Early morning and we arrived at Torshavn the capital of the Faroe Islands on what we were told was atypical Faroe’s summer’s day. Overcast the skies may be and more than a little damp in the air, but it didn’t deter us from exploring the town and harbour side. Nor did it detract from the undoubted charm of Torshavn…a mix of new, old and the very old. Wood is the material of most of the older buildings and grass covers the roofs. The more modern buildings have largely been developed in the style of the old architecture creating an intimate and welcoming town. As if to make up for the lack of trees on these wind swept islands much creativity has been used on many gardens and little street corners to establish quirky little garden areas.
One place we did enjoy visiting was Haunar Kirkja, the wooden Cathedral of Torshavn…..it was undergoing some skilled redecorating to its colourful interior that added another dimension to the experience. As we were to find this was very much a style that is common to Faroe churches….wonderful wood work, often a balcony and in many cases imaginatively painted in bright colours…..so join us on a short tour of the town and its harbour
The cloud never did clear but with only one short day we made haste to explore some of the countryside beyond Torshavn. We selected a drive over the high passes and thru the cloud to Saksun and Kolfjorour.
There is an old community of farms and church at Saksum that now is part of a heritage museum into old Faroe life. Nestling below high mountains down which water seems to constantly cascade it is hard to imagine life existing here in days past. Land is poor and cultivation next too impossible. Sheep (which roam freely) and fishing provided both the living and sustenance and peat for warmth and cooking. Meagre as it seems it has still sustained a culture that ensures the Faroese are both very proud of and strive hard to and protect. Saksun like most communities has its own church….grass covered roof , low white walls and windows on one side only, a lonely and exposed graveyard…..all looking very isolated at the foot of the fjord.
The Church at Kollafjordur whilst still simple in design and decor must be described as much grander. The alter is bold but the body of the church is simple plain pine, the decor created by intricate fret work carvings in the alter screen.
So come take a look
I hope you have enjoyed a brief look at the Faroe’s…we have to come back. But now its back on board and in two days time we will be in Iceland…storm force winds forecast…so here goes
© David Oakes 2015
Posted on Maritime Service on Window Phone