Music in the Faroes

Whatever your taste in music may be, someone will be performing it at a concert somewhere in the Faroe Islands this summer. There are concerts in all sorts of venues: clubs, restaurants, churches, schools, beaches, soccer stadiums, and performance halls. I have been to several concerts within the past weeks, and there are quite a few more coming up that I plan to attend. There are also quite a few that I plan not to attend.

The Nordic House in Tórshavn is the primary concert hall in the Faroes, seating about 400 people.

Summer in Fuglafjørður

Summer has arrived in Fuglafjørður, and it has striking similarities to summers of my childhood. Fog! I grew up near the Pacific Ocean just south of San Francisco, and every summer when school would let out, the fog would come in and stay for most of the summer.

We had some lovely days here in the middle of June, and I was planning to take pictures of a late sunset on the first day of summer, but the fog came in on the first day of summer, and we didn’t even see the tops of the mountains for several days, let alone see the sun.

This is the time of year that makes the cost of flying to the Faroes so expensive, if the airport in Vágar is fogged in. One summer I flew from Copenhagen to the Faroes, circled for an hour, flew to Bergen to refuel, flew back to the Faroes, circled for half an hour, flew to Reykjavik, spend the night in a hotel, got back on the plane, and flew to the Faroes and finally landed. All of this was for the price of one flight from Copenhagen to Vágar.

Wildflowers are starting to bloom in the very green fields. Many of the flowers look the same as the wildflowers in the coastal hills of California. I wonder if California poppies would grow here. Many green fields are covered with the yellow sólja flowers.

There are birds in the bay here year round, but the flocks of birds are larger in the summer, especially around the ships at the harbor across the bay from me. There are nearly always birds fishing in the bed of seaweed in the bay just over my fence. I wonder if the fish ever catch the birds.

Norway – Back to Bergen

Late Friday evening, I boarded the Narvik in Stamsund, and headed back to Bergen.

On Saturday we had beautiful weather, and passed through some beautiful scenery. We stopped in several small towns, and were able to get off the ship and walk around for a while. A couple of times we passed through areas of fog, but the fog was so close to the water that the sun was still shining through on the upper decks.

On Sunday, again the weather was lovely. Kristiansund was a beautiful city, spread out on all the shores of the bays and the sound. We arrived in Molde after dinner, and I walked around the town for a little while. I was curious when I saw all of the kitchen staff from the ship going into a restaurant there, and I wondered if they had better food here than on the ship. They all came out with ice cream cones.

On Monday, we stopped at several small towns while I was sleeping. Then we sailed back to Bergen, arriving at about 2:30 p.m. I gave my camera a bit of a rest on Monday and Tuesday.

I spent Monday night with Elsebeth and Per Eirik, and then boarded the Norrona ferry on Tuesday afternoon for the return trip to the Faroe Islands. Fuglafjørður does feel like home. After being on board ships for eight and a half days, it took me about five days to get used to dry land that doesn’t move. For several days, it felt like my house was rocking back and forth.

I hope you have enjoyed a trip along the coast of Norway on the Norwegian Fast Ferries.

Norway – Bergen to Stamsund

I sailed north along the coast of Norway from Bergen to Stamsund on the Nordlys one of the Hurtigruten ferries (the Norwegian “fast ferries”), a three day trip. This trip seems to be popular with retirees, because I seemed to be in the younger half of the population on this ship.

On Wednesday, we sailed from Bergen to Molde, including a side trip up the long, narrow Geiranger Fjord, stopping in seven towns along the way.

On Thursday morning, we stopped in Trondheim for 3 1/2 hours, and I took a walk around part of the downtown area. Then we continued on north past the town of Rørvik. The evening included clouds and rain, and not too many photos. However, I knew I would be returning the same way in a few days, and would have another chance.

Early Friday morning (while I was sleeping) we sailed through a scenic part of the coastline, but I knew I would have another chance to see it on the return trip. We crossed the Arctic Circle at about 9:00 a.m. The skies were cloudy that day, so I didn’t see the “midnight sun.” The farther north we travelled, the fewer trees we saw, and north of the Arctic Circle, there were hardly any trees at all.

For much of the trip, we sailed in calm waters, protected from the open ocean by the many islands along the Norwegian coast. On Friday, we crossed the open ocean from Bodø to Stamsund, and the sea was definitely rougher. I got off of the ship in Stamsund, and stood on a very deserted dock in a small town, watching the Nordlys disappear over the horizon. I was a little concerned, since the waiting room in the terminal was locked, and it was cold and windy. After half an hour of waiting, someone came to unlock the waiting room, and a few more passengers arrived.

Finally, the Narvik arrived, and I headed back south towards Bergen. My room was on the second level from the bottom, and during the crossing back to Bodø, waves crashed almost continuously on my porthole, and I tried not to fall out of bed. However, I did manage to make the whole trip without being seasick.

Norway – Tórshavn to Bergen

During my year’s stay in the Faroe Islands, one of the places that I wanted to visit was Norway. There is a Faroese ferry, the Norrona, that makes weekly round trips from Tórshavn to Norway, Denmark, and Iceland. On Monday morning at 8:30, I left with the Norrona, arriving in Bergen at noon on Tuesday. A week later I left Bergen on the Norrona on Tuesday afternoon at 3:00, arriving in Tórshavn on Wednesday afternoon at 3:00.

During my week in Norway I sailed on the Norwegian “fast ferries” (hurtigruten), north along the coast as far as Stamsund, which is north of the Arctic Circle. Then I boarded another ferry and returned to Bergen. Why did I go to Stamsund? It was as far north as I could go and still get back to Bergen for my return trip to Tórshavn on the Norrona the following Tuesday.

While in Bergen, I spent time with Elsebeth and Per Eirik. She is from Fuglafjørður, and I have met them there several times when we were both visiting there at the same time. We are more or less family, since Elsebeth’s mother was raised by my grandparents in Fuglafjørður, and she knew my father before he left home in 1916.

During my very brief stay in Bergen, I thought that it was a beautiful city. It was sunny and warm, and flowers were blooming everywhere. I saw rhododendruns in dozens of colors – beautiful.

It is late, so I will save the rest of Norway for later.

Sunsets in Norway

I have just returned from a ten day trip to Norway, spending 8 1/2 days on ferries. It still feels like I’m on a rocking ship, even though I am pretty sure that my dining room table isn’t moving.

I was looking forward to seeing forests and cities again, after ten and a half months in the Faroe Islands. However, looking at the photos I took on this trip, I realized how much I have missed seeing sunsets. In California, I often watch the sun setting into the Pacific Ocean. In Fuglafjørður, my house has tall mountains on three sides, and a low mountain on the fourth, and I can’t see the sunset from my house. Of course, the main reason that I haven’t seen many sunsets is that I can’t see the sun set through the clouds. I do recall taking one photo of a sunset during the winter, but that was at 2:30 in the afternoon when I saw the sun setting over Tórshavn from the southern part of Eysturoy.

So, here are two Norwegian sunsets. For me, these represent, more or less, a year’s worth of sunsets, so please pardon the many similar photos.

Fuglafjørður

Here are a few scenes of Fuglafjørður in the spring. In the Faroe Islands, you can always talk about the weather, and during the past week we have had some lovely spring and summer weather.

Several months ago three ewes moved into the sheep shed attached to my house. Today three ewes and three lambs moved out, and headed back up to the mountains.

Tomorrow I sail to Norway for a ten day vacation, though I feel like I have been on vacation for the past ten months. I probably won’t have internet access from the ferries I’m travelling on, but be prepared to be inundated with with photos of Norwegian fjords when I return.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.