It’s pronounced /ˈtʰɔu̯ʂhau̯n/.
We landed at Vagur airport ahead of schedule and were quickly dropped off at the airport carpark. I picked up the excellent car provided by Unicar.fo and set off.
Now, old hand that I am, I had done my homework about the car hire. The big companies had proven to be more expensive than unicar.fo, and so I settled for the local company. They obliging sent me a list of the cars they had available (the actual cars! with descriptions!) and allowed me to choose my own. They took my money and asked for nothing in return, not even my driving license. Instead they told me to go to bay x in zone z and pick it up. “The keys will be in the glove compartment”.
When I enquired as to whether they weren’t afraid I’d be bad with the car, I got a laugh back. And where are you going to take it? Was the general enquiry. Fair enough. Where was I going to take it?
Anyway, the car was impeccable, it had a free GPS system (Not really needed, but much appreciated) and two free bottles of water in it. The brakes squeaked, but I generously put this down to the general crappiness of Honda rather than anything on behalf of Unicar.fo.
Off I headed, and soon came across the first of many, many, fish farms.
Generally speaking, the isle of Vágur was All Right. I didn’t really get to know it that much, because it is separate from the rest of the islands and it costs you 100 DK to return to the island through the undersea tunnel. But it seemed nice enough.
And so to the tunnel. My god, that tunnel. It started innocuously enough, did the Vagatunnilin.
5 KM long, it dives more than 100 m under the sea bed. You go down, down, down until you hit the bottom. You then drive along a flat bit, and suddenly hit an up, up, up bit. Which curves to the left. The whole thing is weird.
And then – you’re out. A small roundabout is ahead of you, but you continue. And blithely following the GPS, which you later discover to be set to the scenic route, you ignore the signs saying “straight on to Torshavn” and follow the old road over the mountaintops. Good job it was a nice day.
Eventually, you reach Torshavn. Whereupon, being warned of the fact that the GPS is set upon scenic mode, you proceed to follow your instincts rather than the instructions given. Meaning you end up in the one way system, such as it is.
Torshavn is…. lovely. It may well be my favourite city in the world. It is gorgeous.
20,000 people but one big beating heart. It wasn’t long until I found the PM’s office.
Security wasn’t high. I’m assuming this is his waiting room.
The Faroese claim this is the oldest parliamentary meeting place in the world.
But it is all like this. OK, on the outskirts you find the modern shopping centres, or rather, big shops. And there were a few drunken tramps in bus shelters. But this is a city the size of Huercal-Overa. Here is the park.
In the centre of the park they have a monument to the fallen in WWII. A wonderful monument, depicting both the best of their Viking heritage and their modern farming associations. As a national monument, I would be proud of it.
No idea if he can get Sky on this. Must remember to ask Shanley 😉
I went for a massive walk around the east side of the city. Here’s the local campsite:
And one of the local beaches:
Yeah, the beaches are crap in the Faroes.
Eventually, I got back to the hotel. I was staying at the modern and efficient Hotel Hafnia. A good view from the room.
The other way, I had a pillar, but what the heck.
The efficient receptionist told me what I needed to know. How to park the car for (almost) free. Where to go. What to do. And how to exchange cash.
Whilst wandering around, I found lots of smartly dressed, efficient, Nordic children doing aerobics in the local park behind the hotel. The receptionist had warned me about this. “I think it’s the good weather or something” he had shrugged. “Anyway you can’t use the park until they have finished”. The kids were great, and the parents, arrayed in neat Nordic files, applauded at the right moments. I walked off, very impressed.
I went down to the sea fort. The fort has been there for centuries, every since the Arabs raided the place. The Brits were the last invaders, when they sent up a division to take over from the Danes in WWII, and incidentally, set the islands on the path to self determination. Turns out the Danes aren’t as nice as they pretend to be.
And by gum, whilst walking around the fort, I discovered where all the bad children were. Dozens of the little blighters, under the supposed supervision of two bored looking teachers who were ignoring them completely. They had obviously been packed off out of sight away from the parents on the student demonstration day. I watched a dozen of them for a while, as they formed a human pyramid to try to boost one of their number onto a guarded watchtower climbing ladder. Luckily, they failed, but not for want of trying. I did wonder what the girl who was trying to climb up it would do when she realised she was three metres above ground level with no way down. But it didn’t come to that.
But it was nice to know that brats existed in this otherwise perfect paradise.
Oh, I ate in the local sushi restaurant. There was nothing wrong with it, per se. But the bloke doing the sushi had only really seen it on YouTube. Some slices were three times as big as others. And the whole thing was held together by luck. But they were all nice enough whilst serving it to me. No point complaining, eh? And the joint was busy enough. And under the plate glass windows, hot enough.