Faroe Islands: Middle Earth in the Far North

I love travelling and I did visit many places in Europe, Middle East and America (where I lived for 35 years). However, these countries that I visited were quite easy to reach by plane or train. I often dream of far away places that I would love to see, their history and picturesque scenery attract me a lot. But I am aware that it will not be possible , so I look out for travel articles to read about them, the life of the people that inhabit them, and to admire pictures of wonderful spots taken on location by lucky tourists.

I am determined to write about the nice and interesting places that I did see with my own eyes. I consider it’s worth doing so for the readers who have not have yet the opportunity to see them. But maybe, one day they will…

Today – about The Faroe Islands

In an isolated archipelago bereft of trees and exposed to the harsh elements, we find magic and bliss in its green isles and imaginative cuisine.

It is probably surprising that the mythical Middle Earth can be found in a cluster of 18 islands in the windy North Atlantic Ocean. The Faroe Islands (or the Faroes, as the locals call them) are a cluster of colossal volcanic basalt rocks formed millions of years ago. The top surfaces of these undersea mountains are swathed in heather green and turf. Within their rugged peaks and jagged cliffs lie hidden lakes, small and stoic horses with windswept manes, and a hardy people.

Traditional turf-roof houses are still aplenty in the Faroes

Geographically, the islands are between Norway and Iceland. Politically, they are an autonomous protectorate of Denmark. But locals will tell you that genealogically, they are closer to the Vikings who settled there in the 9th century, while culturally, they are uniquely Faroese with their own traditions and a language that is closer to Icelandic.

Sheep in winter coat

To a frazzled city girl, the Faroes with its natural scenic beauty hold the promise of a refuge from urbanisation and a retreat in peaceful nature. The vast space between the sky and sea and the open land gives the place a sense of magic, and me, a sense of liberation.

A Faroese girl in traditional costume at Ólavsøka, the biggest summer festival in the Faroe Islands

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Cristina David