The day after we went to Mykines we woke up to rain, but we weren’t upset about it. We had a day of driving and sight-seeing planned and were lucky enough that whenever we wanted to get out and walk around the rain let up into a gentle mist and fog.
Our first stop was Saksun, a tiny town on the cliffs high above a protected cove. We took a long walk down to the beach – it used to open to the ocean but sand filled in the mouth of the cove during a big storm some time ago. There were waterfalls literally everywhere we looked. A thought popped into my head that I would continue to wonder about the rest of the trip – how and why did people choose to start their own tiny villages, a full days walk from the next? What would drive someone to decide to move somewhere so isolated?
The we drove up to our next BnB in a town called Eioi, then over to Gjogv, one of the larger towns which even has a couple hotels and therefore a number of other tourists about. Instead of taking the popular route up to the hills we scrambled down over the rocks and discovered a view of a hidden waterfall and a staircase made of stone. We even got a few minutes of blue skies
One of my favorite moments of the entire trip was when we were heading back to our car – we heard saxophone music coming from a small canyon on the water. We got closer and realized it was two men – one with a trombone and a second with a saxophone playing improv jazz. We had heard that nearly every Faroese person plays at least one instrument and there is a huge music culture here – they even have a music festival in the summer – and it was beautiful to stumble upon it.
Then we thought about taking the ferry to Kalsoy but we just barely missed it and instead continued up to Vidoy, the northmost island and the furthest east that we could get by car. The biggest surprise to me was the long ONE LANE tunnels. We had driven through a few tunnels before but these were nearly terrifying the first time we entered one without warning. Ellen kept me calm and luckily in this direction we had the right-of-way, meaning that oncoming cars pulled off into little turn-outs underneath the mountain of rock. It feels like you’re playing chicken until they pull over and switch off their headlights, and then it feels like they’re going to jump out at you. We had to drive through two there, and two back, and these weren’t short tunnels – the longest was 3 kilometers. At the second there was an accident at the end of the tunnel where one car coming out had hit another pulling in. It was only minor and since they were both Faroese I felt a little better about being nervous. I don’t think anyone could really get used to these.
These islands way out were some of my favorites. Super sleepy and incredibly beautiful.
One town at the end of a long dirt road felt abandoned, and later I learned that it was. There were only 4 houses and the road wasn’t built until 1970 and electricity only shortly before. It’s still actively farmed and people still won and upkeep the houses but no one lives there permanently.