Five women from Iceland set out to visit Føroyar for Ólavsøka - the national days in the Faroe Islands. It was supposed to be an unusual hen night and bachelorette party in the Faroe Islands, because the bride to be hates the traditional dick balloons, feathers, drinking games and the bad dress up! She however loves everything authentic and traditional and has been making her own traditional Icelandic costume to wear for the first time at her wedding.
The lady who had this idea of inviting her best friend for a long overdue 30th birthday celebrating and an unconventional hen night had visited the islands a few months before for a big musical collaboration between Sinfonia Nord and members of Kammerkór Norðurlands (Chamber choir of the North) and The Faroese Symphonic Orchestra and a big local choir - and completely fallen for the islands and the people.
Sandavágur and the beautiful church.
The women took the flight from Iceland to the Faroe Islands and arrived at Vágar airport on Friday the 27th, a bit overly excited to finally be at their destination, but hey, who can blame them! After some troubles with the car rental service, they set out to find the house they had rented via airbnb and successfully found it in Sandavágar which is close to the airport.
From Sandavágur you can walk to the iconic Trollkonufingur or the Troll Woman's finger.
The islands greeted them with lovely weather, not too warm and perfect for driving around and see the sights around the area. Then they headed to Tórshavn were the weather changed and the islands´ famous fog welcomed them.
Famous summer fog rolling in over Tórshavn.
First stop in Tórshavn was Tinganes, were they walked around admiring the beautiful old buildings, feeling like they could literally smell the history. And from there they walked downtown. They could see festival preparation and the lively harbour, full of small boats. They went to the old printer at Steinprent and the shop next door.
The old town with all the grass-roofed houses.
Highlight of the day was the restaurant the group had booked in advance for the evening. When they arrived to kc (Katrina Christiansen) the women were right away amazed by the atmosphere, by the beauty of the old house and a wonderful waiter who, when he found out they were Icelandic, was so pleased to be able to practise his Icelandic because he works and studies there during winter time!
Wonderful waffles at Katrina Christiansen.
The women had a spectacular evening, a proper fancy dining fit for a bride to be. The food was delicious and the service was fantastic. Happy ladies went to bed that evening, and excited for tomorrow´s plans.
Four out of five women are all connected with farming and agriculture in Iceland, and 2 of them are farmers in the north of Iceland. So when they were able to book “an appointment” with a farmer in Hoyvík, close to Tórshavn, the group was very enthusiastic.
The planner thought the group might get about 40-45 minutes of the farmer’s time - but they ended up staying there for over 2 hours, questioning him about everything in faroese agriculture. What a wonderful thing, to get insight from someone within the business.
Local farmer Siggert Patursson in Hoyvík.
The women were overjoyed with the good conversations and will never forget their visit there. And hats off to all of the faroese farmers who are doing their best to make a living in very rough agricultural situations and trying to feed their nation to the best of their ability.
Next up; getting ready for Ólavsøka! When the group arrived in town again they were hit with sea of colors! So many people dressed up in their colorful national costumes, from infants and teens to senior citizens. What an amazing tradition and absolutely splendid to see it passed on from generation to generation.
The lady who had been in the islands earlier this year, singing with her choir, actually had the pleasure of performing again. This time at Reinsaríið at a folk concert event for Ólavsøka, singing Icelandic folk songs.
Famous Faroese singer Eivør Pálsdóttir celebrating ólavsøka.
A pleasure to be a part of something cultural like this. Amongst the performers were a group of teenage girls who completely swept us away with their strong performance, delightful harmony and of course, faroese costumes. After walking around and soaking up the atmosphere in town the women headed up to the lighthouse, a great place to take pictures and look over the harbour.
They ended their Saturday evening by taking a drive to Kirkjubøur. The old church ruins were hauntingly beautiful in the dusk and the houses in this small, historic village are incredibly beautiful.
In the atmospheric village of Kirkjubø.
Sunday was spent driving around and making quick stops at various places and taking few of these “buttercup roads”(scenic routes), trying to make the most of this short visit. It is safe to say that Føroyar is a stunningly beautiful country and to name a few places that stood out on this journey would be Gjógv, Saksun, the church of Klaksvík and the small village of Gøta. The group was also incredibly lucky with the weather on this journey.
Stunning. Saksun is absolutely stunning.
The highlight of Ólavsøka was ahead, the eve of Sunday the 29th of July. One cannot simply put into words the effects it has on a person to see large numbers of local people come together in a song. Apologies... songs... plural! They sang 21 song, singing together for almost an hour!!!
Everyone dressed up in the finest, majority of them in their national costumes - coming together in songs that have been sung for generations in their native language mixed in with newer ones like one song from their most famous artist Eivør, Elisabet og Elinborg. After the final song we could feel it. We could see it.
The energy was buzzing like within a beehive. Then came the sound from the speakers, the skipari begins to chant - and suddenly arms were locked, circles were made all over and their folk dance, Føroyskur dansur, was making its way through their feet and bodies.
Book your day tour to Saksun now.
Young people, old people - everyone coming together in sheer joy and dancing to this ancient rhythm. This sight moves you, because this is as harmonic as things can get within a nation. A perfect ending to a perfect day.
Monday the 30th, and the group wanted to use these last few hours to explore some more and made it´s way to Gásadalur. Remote natural beauty, interesting local people and spectacular routes.
The iconic waterfall Mulafossur is a must-see experience in the Faroe Islands.
On our way back to Tórshavn the group got news from a faroese friend back in Iceland. “Grind is coming! Go there, you can't miss out on this!” They could not believe their luck. This trip had been perfect and it couldn't be possible they could be this lucky. They see cars on the side of the roads, people getting out of their cars with their binoculars and waiting it seemed. Where would they go, would they be able to herd them in? The women felt the excitement building up in their blood…. this was actually happening.
Miðvágur or Sandavágur, where, when… would they make it, would they be able to see it before they left? Yes! They hopped back into the car and followed the cars now driving to Sandavágur, found parking space and literally ran to the beach. Multiple number of boats herding in this flock. People getting ready.
Everyone poised but excited. Minutes went by, the whales & boats came closer and closer. And then they got close enough for the people to get to work. The group stood there, watching in awe of how this hard work took place. Everyone in the sea helping each other, making this as quick as possible, everyone focused, everyone in the correct mindset for an event like this.
It was so evident that this is something that Faroese people do not take lightly. This is ancient. This is islanders making a living in extreme living circumstances, this is food for the nation that can help them survive. This is no sporting event - this is hunting for food to make a living. This grounds you, allows you to get a small insight to what it feels like to be Faroese. And Faroese people have our respect.
With love in our hearts, we adore The Faroe Islands.