an iPhone to kill two birds with one stone. Now, when I travel, the only camera I use is the one on my iPhone. Many people ask me how I have such good photos, but it must just be that we are visiting such beautiful places! PS, this photo was taken outside of our bedroom window, to the right of the apartment. Unreal, right?
4. Eat every meal with a gorgeous background. Here Ironman was enjoying his breakfast, but even when we would walk over to Josef's parents home, we would eat lunch and supper with an amazing view there too! Basically, no matter where you go, you can't find a bad view. Also, being up high where the wind was stronger, meant that we got to watch the birds soar through the air all day long, right in front of our window. It was so inspiring that I even wrote down my thoughts in this post.
5. Walk everywhere. While we were visiting our friend, we stayed in his hometown of Klaksvik. It is the 2nd largest city in the Faroe Islands, but still only has 5,000 people living there. This was great since we didn't rent a car and just planned to walk everywhere! The only trouble is when you want to get to another city...then, we would go by car. Luckily Josef was a great host and drove us all over the country!
6. While walking, you pass by little mini waterfalls. Not only is the area covered in little waterfalls, but also sheep! There are more sheep than people...and no trees at all! It was such a unique place.
|Dinner at the Jacobsen home.|
7. The people are the most welcoming in the world. Everywhere we went, the locals would motion for us to come and say "Please, you are welcome!". I don't think that we met one unfriendly person the entire trip. Although we were total strangers, everyone was so happy to have us into their home!
8. There are tiny houses with a grass roofs. If you've seen my bucket list, you know that I would love to one day build and live in a Tumbleweed Tiny House. So, naturally I was super excited when I saw one with a grass roof. Apparently it is used for a kids program...I would love to go play!
9. Visit a 600 year old viking home. I was so surprised at how well this home has held up over the hundreds of years that it has been sitting here. Inside was all creaking wood and ancient tools and ropes. Since I've always heard that the vikings were huge, I couldn't believe that the staircase was so narrow!
10. The government buildings in Torshavn (the capital) are all painted red...
11. ...and have grass roofs that you can stand on! I loved how the buildings were all matching and clean. It seemed so welcoming and not at all like I would have pictured parliament. Supposedly, this is the oldest parliament in the world!
12. Your morning walk will consist of breathtaking views of the marina. We stayed on one side of the city, while our host Josef was on the other side. So, each morning as we walked to his house, we came down the mountain, passed by this beautiful area and then walked back up the other side of the mountain to get to his home. Every morning I would ask Ironman, "Can you believe that these people get to see this every single day and it's totally normal for them?!"...
13. You are offered cake, cookies, fruit, nuts and coffee at every single home you visit. Remember I said that the Faroese are the most welcoming people in the world? Every area of the country we visited, we also visited the home of a friend or relative of Josef. No matter what they were doing, they would stop and excitedly invite us in. Relationships definitely come before time in this country!
13. You can't find a bad view. As you drive around, touring the islands, you will run into beautiful churches and buildings with amazing views everywhere you go. The weather was beautiful and overcast, the mountains were jaw dropping, the landscape was like something out of a fairy tale. I have heard it said that the Faroe Islands are considered the last frontier on earth.
14. The locals have a great sense of humor. While there, I got to participate in the bachelorette party for Gunhild. We went all over town doing crazy things and even stopped at the local police station and asked to be locked up in a cell. I was slightly concerned that I was going to end up on the next locked up abroad if the police didn't think we were funny. There were only a few cells with a cot and a blanket and all of them were empty. Apparently there is no crime in the Faroe Islands, so the police joined in the fun and took photos of us acting like we were in jail. Never a dull moment when you travel to other countries and cultures!
15. You can see where they swam over 100 years ago. This cement outdoor (yes, outdoor) pool was built in 1905 and used for swimming lessons for the boys and then later the girls. Since Ironman and I visited in May and were dressed in our warmest South Carolina winter weather clothing, I cannot imagine anyone wanting to swim in this outdoor pool during the summer months here! Yes, I love the cold weather, but no, I wouldn't want to swim. I mean look at the snow capped mountains in the background...and this is their summer! So, I just pretended to float while staying warm and dry.
16. There are many beautiful parks that are free to the public. In the same area as the swimming pool is a beautiful park with trails, a small playground, cute little bridges and as always, breathtaking views. It is a great place to take a walk each evening as a family!
17. You can take a walk up Lover's Lane. Gunhild took us on a long hike up Lovers Lane to Hals (the neck) to get a full view of the entire city of Klaksvik. It was about an hour long hike, but well worth it after we saw this view. Plus, it is tradition to kiss your lover at the top! I was so tired after this hike that I came back to their house and took a two hour nap, only to find out that many people run that daily for exercise! I felt like a wimp.
18. The locals throw the best weddings in the world. I absolutely loved the way that Josef and Gunhild celebrated their marriage. A clip was put in the newspaper to announce the wedding and all were invited! Then, special guests were personally invited to the dinner reception. The groom bought his tux, since he will wear it again for future events. However, the bride rented her dress since she won't wear it again. That makes so much sense! The wedding lasted all day Saturday, for the ceremony and reception. Then on Sunday, guests came back to the home to visit the new couple, eat leftovers and see their gifts. One thing that was so interesting is that it was tradition for each and every guest to bring a cake to the reception. Yes, you read that correctly. Every guest. So, there were over 70 cakes! We ate and ate and ate and the food kept coming all day long. In addition to the cakes, another tradition is to sing. Each guest had formed groups with friends and planned out songs that they wanted to sing to the new couple. Although I had no idea what anyone was saying, I loved that the guests took so much time to make the new couple feel special and sing words of encouragement to them and their future! The wedding began at 10am and I finally told Ironman I had to go home at midnight...14 hours later. The Faroese sure know how to throw a good party!
19. You can eat Murstein every day! Seriously. I did. Somehow I ended up trying this weird looking dessert and absolutely went crazy for it. Ironman and I found a local bakery that we visited several times to enjoy this treat. We also found out that we could get some at the little gas station near the apartment. So, I ate about a years worth of this stuff within two weeks. If I go back to the Faroe Islands, this will be the first thing that I eat.
|Photo by Josef|
20. Spend some time in Denmark. On our way back to the USA we had an overnight stop in Denmark. We were lucky enough to be set up with a family to stay with and the husband wanted to take us sight-seeing! Ironman and I both agreed that one night in Denmark was not enough and plan to go back again one day.
So, what do you think? Are you convinced yet? Will you be adding the Faroe Islands to your Bucket List? Let me know in the comments below!