Scenes from Four Towns

Here are an assortment of pictures from four towns. The main things they have in common are bays, mountains, and green grass.

In Fuglafjørður I attended an unusual concert by two Swiss musicians. One man played an assortment of alpenhorns. The other sang with a very unusual technique that allowed him to sing two tones at one time. He sang a low note, and then the melody was made by overtones of the low note, made by changing the shape of his mouth and throat. It was quite amazing. I also have some pictures of a soccer game between Fuglafjørður and Runavík. I was standing near the radio announcers, but I couldn’t understand them at all. I also took a walk along the far east side of the bay to the fields where the sheep are grazing.

Here are also a few scenes from Gøta, which is where I am staying now. There are three towns in Gøta, South Gøta, North Gøta, and Gøta by the Ravine. I walked out in the fields around Syðragøta and, as usual, saw a lot of sheep.

A few days ago Gunnleyg and I took an evening drive to the towns of Hellur and Oyndarfjørður, which are in the next bay to the north of Fuglafjørður. To get there we drive over the pass to the long Skálafjørður bay, going north to the pass leading to the Oyndarfjørður bay. The two towns sit on opposite sides of the bay.

My borrowed internet connection is quite weak, and it has taken me a long time to upload them to the internet. It seems to work better with the door open, and I am sitting here in the windy hallway with my coat on, so I hope you enjoy these photos.

Observations on Eating

  • At home we eat sandwiches with our hands.
  • Here we eat sandwiches with a knife and fork.
  • At home we eat pancakes for breakfast with a fork.
  • Here we eat pancakes (rolled with sugar) for dessert with our fingers.
  • At home, if you have a meal of bread, it is probably because you don’t have anything else in the house. Sometimes you hear that bread and water is served to prisoners or naughty children.
  • Here, be sure you never turn down an invitation to a meal of bread. It is a real treat. At the bottom, it starts with a piece of bread, usually the dark, dense Scandinavian bread. Each piece is piled high with different toppings – ham, roast beef, fish, or shrimp – with many different garnishes – tomato, cucumber, lemon slices, orange slices, pineapple, grated carrots, caviar, and so forth – each with its own specially seasoned topping of mayonnaise or mustard or some unknown sauce. Each piece of bread is a colorful work of art that tastes at least as good as it looks. It is almost a pity to ruin the bread by cutting into it with your knife and fork, but it tastes so good it would be a shame not to. This bread definitely needs a knife and fork.
  • Sightseeing with Senior Citizens

    On Monday, the “pensionisters” or senior citizens from Gøta and Leirvík went on a day-long sightseeing trip to the island of Sandoy. It was a beautiful, warm spring day, perfect for sightseeing.

    About 25 of us left Gøta on the bus at 9:30 in the morning, driving across the island of Eysturoy, across the island of Streymoy, through the capital city of Tórshavn, and on to the ferry landing at Gamlarætt on the west of Streymoy. The ferry took us to the town of Skopun on the island of Sandoy. We drove through the town of Sandur, named for the beautiful sandy beach. Then we crossed the island to the town of Húsavík, where there is a small village of 550 year old stone Viking houses. The Vikings built their houses with curved walls, and then used their up-side-down boat as roofs during the stormy winter months. We had dinner in a hall in Húsavík.

    From Húsavík, we drove further south, along the edge of a rather sharp cliff, on a narrow single lane road, which ended in the small town of Dalur (meaning Valley). In the larger towns, grazing sheep just ignore the passing traffic, but in the quiet and remote town of Dalur, the sheep all turned tail and ran away at the sound of the approaching bus.

    From Dalur, we returned through Húsavík to Sandur, where we were served dessert at the senior center. The small shop next door did some good business while the bus was in town. Then we went drove back to the ferry at Skopun, and back through Tórshavn. For this part of the trip, I was on the side of the bus that had a view of the city, so I took pictures looking through the bus window over the city of Tórshavn. I call this part of the trip “The Roofs of Tórshavn.”

    We made our way along the edges of the islands, through two tunnels under mountains, and finally arrived back in Gøta at dinner time. It was a beautiful day,with no rain and hardly even any wind.

    However, I think I prefer the American terms of “Sightseeing with the Senior Citizens” instead of the Faroese phrase “Pensionister Tour.” Somehow a pensionister seems much older than a senior citizen.

    Sights and Sounds of Spring

    Tuesday was a perfect, beautiful spring day – not a cloud in the deep blue sky, not a breath of wind, and only warm sunshine. I walked along the edge of the Fuglafjørður Bay, past the little brown house where I used to live, and through the lower fields where the ewes were grazing, to the end of the road near the dump.

    After I passed the last house, I noticed how quiet it was. There were no people, no cars, no wind, and no noise – only green grass, blue sky, and deep blue water.

    Soon I realized that it wasn’t exactly silent, but that I could hear, from time to time, some of the quiet sounds of spring. First, I heard a rooster crowing, from the chicken house way up the road. Then a single ewe was bleating, up near the top of the hill. As I passed sheep near the road, I could hear the sounds of the grass tearing as they were grazing. There was the high-pitched bleating of a single lamb, calling its mother. I heard the distinctive call of a tjaldur (oystercatcher) and I could hear the beat of his wings as he flew to another field. Far up the hillside a truck rumbled past, but I could barely hear it. The cars I couldn’t hear at all. Occasionally, I could hear the sound of running water in one of the small creeks, still flowing since the last rain. Passing the waterfall, I heard a louder sound of splashing water. A small boat sailed out to the salmon fisheries at the far end of the bay. In the distance was the call of another bird. Occasionally, I could hear the surf lapping gently against the shore. Three ducks were softly grumbling while they were eating on the hillside. Walking back to my car, even the sheep seemed to be taking their afternoon naps, resting silently in the fields.

    What a beautiful spring day!

    International Signs

    Road signs in the Faroe Islands are not the same as road signs in California. I think I have figured out what most of them mean.

    Sunday Snow

    Saturday night when I went to bed (very late) there was a light misty snow falling in Gøta. Sunday morning when I drove to Fuglafjørður to church, all of the mountain tops were snow covered.

    Ships in Fuglafjørður

    The Fuglafjørður harbor is lined with factories and businesses related to the fishing industry, and Fuglafjørður is a major port for fishing ships. This year, fishing quotas have been very low for many types of fish, and as a result, ships are not spending much time at sea fishing. Several ships in Fuglafjørður are just waiting until another type of fish is in season before they can go to sea again.

    The rain has been persistent for the past few days, but the sun does occasionally try to shine for a while. The result of this, of course, is a rainbow.

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