A day in Klaksvik, the heart of Nordoyggar

Klaksvik Travel Blog

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I slept in and was in desperate need of doing so. I even slept with the television on and I’m a light sleeper. That’s just how tired I was.

 

I finally sat upright in bed around 10:00. I ate a little breakfast while watching Wednesday night’s episode of Top Chef. After that I took a shower and prepared for my day.

 

I decided to go to the ferry / bus terminal and get a schedule and maybe buy a transport card. The transport here is very expensive. I guess you’ve heard me say that about everything, right. I was checking online about possible trips for the day and it was going to cost me between 9 and 12 euro each way for the choices I was considering.

There had to be a cheaper way.

 

 I walked in the direction of the harbor. I took a turn that I hadn’t previously and the view was different. I needed to get to the terminal but I was distracted by the many, many little colored wooden building with turf roofs. I had found the old town. This was really great. It was a village unto itself. Some of the houses grass roofs almost met the grass on the ground level. I decided that I could come back later as my options for my trip today were going to become limited with the time passing.

 

I headed to the terminal. The kiosk attached to the front of the building with the bus route plan looked like the obvious place ��" wrong. The lady there didn’t understand “bus and ferry schedule”. She just didn’t speak English. I looked around and there was a glass door to a lobby area.

I went inside and there was the name of the transport company, Strandfaraskip Landsins. The lady at the counter could speak English well and gave me a schedule. I looked it over briefly and then went back to ask about transport cards. She told me that a 3 day was 400 kroner and a 7 day was 600 kroner. As this would include transport back to the airport which was 90 kroner all by itself, I decided this was a great value. I could travel on any transport, land or water, in the whole country and all of the islands. I would make good use of it.

 

I decided to go to Klaksvik, today. It was in Nordoyggjar (northern islands) on the island of Bordoy and has a unique position on a tiny piece of land between a harbor and a bay with mountain ranges on both sided. It was 90 minutes and would travel through many areas giving me an overview at the same time.

The cost was 90 kroner each way. So, I was well on my way to getting my moneys worth.


The next bus to Klaksvik would leave at 13:50. So, I had about an hour and a half to kill. I decided that I would go back to the lighthouse as it was not raining or windy, today. The clouds were, dare I say it, lessening.

 

On my way to the lighthouse, I remembered the picture from the travel guide and wasn’t too far from where it must have been taken. I set out on a mission to find it. From the terminal, it had to be around the end of this farthest peninsula. I walked around to the farthest point that I could. I couldn’t get all the way to the end as a transport company had a fence blocking access. I did make it far enough, though. I could see as it is in the travel guide. What a great view this was. The whole city of Torshavn lay before me. I enjoyed the view for a bit and then headed for the lighthouse point.

 

I was pleasantly surprised when I climbed to the top of the fortress and the view across to Nolsoy was fantastic. The sky even was showing a bit of blue! Was that really blue? There were dramatic clouds making their passing across the mountain faces as the parting ensued.

 

To my left was a rocky beach area where the waves were crashing and shooting skyward. It was fantastic. The water had the most beautiful aqua color mixed in with the deep blue. It was quite a color fest with the black rocks, deep blue and aqua of the water and the white of the crashing wave, picture perfect.

 

I love the sound of crashing waves.

I de-stress from it. I don’t know why, maybe it’s due to the fact that it’s louder than the thoughts in my head ��" drowning them out. Whatever…..it’s wonderful.

 

I left Fort Skansin and walked back in the direction of old town. I had time to go back before my bus. On the way I stopped in a souvenir shop and picked up a few treasures. The lady helping me was also giving me advice on special places to visit in the islands. She agreed that Klaksvik was nice.

 

I made my way along the harbor (I walk this harbor many a time over the course of seven days) and up the Tinganes promontory. I passed the most interesting alleys with brightly colored doors on black dingy houses. I revisited the favorite of mine (the black house with the red trim on everything. The day’s light was better and I hoped for clear pics.

I took quite a few and in the end, I got what I came for. They were great…as you can see!

 

I took my time walking through the old town making my way to the end of the peninsula. I passed many government buildings including the prime minister’s office. Nearby there was what looked to be a very old split log house that you might normally see deep in the woods, a nice contrast.

 

I walked out to the very tip of the peninsula and enjoyed the views back and over the entire harbor. The wind was now whipping up and the Foroyar flag was flapping loudly. What a view.

 

Looking at the time, I headed back to the terminal in time for the bus to arrive. I got on, showed my card, thought about my seat ��" side selection based on direction traveling, and waited for the show to begin.

I was excited. It was not raining and the buses windows were clean!!!! There would be possibilities to take pictures.

 

The first area we went through was the southwestern coast of Streymoy, with views across to Esturoy, some of which I had passed on the way in from the airport. This is some of the most isolated and peacefully beautiful places that I’ve been.

 

We make our way around the Kalbaksfjordur in the south and Kollafjordur in lower central Streymoy. With each new curve or bend there were more dramatic and numerous waterfalls. The curves and bends where the mountains follow the fjord remind me of jello molds in a kind of tiered effect, strange, I know.

 

There were fisheries and other light industry along the fjords.

I assume the industry is the processing of the fish?  Numerous fishing villages along all of the waterways along these fjords and Sundini might suggest that is correct.

 

As we moved northward there was an increase in waterside little fishing houses, like row houses at the water’s edge.

 

We reached the bridge across the Sundini to Esturoy and there was a wait. First of all this is a small bridge, really small, given it’s the only way to get between the two biggest islands. It’s under repair so only one lane is open!!!  Anyway, the water area along the bridge area was filled with little white birds and black birds, dotting the water, and sheep at the water’s edge grazing away.

We were half way there!

 

Welcome to Esturoy.

We were in the north central part of the island and crossed in a valley but in no time we back on mountain’s edge and in and out of tunnels, again. Foroyar has some of the longest tunnels that I’ve ever driven through. They are rough cut and small, barely room above the busses that use them.

 

In this area clouds were crossing the mountain facings for a really dramatic effect. Approaching the Skalafjordur, we crossed a wetland type of landscape….beautiful.

 

Continuing on we reached a beach town…yes, beach town of Nordragota on the Gotuvik bay. This is some place I would enjoy coming back to as it has a protected beach, this far inland. There were the quaint and colorful little houses, I’d come to expect. There weren’t many turf roofs in this area.

 

On the way through Streymoy and Esturoy we passed so many beautiful mountain villages that I must make a day of walking between them….

if I can find them again. I will! There is even the little ancient church that I bought a monument of, for my collection but, I was sitting on the wrong side of the bus for a picture. I will get there.

 

We had now reached the eastern edge of Esturoy and headed down the long, long tunnel (Nordoyatunnilin) under the Leirviksfjordur. It’s 9 km long and has the strange lighting. There was a section in the middle of the 6300 meter tunnel that had red, blue, and green lighting. It’s a light art installation. It, also, is 450 meters (almost 1500 feet) below the level of the sea at its lowest point, making it the deepest undersea road tunnel in the world. To give you a reference point, the channel tunnel at its lowest point in only 75 meters (225 feet) deep.

 

We exited the tunnel and seemed to have found civilization in this far northern corner of Foroyar.

We had finally reached Klaksvik in about an hour and forty minutes. I was ready to get out of the bus. It had been a nice journey and I listened to my ipod for background music.

 

Welcome to Bordoy, the heart of Nordoyggar. I’ve already explained the landscape of the area but, it is worth repeating. There is a beautiful basalt basalt rocky beach area with the prerequisite fishing houses on the southern side on the Bordoyarvik. The northern side of the city is wrapped from the flat land around two mountain ranges. The Kalsoyarfjordur and the Haraldssun meet at this point with the butt end of the island of Kunoy prominently in its face.

 

Klaksvik is the second largest city in Foroyar at only 5,000 people. It is quite sleepy!

 

The bus let us off in the center flat area that gave me the opportunity to walk down both sides of the harbor and enjoy the views.

There were lots of birds swimming around in the water near the marina. There were also colorfully painted dingys that has seen better days.

 

The town was more modern as it’s not that old. There were the usual multi color but modern construction and normal roof materials.

 

I stopped in the town’s woolen outlet where the goods come straight from the local workshop. They had some beautiful designs but, I’m not a wool kind of guy! The also had a strange souvenir ��" a crystal rectangle with an etched image of the tunnel to Klakavik. It was discounted from 200 kroner to 100 kroner but, no thank you.

 

I walked through the marina and took some pictures of little boats; one was even named for the city.

This is part of the bus ride form Torshavn to Klaksvik in the Northern Islands
While out there for a brief few minutes……the clouds lessened around Kunoy making for a dramatic panorama.

 

There really wasn’t much more to see on this side so, l went back to the center point and then climbed the town area on the opposite mountain. There is a church that large black and stands out in this sea of average. It’s not beautiful but, it’s functional. I was told by a local that the roof design is that of an upside down boat. He said that was incase the town needed to use it someday. He was kidding, I think.

 

I found the one beer maker in Foroyar called Foroya Njor and has a ram as it’s logo. This side is more commercial but provides more picturesque views of the valley, fjord and Kunoy.

 

There were a couple of buildings that had painted murals.

One was a beautiful Foroyar land / sea scape. The other is a map of the islands with a pirate theme to it. There is a journey shown on it that starts in Klaksvik and ends in Suduroy (the southernmost island), interesting.

 

There was a nice fountain on a corner. It had a large rock with a metal plate with the carving of a fish over water, the city symbol, modern and interesting.

 

As I was walking back, I saw a little park with a small basalt monument with flowers around. I’m not sure of its purpose with was a nice rest stop. There was a sculpture in the nearby square with huge rocks as bookends and a female sculpture held between it horizontally, about 15 feet off the ground.

 

I crossed the street to go back and check the return time and noticed a little stone mile marker that would have been used long ago.

It marked the km to different places in the northern islands. Its base was very colorful with many different colors of rocks and even glass used to make a design.

 

After walking back to the bus stop and being told that the next bus was in an hour and 10 minutes, I decided to walk to the bay on the other side. It had been raining on an off but, so what, right!

 

I walked through mostly residential area and ended up at a large discount store with a full parking lot…western influence!

 

Just down from it was the overlook for the beach and bay. I took a few pictures and then decided to walk down the path that leads down to the water and in front of the fishing houses. The wind was picking up and the water quite choppy.

Rain was coming! I could see it across in the mountains.

 

A close up look at the fishing houses revealed a sad state of repair but, beautiful in its weathered state. I absorbed this unique view of the little fishing houses on the bay with menacing mountains. It was a moment.

 

The rain picked up so, I left and made my way back to the bus shelter. A local was there trying to keep dry. He looked a little rough but was friendly. He had been drinking and still was, smoking also. His English was rough but we were able to communicate and had a nice conversation. He shook my hand and told me to enjoy me time in Foroyar.

 

Night was falling so, I took a few night shots of the harbor all lit up.

The bus was here finally and it was good to be somewhere warm and dry. I spent the trip back watching videos on my nano as the trip back was mostly in the black of night.

 

Upon the return I walked along the harbor in Torshavn. The harbor here was lit nicely, as well. It had been a great day. I had seen many parts of the islands just on this one journey. It had given me thoughts for outings for the days to come.

 

I returned to the guesthouse and made myself a nice dinner. I worked on the previous night’s blog and watched Uptown Girls on DVD.

 

When I finished blogging for the night, I lay in bed and fell asleep with the TV on. I was t i r e d.

 

What will I do tomorrow? I know it will be filled with excitement and adventure. I am ready for it.  

Chokk says:
It is like a museum!
Posted on: Nov 01, 2009
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This is part of the bus ride form…
Klaksvik
photo by: delsol67