Pint-sized Thor's Harbour has small-town charm

Torshavn Travel Blog

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Torshavn's Town Hall (Torshavn; Faroe Islands)

That's Thor's Harbour as in 'Torshavn', the diminuitive Faroese capital city (or town, to be more precise). It appears logical enough for a city break to the Faroe Islands to base yourself in Torshavn, as this is the only real built-up area on the island network which is likely to offer anything of a selection of restaurants, shops and hotels. The choice of hotel was the Hotel Streym, a pleasant place to stay on the harbourfront, a short hop from the main bus station, and a budget guest car rental service, which, as the other two days went to roundly illustrate, proved invaluable. Being such a compact-natured town made for easy tourist-route planning which was an effortlessly simple route to follow without straying too far off course.

The harbour front (Torshavn; Faroe Islands)
The harbourfront fortress known as Skansin is best characterized by its lighthouse, and is a good enough vantage point from which to take a photo of the town in the immediate vicinity. Next up was Tiganes, which is as charming an enclave of Faroese culture as you are ever likely to come across. Wooden and colourful houses, most with turfed roofs, exist in a cluster sewn together with narrow passageways, and it is this area where the country's parliament is located, though to be perfectly honest, you might be hard-pushed to try and determine which of the buildings might be the chief seat of parliament. Further along the coastline, the town's shipbuilding yard comes into view, flanked by a charming stretch of river flowing into the ocean, where a rocky part of the river creates a miniature waterfall of sorts, also found in abundance elsewhere in more rural areas.
An urban woodland retreat (Torshavn; Faroe Islands)
Back in the town's main commercial thoroughfare, the nation's one and only record store, Tutl, is the absolute final word in the Faroese musical story thus far. A store which exists on the back of selling nothing but Faroese musical talent must be lauded for being the mainstay of this vital branch of culture, and in the summer months, when Faroese bands play impromptu live concerts on the shop's premises, I can only assume that the majestic spirit that is Faroese musical culture comes into its own. Torshavn is home to one shopping mall, known as SMS, a tiny collection of stores, and the location of the nation's one and only branch of an international hamburger chain, if ever that were a requirement! Representative of the nation's sporting culture are three spots within relatively close proximity, namely the football stadium, the running track, and the indoor swimming pool, suggesting that the nation likes to pride itself on a certain degree of athletic ability.
The town from up on high (Torshavn; Faroe Islands)
Heading from the swimming hall back into town, a delightful area of parkland, stumbled upon by sheer chance, was a true find and gave the impression that the highly civilized nature of the place has firm elements to prove its status, the almost-zero crime rate also bearing testimony to this. All in all, although Torshavn can be almost fully conquered in the space of a single day, there is a tranquil and much-hushed buzz about the place which appears to slowly seep into a visitor's soul. In numerous ways, reflecting back upon the atmosphere which the town generates, a visitor would struggle to come across an even less stress-inducing and taxing European capital city in which to experience a long-weekend city break.

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Torshavns Town Hall (Torshavn; Fa…
Torshavn's Town Hall (Torshavn; F…
The harbour front (Torshavn; Faroe…
The harbour front (Torshavn; Faro…
An urban woodland retreat (Torshav…
An urban woodland retreat (Torsha…
The town from up on high (Torshavn…
The town from up on high (Torshav…
A look around Tinganes (Torshavn;…
A waterfall flowing into the ocea…
Torshavn
photo by: davidx