“The land of maybe”, he chuckled. That is apparently what the English called it during the second World War. “Maybe good weather, maybe not, maybe rain, maybe snow”. He was the owner of the cottage I stayed in the last few days of my 8 day workation (quarterly review) at the Faroe Islands. He was a former engineer who had bought a large piece of land near the Mulafoss waterfall and was now building his own prefab cottages to rent out on AirBnB. “Very good business” he said.
We talked about how unpredictable the weather was on the Faroe Islands, one of its key bugs or features. I had read about and realised it before, having some experience mainly in Greenland and Iceland where weather could change rapidly as well. And I had had first hand experience with it earlier that week when the perfect blue skies of my Kalsoy and Kallur Lighthouse hike had turned into a windy hail storm within minutes (more on that in a seperate post). It had made me think about when I had approached one of the wardens during my Laugavegur hike in Iceland to check what the weather would be during the last part of my hike “Weather is” he said “it can be good, it can be bad, but weather is”. At the time (and after) I had appreciated the laidbackness it implied: prepare for any weather type and whatever happens, deal with it, because you can’t change the weather.
It was that laidbackness, combined with remarkable friendliness and openness that was the red thread during my recent 8 day stay on the Faroe Island. Ah yes, and the stunning nature.
The stunning nature when commuting to work
I got the helicopter to work that day. I was planning to work a few days from Klaksvik, the second biggest city on Faroe Islands and this was my transportation. Joking aside, the helicopter proved to be an efficient and cost-efficient way of transportation. When checking for ways to get from Vagar to Klaksvik I found a rather cumbersome bus connection and expensive taxi rides until I stumbled upon the fact that Faroe Islands operates a government-subsidised helicopter network in order to transport mail and supplies to the different remote areas and that reasonably priced tickets can be bought to join as a regular passenger. I did not think twice and I got myself a ticket (360DKK, approximately 50 euros) from Vagar to Klaksvik.
I left from Vagar international airport and was treated to a VIP, true life of the rich and famous, tour of the Island as I was the only passenger on board. We made several stops, including some remote islands and the capital Torshavn. And in the meanwhile it was difficult to not just stare with my mouth wide open to what I saw outside.
I was incredibly lucky with perfect blue skies (what I only realised later that week when I caught the heli back in stormy weather with clouds, hail and winds that almost cancelled my flight).
The sheer size, scale and power of nature was on full display. I snapped back to my time in Greenland where I had spent days gazing at the icebergs, almost like a teenager in love, or the Jordan Desert, my most recent humbling experience with nature.
I could not have had a better introduction to the archipelago.
Experiencing the land of maybe firsthand
Already on the first day, I got a decent introduction to the land of maybe. I had booked a small AirBnB cabin at the water and while working I saw the complete bay changing within 10 minutes. Had the bay been a beacon of sun and spring in one moment, ten minutes later a full Atlantic storm was torturing the bay and the houses surrounding it. A clear warning …
Because the second day of my stay I had decided to do an afternoon hike on Kalsoy island to see the Kallur Lighthouse and the amazing views there. I detailed my experience in a separate post. Long story short: I went out in perfect weather, was ambushed by a hail storm that pinned me on the ridge of a mountain and because I confused another group for having a professional guide that was ok with the circumstances (while there was none and the other group thought I was a local) worked myself into more trouble (again).
The Island of yes
The rest of the week was more of the same. In the sense that the weather was perfect blue skies the one moment and perfect storms the other. After another heli commute, I settled down for the rest of the week in a small cabin near the Mullafossur, which was a great base to explore the rest of the island. In between work and my quarterly review, I took some time for small hikes. One day, I did the old postman trail; before a tunnel was created to the Mulafossur and the village nearby, the postman had to cross a pass – that trail is still in place. Another, I walked an improvised route to Sørvágur for groceries (I had always wanted to do that).
So yes, if you ever have the chance, please visit the land of maybe.
Here’s a small impression.