Day 2,039 of Traveling the World | Klaksvik, Gjogv, Sandavagur, Bour, & Skardsafossur Waterfall, Faroe Islands | August 29, 2023

It is very paradoxical to us that we love all the big cities of the world, with museums, concerts, tons of people, shows, movies, exhibitions, and literally thousands of restaurants to choose from – New York, London, Chicago, Paris, Sydney, Rome, LA, Barcelona – and yet, it is this place that has moved us so much, capturing our hearts. It is the Anti-Las Vegas, anti-big city, and its natural, untouched beauty is both thrilling and humbling. Very little here is human made; it has all been left in its natural state. But we found that we can never take ONE photo of any village or island or sunrise or sunset or waterfall or ocean or clouds – we take at least 5-10 shots of just everything – 1,170 in total for the Faroes (we counted!). So be happy that you are only getting 40 today!

Visiting several islands is so easy here, with all the accessible roads and tunnels. We drove through a sensation from the year 2020 (at least for driving aficionados) – the world’s first tunnel with an underwater roundabout, 236 feet under the ocean! The center of the roundabout is a pillar of natural rock. It is now encircled by a steel sculpture of people holding hands (with a light show!), symbolizing the very Faroese idea that by joining hands and working together, great things can be achieved. What a concept! If only the world would pay attention…

Also on our agenda was following the path to the Trollkonufingur, the Witch’s Finger. With a name like that, how could you not want to see it? The legend is that the witch came to throw this particular island, Vagar, to Iceland. When she went into the ocean, the sun rose and she turned to stone. All that is left is her finger. So we parked, and followed a small dirt road, with signs saying it was a 25-minute hike to the Witch’s Finger. Finally! A hike that was not two hours in each direction! But all we got after that amount of time was the very tip of her finger. It was good enough. When we drove to the other side of the bay, we got to see it in its entirety (and took 20 or so photos, but we promise – we are only showing you one of them!)

And so we ended our time in The Land That Time Forgot, reluctantly. Now that we have done our duty and seen most of the notable places and things, we would like to return and drive at random, taking any roads we please, to find the forgotten corners of the islands. Saving that for another time, we are sure that we will return.

The village of Klaksvik, built along three sides of the bay, with the island of Kinoy pushing its way into the picture on the fourth side.
Another side of Kinoy.
Christianskirken – the Christian’s Church – was the site of a wedding when we visited. We had followed this Chrysler Imperial car for a while, and it was waiting for us when we stopped to visit the church. Outside the church we noticed a man loading a shotgun. Had this been LA, we would have been concerned, but since we were in the Faroes, Mike just mentioned to Jan that, “There’s a guy loading a shotgun over there,” but we didn’t discuss it further. A short time later and a few blocks away we could hear several shotgun blasts in quick succession. We looked it up later and found that a shotgun salute (using blanks) to the bride and groom as they leave the ceremony is traditional here, and they call it El Barood. Insert your own joke about Shotgun Weddings!
The church was completed in 1963, but the magnificent altarpiece painting dates to 1901. Designed for a cathedral in Denmark, it was too damp there and it would have gradually crumbled. Titled The Great Banquet, the altar backdrop was put to use here 60 years later.
When we walked into the vestibule, there was nobody there, and the doors to the sanctuary were closed. We remarked on how completely safe it is here, seeing the extraordinary circumstance of a woman leaving here purse where it can be seen (taken?) by anyone entering the church. But not to worry – the country has virtually no crime.
Fipan Fagra, a sculpture by Hans Pauli, features a woman trapped between two rocks. It is located in the middle of the town.
A view as we drove away from Klaksvik. Did you know that in the Faroe Islands, you are never more than 3 miles away from the ocean?
A lonesome cabin sitting in a field by the ocean.
This pretty scene greeted us as we drove into Gjogv, the northernmost point on Eysturoy island.
There is this little inlet in Gjogv, where tracks were laid for small wagons to haul cargo from a boat up the mountain, to the village.
One of the wagons, sitting adjacent to the rails at the top.
Entrance to the inlet.
Some of the houses at the edge of the cliff. It must be so cold in winter, exposed to the wind like this on the edge of the ocean!
Looking down at the village from the lookout point. You can see the village church!
The path back to… and warmth!
This home had fish drying on a shed.
This decorated house caught our eye. Every visitor was photographing it. The house also had fish drying outside.
We don’t know if you can see the tiny home on the extreme right – but look at the view they have! You can also see sheep grazing, who also have this view.
The curvy switchback road on which we drove up the mountain – it was one lane, of course, so we had to keep our eye on the pull-outs in case we needed to back up for someone.
This was our view when we descended the mountain, into the village of Funningur.
Here it comes – the world’s first roundabout in a tunnel, 236 feet beneath the ocean!
This is the Jellyfish Roundabout, decorated with this steel sculpture and lights! Simply amazing.
The village of Sandavagur, with its distinctive church seen by all visitors, as it is close to the airport. We loved this 3-D tombstone, honoring the church.
A typical scene of homes in the town with a stream running toward them and then emptying into the ocean beyond. You can tell at a quick glance that this doesn’t look like any place in North America.
This looks like the house is trapped in the middle of the mountain! But we found that they all have small dirt roads for access.
Water is everywhere here, and this stream water is the water we drank right out of the tap – fresh, cold, and pure.
In Sandavagur, we made our way along this road to the Trollkonufingur, or Witch’s Finger. We had an easy hike along this road for 25 minutes, passing several homes.
At the end of 25 minutes, this tiny tip of her finger was all we got. It looked like we would have to hike down the mountain we had just climbed and then scale another, so we gave up and settled for this view. But then we drove across the bay and got the full thing – see the next photo!
There she is in all her glory! (We were glad we hadn’t gone any further!) Only 11 people are known to have climbed to the top of the Finger, the latest in 2016.
Our dreamy view of the ocean as we drove to the village of Bour.
Our view of the islands from the cute village of Bour, with clouds.
Just a few minutes later, the clouds had moved away from the center island.
When we drove back, about an hour later, the clouds around the islands were gone, having ascended to create this gorgeous view.
A common view as we drive all over the Faroes.
These are the colorful Cottages by the Sea, vacation rentals right on the water, in the village of Sorvagur.
A Highland Cow. In the road. On a horseshoe bend. What could go wrong??
A (gulp!) one-lane tunnel for two-way traffic. The tunnel is about a mile long and it does have several pull-outs, but Jeez! Does anyone think this is a good idea??
But the tunnel led to Skardsafossur Waterfall, so it was worth the angst.
The view with our backs to the waterfall was equally lovely.
…and the view into the distant ocean was also just gorgeous.

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