Cold, Windblown, and Soaking Wet! Welcome to Torshavn!
Torshavn Travel Blog› entry 2 of 28 › view all entries
The bus let us our at the ferry terminal. This is a working harbor so, some of it isn't so pretty. but, some of it is. I was greeted with the penninsula view that I had seen in my research, wow! I thought to myself "I can't believe that I'm here!" I was looking at the pictures in the guide only yesterday and today the picture is in front of me. Find it, wish it, do it. This should be my motto. It is how I live my life.
Ok, so back to the story. I got out my map and tried to orient myself. It rain and wind weren't helping me. With each raindrop on my injet printed map, I was loosing sections of the city to ink runoff. I walked in the general direction that I determined from the map, uphill. I'm trying not to get distracted by the quaint buildings as they will be there when my luggage is safely in my room.
He was very friendly and even gave me a room with ensuite bath for the same price as a room without, awesome! The prices in The faroes are Scanindavian expensive so, I was thrilled to be getting more for my money. He showed me to my room which was actually a twin room that was quite spacious. I had a large window witha view of town and even could see the Danish monument up on the hill.
I unpacked and placed things for easy use, which is strange for me. I usually am not in the same room/hotel for a whole week (not counting Copenhagen). This would be nice, unpack and pack only once!
I pulled out my guide and map of the city. As I look out the weather is miserable but, I am not going to melt so, I decide the best thing to do is go to the turist info center, which was very close. I did keep stoping to take pictures of cute little houses with turf roofs. I would figure out later that there is a very high percentage of homes like this, here. The Danish built city hall is across the street from the info center. It's a really heavy style in comparison to the typical Faroese structures.
At the TIC, I asked for a city map and then for some suggestions as from my research, I had many possibilities but, wanted a local to help me filter what was special and what was extra special.
So from there I followed a little path with low stone wall which lead me to a view of a square with a monument of a sailor and birds, that I would come back to later. I continued on and immediately saw the colorful little row of buildings with the red metal roofs from some of the pics online.
I walked back down the hill and toward the harbor, to the monument / sculpture. It's a man looking out at the sea being blown by the wind with two birds flying overhead. I'm not much for sculpture but, it was moving and well done.
I continued down to the harbor and walked along the waterfront seeing the different kinds of boats. Some of them were painted the brightest of colors. I guess, again, it helps in the inclement weather.
I walked up the hill behind that end of the harbor to the edge of Undir Ryggi, which is the old town. It's an enjoyable confusion of winding, twisting lanes. It is filled with homes with black-tarred walls and white framed windows and grass on the roof. There also seems to be a preference for red. Many of the houses, especially on the Tinganes promintory (the hills penninsula that breaks the harbor into two sections) are the old city administrative offices and most are still in use. You can walk amongst them, which is a must. You're in another place and time.
The continuation of this path took me behind the cathedral where I was at an even higher place to see mroe of Torshavn. I could see this massive cone shapped roof....investigate later.
I decide to walk back to the harbor and try to get around to the outer penninsula which gives the best views of both harbors sections and the Tinganes penninsula with it's postcard view.
Making my way along this side of the harbor, near where the bus let us out, there are more more boats and a view of the colorful waterfont buldings. Lots of red, white, and blue. I couldn't help but take a pic of a little boat, so cute, named Viking. I don't think any Vikings made their way here in something so small. It was picture worthy.
Even though the wind picked up ....really hard.....I continued on. I had made it to where I was even with the end of the Tinganes Penninsula and got a nice picture of the Foroyar flag proudly waving in the wind.
Now, I hadn't told you yet but, I was having a terrible time (as you might expect) with taking pictures in the rain.
So, as I continue, I can see a lighthouse. I love lighthouses and this one was set atop the Fort Skansin at the seaward end of Havnargota. It once marked the entrance to the harbor. The small fortress was built in 1580 to protect trading as seaborne attack from across the North Atlantic were increasing.
The fortress makes for a dramatic base for the lighthouse to rest. It has commanding views of both Torshavn, Nolsoy Island and to the far left Esturoy Island.
I tried to take a little video from here. The view was dramatic as well as the waves and wind. I was almost blown over by a powerful gust while taking it. I was standing on top of the outer wall....not a good idea as I was fully exposed to the raging winds.
Surving this, I to climb down the opposite side of the fort and walk in that direction. I could see a obelisk type monument on a hill and would try getting there, next. On the way I crossed a little park with statues of a man carrying a load of something in a basket on his back and a woman behind him who looks to have a rope around her shoulders ???
More of the quaint Foroyar houses as I wind my way up the hill.
The monument, Kongamini (The King's Monument), is a bassalt obelisk erected in 1882 to commerate the visit of Danish King Christian IX. He had visited eight years before. The spot offers arresting views of the Foroyar capitol and the mountains beyond. There were several sheep grazing on the hill around the monument. They were quite vocal and so I did my impression of a sheep, and they seem to understand as they all came to the fence around the monument. There horns were in a really tight wind.....very interesting. Also, they had strange eyes......
Ok, so back down the hill and in the direction of the great cone roof thing. Colorful buildings abound as I walk through this part of the city, too.
I make my way through an area needing urban renewal. No pics were taken here, must preserve the image. I passed an open field where I could see the back of my guesthouse. I stopped to take a picture and a little grey kitten bounded across the grass in my direction. It was being very vocal with its rrah, rrah, rrah, rrah! I think it was demanding food.....I moved on as I didn't have any kitty treats.
I found a old cemetary with many wiry trees. Trees are something you don't see in this country.
Only a couple of block down, I found the copper "cone" roofed Vesturkirkja. It's actually a pyramid just from Tinganes and east it looks cone shaped. It was built in 1975 amongst much controversy. There are some really old building on the property next to it that make for a striking contrast in style and age.
Just down the way from the kirkja, out across a field, I could hear the sound of running water. It was coming from a stream that most likely from a waterfall source.....there seems to be no rivers, just waterfalls.
There was an unusual geometric mirrored ball with turf roof (a home?) with many older structures around and below.
I walked down the hill on the opposite side of the church, passing the cemetary on it's lower side. I went in, briefly, to look at some of the headstones closer. One had a ancient Foroyar fishing boat on it.
I stopped at a grocery and picked up some salad ingredients, bread, cheese, milk fuit, and some canned veggies. The total being 20 euro (30 dollars) was steep as I didn't buy much of anything! I knew eating would be expensive here and was trying to economize....trying!
I took the groceries back to the guesthouse and had a little break from the weather. It really wears you down!!! I took the time to look at some of my pics and much to my dismay, I had some with water on them and some that were blurry.
So, I decided to revisit a few of these spots and retake some pics. The rain had stopped, for now, and I didn't want to waste any daylight, more light "graylight". I went back to the city hall and then looking at the time, the cathedral should be open. Churches and museums are only open for a few hours a day and at the stranges times. This church was only open from 16:00 to 18:00.
The plain exterior hides the colorful interior. The pews are yellow and orange in high contrast. The walls wood slatted and painted cream but with a high contrast trim, as well. The ceiling was blue with stars painted on it. There was a grid pattern painted in the same cream as the walls.
I returned to the really cool black tar - turfed house with the red trimming everything and retook some shots as those were a mess from the rain.
It was getting dark now and I was tired. On my way back I walked along the harbor for a view of night falling and the city lighting up.
And last, I happened upon a house that I had read about that was special.
Almost dark, I retired to the room. I had a nice salad and delicous bread and local cheese for dinner. I worked on the pics and blog until I was cross-eyed. I called and talked to Rob and discussed his day. I then game my mother a surprise with a call. I shared the day's interests and then called it a night. I was really tired and in need of rest. What will I do tomorrow, I'll decide based on the weather....or not.
I had a wonderful day of discovery. It was trying at times but, an adventure. I had discovered a little place with big presence. What will tomorrow bring.