Nordic Obsession Tour, Part 1

I have just returned home (to Fuglafjørður) from a week long tour of the Faroe Islands, led by Matthew Workman, an American journalist who is obsessed with the Faroe Islands.  It was a small group, with just 5 of us, including Matthew; and we stayed in Hotel Tórshavn for the week.  I enjoyed travelling with people who were seeing the Faroes for the first time.  They couldn’t find enough words to say how beautiful these islands are.  Matthew had connections with many fascinating people, so we had many knowledgable tour guides and several private concerts, giving us Faroese experiences not available to the run-of-the-mill tourist.

Our first day started with a walking tour of Tórshavn with two peerless guides – Birgir Kruse and Magni Arge.  We didn’t walk very far, but we spent three hours talking and hearing endless stories.

This tour brought back memories of my first trip to the Faroe Islands in 1997.  On the last night of that visit, I stayed awake most of the night writing a poem about the Faroes.  I didn’t want to ever forget my first impressions.

Færöerne, my father’s land,

almost lost in northern seas,

beyond oceans and continents,

islands mysterious and ancient.

Fuglefjord, a word in foreign script,

faded ink on yellowed paper,

crumbling with age.

Reminders of another life, another time,

another world, never quite forgotten.

Faroe,  Clouds part, revealing hills and bays,

jagged peaks and valleys,

steep cliffs, shadows fading into mists,

sound of birds and sea.

Soft grass, each hill a different green,

ever changed in sun and rain and wind.

Faroe,  The past and present meet

to make a bridge across the years and oceans.

My father’s family is my own,

and I am welcomed as a long lost child.

Føroyar, country of my father’s birth.

Føroyar, islands where my heart belongs.

                                                           9 July 1997

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