The Faroe Islands, Countryside, 19th August 2012

Dagfinn, our driver/guide, was mostly right about where to find the best weather. Not once did we have to abort an activity due to poor weather and our drive along the Faroese coastline and through small villages was very pleasant.

Dramatic coastline views  P1010658

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The highest point of our drive – 882 m – near Slaettartindur (P1010669

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Thymus praecox  Creeping Thyme   P1010670  ©  DY of jtdytravels

There were some small flowers to enjoy too.

A tiny eyebright. You could easily miss this one!(P1010663

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P1010672

Most Faroese plants are Arctic-alpine – made up of low growing wildflowers, mosses, lichens and grasses.  The upper slopes of the craggy peaks are usually barren.

Sea-birds dominate the bird population along with those who prefer open ground. There’s no woodland here.  The Pied Raven has become extinct while many other birds have developed distinct Faroese sub-species.  Puffins are very common and are still part of the Faroese diet.

There are only three species of wild land mammals to be found on the Faroe Islands.  All three; the Mountain Hare, Brown Rat and House mouse, were introduced by man.

Over the last 1200 years common animals such as the pony, cow, sheep, goose and duck have been domesticated.

View down a fjord  (P1010673

Again, we passed through quaint villages with their brightly painted houses but didn’t stop. We just continued to drive further up-country through beautiful, beautiful scenery.

Old whaling station buildings (P1010689

One place we stopped at was an abandoned whaling station called, Vid Ai.

Abandoned buildings and equipment   (P1010678

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An old boiler and storage tank  (P1010676

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At the whaling station jetty   (P1010682

Angellica  (P1010692

Abandoned building sites are great places to find plants that like a disturbed environment.  Many are weeds.

A lovely buttercup  (P1010698

It was good to wander around this old, abandoned site but we had more to see on this drive – and that’s for next time. D

The Faroe Islands, Tórshavn, 19th August, 2012

The view from my window at the Hotel Føroyar was quite spectacular – when the fog lifted.  The city was laid out below me with a pale blue mother ship lying at anchor in the bay.  Because there’s not enough permanent cold-storage available in the city for all the fish caught in the surrounding seas,  the Phoenix lies at anchor to take up the slack.

View from my bedroom window  (P1010621 ©  DY of jtdytravels)

We started our day with a walking tour of the old centre of Tórshavn.  This part of the city is called Tinganes.

Traditional black and white house with sod roof   (P1010625  ©  DY of jtdytravels )

Traditionally, only two colours were used for the houses: black and white.  The walls of the buildings were painted black while the window frames were white.  The black, I believe, came from the use of creosote, a preservative.  This was necessary to protect the wood from the elements, particularly due the ever-present salt-laden air.  Nowadays, black paint is the chosen material as it is not so injurious to health as creosote.  Sod, or turf, was the traditional roof covering with the practice still continuing today on some buildings.

More traditional houses and paving stones ( P1010627 © DY of jtdytravels)

A stone and timber dwelling   (P1010633  ©  DY of jtdytravels )

We walked on to the small harbour which is surrounded by old and new buildings.

Tórshavn Harbour  ( P1010640  ©  DY of jtdytravels )

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Reflected boats and some new buildings   (P1010642  ©  DY of jtdytravels )

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Old wooden boats    (P1010644  ©  DY of jtdytravels )

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An Arctic Tern    (P1010638  ©  DY of jtdytravels )

The port was protected by the Skansin fortification which was built on a small hill.  Today, this is the location of a lighthouse.

The lighthouse and old cannon  (P1010650  ©  DY of jtdytravels )

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The fort from the harbour   (P1010657  ©  DY of jtdytravels )

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On old cannon with the mothership Phoenix in its sights!   (P1010653  ©  DY of jtdytravels )

After this walk,  Dagfinn, our driver/guide, decided to head for what he believed would be a sunnier part of this island. And we’ll go there in my next musings.  D