A Tale of Two Tours ( Part 3: The Rest of Our Time on the Faroe Islands)

Hey, you know that day I just wrote about? Where we visited the woollen mill and then a historic farm and then a yarn store? Well that was just one of several very full days. I could write a great deal about each segment of each day. It would take forever, though, and I don’t really have that time available right now. Let me try to do a little more summarizing…

The next day was truly relaxed. We had some free time to kick around Torshavn, the capital. I spent the morning in a cozy cafe, catching up on admin work.

Where does Suzie go when she needs some down time? Yes, a cozy cafe. Within a half hour two tour participants had found it as well. Then three more. Pretty soon most of the group was there getting coffee and knitting. Instant craft group!

By mid day we were hopping on a ferry to go across to the island of Nolsoy. (No tunnel to there yet.) We spent the day on this tiny island and had a terrific time.

Knitters never mind travel time. They are happy to knit.
Nolsoy. A very sweet little island and town, just across the water from the capital, Torshavn.
This is Kateina i Geil, textile historian and designer and teacher and well, all around great person. She lives and teaches in Torshavn now but lived on Nolsoy for many years. She organized our afternoon on the island to include a heimablidni at Maud’s, workshop about Faroese patterning, and showed off how most residents carry stuff home with them when they get to Nolsoy after a day working over in “the big city”.

The following morning, we packed ourselves up for a full day away from Torshavn. Unne and Jakven picked us up around 9 am and I don’t think we were back for about twelve hours! Our first stop, Kirkjubøur, center of Faroese life in the middle ages. (Whoops. This is actually where Jakven talked with us about whaling in the Faroe Islands. Getting my historic farmhouses mixed up!)

Next, another ferry across to the isle of Sandoy. Here we spent time with local knitters and crafters, learning about their way of working with wool, about the traditional costume of the isles, trying out a circle dance and visiting with a huge knitted representation of the local troll woman, which gets placed over a really big boulder each summer like a giant boulder cozy. Really.

A few quiet moments on the ferry crossing. Marlene, pictured here, lives in the midwest. Both she and I took every opportunity to stare out at the miles of surrounding sea.

After such a long and active day, we were glad to have a relaxed one to follow it up. Katrina was back to provide a workshop on traditional Faroese shawls. She talked about the history of the garment – the how and why of its making – then taught us, in a miniaturized version, how to do the distinctive shaping that makes the shawl settle on your body without falling off (as most other shawls do unless tied, pinned or held in place). Very, very interesting. We learned a lot. Only one person managed to complete her miniature shawl by the end of the day. But we all got the gist of it and now know how to construct a full size garment if we so choose.

In the evening, we all went out to stretch our legs a bit, enjoy the remaining sun, and find dinner on our last night in Torshavn. I came across these locals hamming it up on a street corner. Does this go on every weekend in Torshavn???

By 6 am, we’d be up and ready for transport back to Vagar for the so called “pajama flight”, the first of the day heading to Copenhagen.

But before I finish this post, I must share with you my three favorite signs from the islands. (For those of you who aren’t aware, I like to collect them and share their silliness or oddness or humor or… whatever).

Street names. Not as many letters as in Iceland, but equally difficult to pronounce.
In some locations, it’s important to warn the public that they could be swept out to sea.
Now I know — and you know — that’s a “Hey, kids are playing in the area so drive with caution!” sign. But when I first glanced at it, that braid of hers looked like a sword. A sword that had been plunged into her head. And so I figured it was a “Here is where we sacrifice our small children!” sign. When I told our guide, Unne, she looked at me quizzically and said “Oh. I’ve never looked at it that way before”. Then she looked back at the sign again. She smirked. Then she chuckled. Then she stared laughing out loud. And we both laughed until we were bent double.

Next up… back to the big city!

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