We were incredibly lucky that we got 2 sunny days in the Faroes, and we made very good use of both of them. On our first morning we woke up early, had a lovely breakfast (typical scandinavian fare of bread, cheese, jams, fruit, and a boiled egg) and then headed for the ferry. Now-a-days a lot of the islands are connected by bridges or tunnels, but some are still only accessible by boat or helicopter (more on that later). Mykines was our first destination and I had booked the ferry ahead of time. It only takes two trips a day – one in the morning and the second in the evening – so it gets a lot of daytrippers. And by a lot I mean 80 max. There were only about 30 of us on this day and calm seas.
There isn’t much to do on the island (year-round population of about 20) besides the main draw – a hike out to the lighthouse among hundreds of thousands of nesting sea birds. So up we hiked from town to the top of the hill and started out along the ridge amongst sheep and their lambs. Immediately we were completely blown away by the landscape and could not wipe the ridiculous smiles off our faces.
Pretty soon we saw our first puffin and I pretty much became a 5 year old child flapping my arms and squealing. They are SO HANDSOME and much smaller than I thought they would be. It’s nesting season so they were busy digging their one-meter deep tunnels into the hillsides and lining them with grass for a nest.
The next hour we could not stop pinching ourselves. It is a completely surreal place that feels like you’re on a movie set. But it’s all real. Thousands of puffins swarming above and around us, 300 ft sheer cliffs, and the greenest green grass happily fertilized by centuries of nesting birds.
Ellen and I laughed a lot on this trip (the kind that makes your tummy sore the next day). Example A: She got pooped on. By a puffin! After keeling over laughing so hard I said No problem, I’ll help clean you up! Neither of us realized how much poop comes out of such a little bird! They say it’s good luck – well Ellen must have been VERY lucky!
This was without a doubt one of the most magical breathtaking places I’ve ever been. We were so blessed to be there, with sunshine, with all the birds and their loving nest-making (I even saw some kittiwakes sitting on eggs on their crazy cliffnests).
After all of the oo-ing and aww-ing we ended up back in town and wandered around a bit. It doesn’t take long to see the whole town but of course we closely inspected the grass roofs and the old water intake. Mykines was one of the largest villages in the whole Faroe Islands – in 1940 it had 140 residents. Now the number fluctuates between 10-20 (and at least 2 sheepdogs).
Eventually the ferry came and we reluctantly bid this incredible island goodbye. The weather had turned, (they say “if you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes”) and the ride back was colder and more choppy, but we weren’t done with the day yet!
Near the town the ferry docks in is one of the most famous waterfalls in the Faroe Islands. It’s one of the two most common photo points, and the first time I saw the view I thought it was photoshopped. A place like that just couldn’t exist in real life. Of course I’m writing this to tell you that it really does exist – a fairytale village with a mountain in the background and a waterfall falling off a cliff and into the sea.
It was a perfectly magical day. We couldn’t have asked for more. And that was just Day 1.