Faroes

Old Aug 28th, 2008, 10:24 AM
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Faroes

Thanks for replies to my earlier message.
It's hard to know where to start so I will do a few over the next few days.

Getting there - I have no idea how this is best done from North America - I guess by air changing at Copenhagen but it might be cheaper via Reykjavik, Iceland or Bergen, Norway.

Both the shipping line, Smyril and the airline, Atlantic Airlines are registered in the Faroes, which is about as independent of Denmark as it's possible to be without complete independence. (I can do a bit on history if anybody wants to ask but otherwise I'll leave this.)

Atlantic Airlines flies from Copenhagen, Denmark - Stansted, England - Bergen, Norway or Reykjavik, Iceland. We flew from Manchester, UK and changed at Copenhagen. The Faroes airport is in the island of Vagar and was developed from an Air Force base built by the UK who occupied the Faroes as soon as Germany invaded Denmark. It is a pleasant little airport combining friendliness with efficiency. There is a bus to the island capital of Torshavn.

The Smyril Line has quite a complicated route. It's possible in summer to go direct from the north of Scotland but the return is via Bergen! Torshavn is its port in the Faroes.

My next message will be on getting around the islands and you will do well to find a map. http://home.worldo nline.dk/raf/Faroes/Fomap.html will do very well.
David
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Old Aug 28th, 2008, 12:42 PM
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Just so you don't think you've fallen into a black hole . . .
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Old Aug 28th, 2008, 12:51 PM
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Faroe is amazing, we spent a week there with our own car on the way to Iceland (in 2006 when Smyril had a regular service from Shetland).

This may be of interest:

http://tinyurl.com/6oz6h7

It's a pity Fodor's don't have a separate forum for the islands (and the same applies to Greenland).
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Old Aug 28th, 2008, 06:18 PM
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Fra_Diavolo: &quot;<i>Just so you don't think you've fallen into a black hole . . . </i>&quot;

The reason it appears to be a black hole is because several folks posted they were really interested in davidx's report about the Faroes - but instead of posting it there, he started a totally separate thread. They likely haven't even found this one.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...p;tid=35152923

(davidx - it might be better to post your report to your original thread)
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Old Aug 28th, 2008, 07:26 PM
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Thank you so much, Janis, for explaining my jest to me.
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Old Sep 1st, 2008, 01:55 AM
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My heart is bleeding for the poor people who apparently could not realise Faroes was a follow-up to the Faroe Islands but I am not committing that terrible sin again!

A bit of geography.
There are about 17 populated islands, of which some are very small or have little space for settlements, being largely mountainous. There are several I have only seen as part of a seascape: Skuvoy, Stora Dimun and Littla Dimun (all small) and Su&eth;uroy to the south, seen from Sandoy; Mykines to the West, seen from Vagar; Fugloy and Svinoy to the north-east, seen from Vidoy.

The two largest islands, Streymoy and Eysturoy are connected by 'the bridge across the Atlantic - important but visually underwhelming. Vagar, to the West, is connected with Steymoy and Bor&eth;oy to the east is connected with Eysturoy by undersea tunnels. Causways connect Vidoyy and Kunoy to Bor&eth;oy.

Most of the others are reached by ferry - Hestur, Nolsoy,Sandoy and Su&eth;uroy from Streymoy, Skuvoy from Sandoy, Mykines from Vagar, Fugloy and Svinoy from Vidoy.
Koltur and the Dimuns are reliant on helicopter service.

Anybody thinking of exploring the Faroes by public transport, or using car ferries, must be strongly advised to buy a timetable in advance and plan their trip according to what runs on different days - bearing in mind that some ferries, particularly the one to Fugloy and Svinoy, can be badly disrupted by weather and wave conditions in the Atlantic.

My next contribution will be on road tunnels, both undersea and 'under-mountain' that are so vital and interesting. Then I'll do a sort of part-guide in bits.
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Old Sep 1st, 2008, 07:35 AM
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&quot;<i>My heart is bleeding for the poor people who apparently could not realise Faroes was a follow-up to the Faroe Islands but I am not committing that terrible sin again!</i>&quot;

Sheesh - I'm trying to HELP you out here.

How on Earth can someone find this follow up to your other thread when there have been hundreds of other threads posted in between??

My point is that you had several folks saying &quot;yes please, do post your trip report!&quot; and then you start a whole new thread. Maybe you just don't understand how the fodors forums are organized. Your two threads are nowhere near each other chronologically . . . . . . .

But be snippy if it makes you feel better - I REALLY was trying to help.
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Old Sep 1st, 2008, 10:04 AM
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To second janisj's comments it is generally regarded as a major breach of netiquette to duplicate a thread you started yourself. Many people making posts here will search on their own username to see if there has been a recent addition to the thread. I do this myself and also look at a few countries in Europe. Denmark isn't one of them so it was quite by chance that your OP happened to be near the top of the Europe column when I passed by.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2008, 02:14 AM
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OK - point taken and thanks. I'm busy today but will do my next bit soon.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2008, 05:06 AM
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As promised, a bit more about the tunnels of the Faroes and just a bit about their language.

The only toll tunnels are those under the sea: Streymoy-Vagar and Eysturoy-Bor&eth;oy. On both the toll is payable in one direction only. What is odd is the method of collection. There are no tollbars and cars entering in the paying direction have nothing to show they have paid!

Many may not have paid because payment can be made at any petrol station on the islands up to three days AFTER usage. Registration numbers of vehicles entering are taken by computer and compared with petrol station returns. In each case the tunnel has replaced a ferry service. There is plenty of room for traffic to meet and the tunnels are well lit. The Eysturoy/Bor&eth;oy tunnel has artistic lighting in the middle.

The underground tunnels carry no toll but are vitally important to the economic health of the islands. Unlike in Madeira (for example) most tunnels have not replaced highly scenic but slow and potentially dangerous roads. In most cases there was no road at all and communication was by mountainous walking or by boat. In the northern islands a high proportion of the roads is underground. In the extreme case of Kunoy there is hardly anyy road above ground. The road passes by causeway from Bor&eth;oy and enters a tunnel almost immediately to emerge at the island's only setlement on the opposite coast.

Now for the language. Faroese is a descendant of old Norse and I am told that it has a considerable similarity with Icelandic. For many years its use was banned and the written language became virtually extinct.

When its use became official and a written form was necessary, it was re-constructed on an etimological basis. Hence we find the letter eth (&eth;, &ETH,which makes no sound at all. For example Bor&eth;oy sounds like Borroy and Vi&eth;arei&eth;i like --- well, try it for yourself!

I shall next do a whistle-stop tour of Streymoy.
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Old Sep 5th, 2008, 08:34 AM
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Have we now entered the black hole?
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Old Sep 5th, 2008, 12:18 PM
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as I've TRIED to explain -- you might want to post all these entries to your <u>other thread</u>

It's up to you . . . . . .
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Old Sep 6th, 2008, 12:42 AM
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This time I'll disagree with janisj. Having started reports here then changing back will be even more confusing.

Stay here, but put a post in your first thread saying you are here.

Don't be put off by lack of response, it doesn't mean people aren't reading.
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Old Sep 6th, 2008, 03:03 AM
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Thanks for putting that entry in my other thread, Janisj and thanks for your final comment wasleys. I may be over-sensitive since I read on another board that 0 out of 1 had found one of my comments helpful!!

STREYMOY (south)
Torshavn
Torshavn is a place that can be described as a rural city. The first views of it either from the road or the sea are not particularly impressive but closer views bring far more interest. First there are some very pleasant park-like wooded areas, not found anywhere else on the F&aelig;roes – wood is something washed up! Then, the pride of the F&aelig;roes, there is Tinganes, a small peninsula formed by the old town - between the two harbour areas. Here are a number of fascinating buildings, all with turf roofs. Some are residences but the most fascinating street is composed of government offices – including the Prime Minister’s Office. Anything less like Downing Street and Whitehall would be hard to imagine. 705
Further out in the city are no less than four places worth seeing.
1 The F&aelig;roes Art Gallery. This is a great building in one of the woody areas and the islands are rightly proud of their artistic achievements, which are in no way commensurate with their small population. Out side the gallery there are a number of impressive sculptures.
2 The National Museum. Another fine building, purpose built. Different temporary exhibitions appear on the ground floor and, when we were there, an exhibition on lighthouses had replaced what our friend had much esteemed on the historic life patterns of the islands. The large downstairs area is more consistent. There is an open area with a number of different sized fishing and whaling hand rowed boats. Then in an enclosed gallery is the real pride of the museum, a set of richly carved pew ends of late medieval design that had once been removed from St Olav’s church in Kirkjub&oslash;ur and exhibited in Copenhagen.
3 The Open Air Museum. Unlike a number of bigger Scandinavian outdoor museums, no buildings have been moved in here. A farmstead that was functioning well beyond the middle of the 20th century but dated back several centuries more has been preserved as the museum. It is really impressive – from the farmhouse itself with its area like a grannie flat to the various farm buildings to the old boat houses and the views out over Nolsoy are terrific.
4. The Nordic House, built by the Nordic Council, of which the F&aelig;roes forms an Associate member with its own representatives and is seeking Full Membership status. This contains a cafeteria, a recital room and a lecture hall.

Kirkjubour
Kirkjub&oslash;ur was once the most important place on the F&aelig;roes and the one chosen for a great cathedral. It is clear why it was surpassed in importance by Torshavn, which has a far better anchorage. Indeed it isn’t clear why Kirkjub&oslash;ur should ever have attained its status and presumably it is a historic accident of somebody’s residence.
Regrettably the Magnus Cathedral was never completed – although its walls and arches were only awaiting roof and tower. How on earth did a fairly impoverished seafaring community of small size ever achieve this much? The village church of St Olav was first built in the 12th century but there were several major later rebuildings. St Olav’s served as a cathedral for several centuries but is now a very plain building of typical F&aelig;roese design behind elaborate gates.
There is also the Roykstovan, an old farmhouse, part still used as a residence and part converted to a museum.
There are fine views of Koltur, Hesdur, Sandoy and, in the distance, Vagar.
Clearly this is getting too long so I put (south) at the top and I will cover North Streymoy next time.

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Old Feb 16th, 2013, 01:00 AM
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Wonderfully helpful! Looking for updates and other entries on the Faroes. . .
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Old Feb 16th, 2013, 12:59 PM
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As this thread has been resurrected I will update the link I gave in Reply 2 which is now:

http://wasleys.org.uk/faroe_iceland_mw/faroe/
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