It’s my 35th birthday tomorrow and I’ve crafted my truest year yet. I’m revelling in the very first summer I’ve had free from work, university, or summer school since I was 4 years old. Rich in time, able to coax a reality out of the mist of my dreams.
The end of each day is marked by a gentle fade into dusk, not city lights and after-hours screentime and work. The loudest voice is of my own body. I wistfully let the seconds trickle through my fingers, resisting the urge to hold on a little longer to preserve my memory of each irreplaceable moment, recognising the natural order of letting go.
The intensity of the legends I’ve lived this season will fade, but I trust in both my imagination to fill in the blurred spots, and in my future to be so magnetic that I won’t want to exist in the past.
These are my first self-portraits from the Faroe Islands. I’ve enjoyed how small, sleepy and relaxed it is here. I’d wager it’s the least touristy location in Europe especially as it is the height of high season.
The villages abound with scraggly sheep, children having bike races, signs of Viking inhabitation from before the 1500s, waterfalls pouring off sea cliffs, folk tales of feats of strength and selkies, and the kindest locals ever. The type who keeps plying you with free coffee, buys you a beer at the brewery, or offers tenters a more comfortable place to sleep on a stormy night.
Accordingly, these photos are hushed, a peacefully sweet departure from the epic grandeur of Iceland.
There are absolutely expansive sea cliffs and mountain views here too - we haven’t reached most of those heights yet; they have usually been hidden in low raincloud, or, especially for the Instagram-popularised spots, come with the barrier of recently introduced expensive hiking fees (200-600 DKK, or about $40-$120 CAD per person).
At the moment we enjoy beautiful daily moments from down below, nestled in our home on wheels.
(Our one “paid” hike so far has been to Kallur Lighthouse, in some of these photos, which we hiked for sunset without being asked to pay. The farmer who owns the land just started charging for this hike last week and I don’t love the large admission fee. I do understand some sort of charge as all land in the Faroes is privately owned, and the Faroese tourism board allegedly has not been providing recompense to land owners; yet it makes an expensive destination even further out of reach for many travellers. It’s interesting that Iceland has the same private landownership situation, yet there is no paid admission.)
Hope you enjoyed a first foray into our three slow weeks in the Faroes. Thanks for reading as always.