Travels in the North

Musings on arctic holidays

Tag Archives: Norröna

Reliving an old trip – 22nd June 2005 – Laundry and Ferry

Bit of a nothing day today. Got up late feeling rough, hungover for the second time in my week on the Faroes. Managed to find a laundrette in town and did some washing 😐

By the time I’d done this, got back to the campsite and packed up my tent it was already 5pm and time to head off to the ferry, I was catching the Smyril line to Seyðisfjörður in East Iceland that evening.

I board the ferry, the Norrona (the same ferry that brought me here from Shetland this time last week) and settle in to the canteen. I’m struck that there are more signs around telling you not to eat your own food than there are menus or useful signs telling you stuff you can do.

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Reliving an old trip – June 15 2005 – The Norröna and Torshavn

I’d fallen asleep in the canteen about the Norröna Smyril Line ferry from Lerwick to Torshavn, and as such couldn’t really complain that I was woken up at 8am by an army of kids running around and screaming. Still, it was a tad irritating having got to sleep at about 4 (we only left Lerwick at 2). But I’d had a few hours kip, and mercifully the sea was again calm. I started to think about the Faroes, somewhere I’d wanted to visit ever since reading about them at the back of a guidebook to Iceland I’d had for years. I still had seven hours on board though. I tried to tune my radio and couldn’t get any British stations, I finally found a crackly music station and the first four songs were Abba, Stevie Wonder, Status Quo and Abba (again), I knew this could only be Faroese National Radio (Utvarp Foroya)

Smyril Line Norröna

Smyril Line Norröna

The hours passed. I ate a little, although not having the greatest sea legs in the world I was careful not to overdo it. Most of the other passengers on the boat were Faroese, which I guess was no great surprise. I enjoyed listening to the Faroese language, sounded like a much softer (and less harsh) German, although I should point out I’m certainly no linguist.

Finally, after several more hours, the Faroes came into sight on the horizon. They were just like I’d imagined, tiny colourful villages clinging on to the side of sheer mountains coming straight out of the sea.

Arriving in Torshavn

Arriving in Torshavn

Arriving in Torshavn I made for the campsite, wasn’t too far a walk but carrying all my gear in an unseasonal heat wave (20 degrees!) was hard work. There were two other British couples at the campsite both on bike tours. The campsite was in a nice location slightly out of town right by the sea. Pretty basic facilities but more than adequate for the 5 campers here! There was a friendly local woman running the site.

Torshavn Campsite

Torshavn Campsite

Having set up my tent and relaxing for half an hour, I headed into town. A cramp at the back of my right foot was now getting worse, it had come on during the walk I did on Unst a couple of days ago. Maybe it was my walking boots, but I was planning to do a fair amount of hiking over the next few weeks so it’s a bit concerning.

Tinganes Parliament Building

Tinganes Parliament Building

In town I went to Skansin, an old fort, with some great views. Then took a quick look at Tinganes (the parliament building), which was typically low key. Then I headed to the Tourist Information Centre, and chatted to an Irish guy outside who’d been over here for the football (a European championship qualifier) the week before. He’d been all over the Faroe Islands and seemed to love it.

Traditional turf roofed house in Torshavn

Traditional turf roofed house in Torshavn

I then went to Niels Finsens Gota, the main shopping street in Torshavn. I’m on quite a tight budget for my trip, and found a pizza place selling takeaway pizza for 70kr but this made me realise it wasn’t going to be a cheap destination, but then that’s Scandinavia for you.

Small harbour in Torshavn

Small harbour in Torshavn

Having only got a few hours kip on the ferry the previous night I went back to the campsite fairly early and got an early night. Despite the almost perpetual daylight slept like a log 🙂