June 11, 2005 11:03 AM   Subscribe

The Faroe Islands is a weatherbeaten North Atlantic archipelago, which is small and sparsely populated, but rich in fish, sheep and birdlife. Not to mention dramatic scenes of natural beauty. (More inside)
posted by the_unutterable (26 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
A self-governing part of Denmark, the Faroese might well seek independence if they find oil. Should you want to visit, it is fairly easy to get there from Britain or Scandinavia, at least during summer.
posted by the_unutterable at 11:04 AM on June 11, 2005

And we beat them in football on wednesday.

When they beat the Scots a couple of years ago there was a lot of complaining that the Faroes have two football pitches - one on a windswept cliff, which gave them an advantage. Poor Scotland.
posted by dublinemma at 11:20 AM on June 11, 2005

Don't forget the language.
posted by taursir at 11:20 AM on June 11, 2005

Also the setting of one of my favorite novels, Far Afield.
posted by atholbrose at 12:04 PM on June 11, 2005

Cool place to visit. The best way to go is to take the ferry from Denmark - you can arrange a two-day stopover and then carry on to Iceland, or hang around for longer. You can also see the (pretty rare) Faroese pony [link to Word document], which (like its Icelandic cousins) retains a fifth gait known as tölt that most other horses have lost.
posted by senor biggles at 12:08 PM on June 11, 2005

PS Ornithophiles be warned: like many North Atlantic peoples, the Faroese still like to chow down on seabirds, including puffins. They catch the newly hatched ones on the surface of the sea, drowning them in nets when they can't fly. Seeing boathouses full of freshly drowned seagulls can be a little disturbing.
posted by senor biggles at 12:21 PM on June 11, 2005

Also home to Teitur Lassen, a folkie that puts me in mind of a young Leonard Cohen.

And a super cool guy, to boot!
posted by paul_smatatoes at 1:08 PM on June 11, 2005

When they beat the Scots a couple of years ago... Poor Scotland.

yeah they 'beat the scots' 2-2 (fyi, this is termed a 'draw' in 'soccer' :)
posted by the cuban at 1:25 PM on June 11, 2005

atholbrose, I love that book.
posted by dersins at 1:46 PM on June 11, 2005

Thirding the Far Afield love. Also, if you knit, Faroese shawls are challenging and beautiful.

Thanks for the post!
posted by sugarfish at 2:18 PM on June 11, 2005

Seeing boathouses full of freshly drowned seagulls can be a little disturbing.

Bleah. I can't imagine eating a seagull. Not because I'm a fan of the bird, it's just I don't think they'd taste very good. You only ever see them eating fish or trash...
posted by Fozzie at 2:38 PM on June 11, 2005

Fozzie, do you eat beef? Just curious.
posted by notreally at 3:01 PM on June 11, 2005

Oh comon, I feel the same way as Fozzie. It's an ick factor and you aren't going to logic it away.
posted by SomeOneElse at 3:11 PM on June 11, 2005

Not to mention the traditional whale hunt
posted by ComfySofa at 4:11 PM on June 11, 2005

The Cuban:

Yes, of course a draw - remembering my Glaswegian colleagues whining about it wednesday night made me mistype that they beat em. But they important point is that Ireland won! (And that the Faroes have a handy little football team given their population).
posted by dublinemma at 4:37 PM on June 11, 2005

Dammit, thanks to those beautiful pics, I now have to add the Faroe Islands to my Life List. Bastard.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:10 PM on June 11, 2005

Can someone explain why they have lawns for roofs?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:15 PM on June 11, 2005

A fantastic post, the_unutterable!
I'm with Civil_Disobedient, I wanna go.
C_D, I'd guess it's cheap and good insulation.

Makes note to avoid boathouses with dead birds.
posted by deborah at 5:55 PM on June 11, 2005

What a great damned post! Well done.
posted by LarryC at 5:59 PM on June 11, 2005

My high school has had an exchange student from the Faroe Islands for two years in a row. Pretty odd that two girls from a country of around 40k would end up in the same small city.

The language is really beautiful. I think it sounds kind of like Elvish, but then again, I know nothing about Scandinavian languages.
posted by Amanda B at 1:10 AM on June 12, 2005

There's a pretty good movie set on the Faeroes called _Bye-Bye Bluebird_ (1999, Katrin Ottarsdottir), which I believe is the first all-Faeroese film production. Kind of quirky, pretty funny. Two Faeroese girls who've left the island come back to attend to unresolved family matters. The film turns into a roadfilm, which is funny in itself on a series of islands that are about 1,400 square km in total. Definitely worth seeing if you get a chance, for its own value as well as the exposure to the language, culture, landscape, etc.
posted by ga$money at 1:32 AM on June 12, 2005

Thanks for broadening my horizons, all! Nice thread.
posted by yoga at 4:41 AM on June 12, 2005

Here is a link describing one man's visit to the Faroe Islands in 2003. (click on the blue flag in the North Atlantic)

" It is much as Newfoundland might be had the vikings arrived there and never departed."
posted by thisisdrew at 11:20 AM on June 13, 2005

Earlier this year, I ran into an entire choir from the Faroes in central park. They were giving a concert here in NYC and were walking around handing out flyers. They were all decked out in their native folk costumes. I spoke enough Danish to be able to communicate with them a little. (Of course they all spoke a beautiful English also).
posted by MotherTucker at 1:10 PM on June 13, 2005

Great post. Reminds me of this gem about Pitcairn Island, another beautiful remote island.
posted by Mid at 3:01 PM on June 13, 2005

And don't forget, THE METAL!
posted by The Cardinal at 7:37 PM on June 13, 2005

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