Tórshavn Hiking

I have bought a dozen CDs of varying styles of Faroese music, ranging from Christmas carols to rock, to a sixties pop recording by the Faroe Boys, newly rereleased on CD. On Friday I called Kristian Blak, musician and composer who also runs the on-line www.tutl.com Faroese music site. He asked me to phone him when I was in Tórshavn, so I did so when I arrived on Friday.

When I arrived at Kristian’s home shortly after 6 p.m. when I sent my first travel post, I met Kristian, his Boston-born wife Sharon and two of their three children, Samal and Rebekka. The Tutl [1] office is really their home, and I was able to listen to many different Faroese CDs at my leisure, instead of hanging around a music store for hours trying various CDs out for a listen. Kristian said that if I were to buy the CDs from him and not a retail store, I could get a deal, so of course I went nuts and bought a dozen. I also got an English translation of a book that he helped write on Faroese music. It had a companion CD that I also picked up. As I was listening to some CDs Sharon asked me to stay for dinner. Talk about Faroese hospitality! During this time we talked about Scrabble, as I had seen a Danish set in their home. Sharon and I shared memories of Boston and Cambridge, and she knew Schoenhof’s foreign language book store very well. Small world indeed. I watched some Faroese TV (in various original languages but all with Faroese subtitles). A hit show is a cooking show with two chefs, one a Faroese but the other, an Icelander who speaks Faroese but with a distinct Icelandic accent.

When I had mentioned that I had so far no plans for the rest of my stay in the Faroes, Sharon got on the phone and arranged accommodation for me in the village of Gøta, on the neighbouring island of Eysturoy, for Tuesday night. I said that on Monday I hoped to visit the National Library, for whom I had rewritten their English web pages. (I will be going there immediately after I send this off.) Sharon then got on the phone and called her librarian friends at home, and they knew who I was and will give me a personal tour of the library this morning! I am so excited.

I have spent some time writing postcards and telling you all about my afternoon-long hike yesterday across the island of Streymoy (the island where Tórshavn is on). I will not spoil what I have already written on the postcards by revealing too much here. But I will say that I crossed to the other side of the island, climbing, climbing, climbing through mist and fog, always hearing the baaing and bleating of sheep. Sometimes flocks would cross my path, their hooves hitting the stones and creating a racket.

Finally I made it to the other side and saw the tiny islands of Hestur and Koltur peek through the clearing fog. I could only gaze in awe at the shimmering ocean and the green peaks of these two small islands.

The cliff on the other side was dangerously steep to climb down without the proper equipment or shoes, so I headed back. I knew I had to do so while it was still light, as there wouldn’t be any lights coming on at sundown! I returned to town six hours later and relaxed by writing postcards then going out to dinner where I had a seafood pizza.

I hope to visit the southernmost island of Suðeroy on Wednesday but first I will go to the travel office and enquire about tickets. Unfortunately, it was not open on the weekend!

[1] Pronounced TUT’, but then don’t release the -L. Only go so far with forming the L-sound in your mouth but then don’t release it.

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