streymoy, Faroe Islands

Up Streymoy, drawn to the Island of Currents

Eysturoy Rocks
Bathers bundled up in the gentle surf of Tjornuvik Bay
Giant and Witch Spell
Father and sons admire the Giant and Witch rocks.
The Giant and the Witch
The rival rocks of the giant and the witch.
Faroese fog
Mist above Tjornuvik Bay
Streymoy Above
Car drives along a road in the highlands of Streymoy.
Sundini Fjord
Houses and roads in the background of the Sundini fjord
Colorful houses in Haldarsvik
The Memorial Staircase
Couple walk over to the memorial of the deceased Haldarsvik fishermen
The Octagonal Church
Haldarsvik's main church, with eight sides.
Memorial Deceased at Sea
The memorial of the deceased fishermen of Haldarsvik
Swans's Lake
Swans swim in Streymoy's Lake Mjauvotn.
Tjornuvik Cove
Houses by the sea in Tjornuvik
Enclosed Houses of Tjornuvik
Surf below the seaside houses of Tjornuvik
sheep balance
A resident of Tjornuvik passes through the village's sheep.
Way to Tjornuvik
The deep bay of Tjornuvik.
Fish ponds in a fjord near Vestmanna.
We leave the capital Torshavn heading north. We crossed from Vestmanna to the east coast of Streymoy. Until we reach the northern end of Tjornuvík, we are dazzled again and again by the verdant eccentricity of the largest Faroese island.

Successive slopes lead us from the cove sheltered by the slope on which the capital is located. Torshavn to the highlands between the Vagá and Kaldbak fjords.

As it ascends, the Oyggjarvegur road furrows an immense meadow that the wind shakes, to which the lateral sun reinforces the green. Three or four sharp peaks stand out above a line of shadowy ridges.

Submissive in front of dark clouds that fly over them at great speed.



Oyggjarvegur takes us into the shadows. A few kilometers further on, we can see Kaldbak again, its winding bottom, extending to the far entrance of the fjord.

Of a rare geological grandeur, the panorama from the half-slope of the Sornfelli mountain (749m) proves to be chilling.

The Valley of Mjorkaladur and the Prison of All Dreams

More than for the strategic position above the two fjords than for the scenery, Denmark installed, there, a military building complemented with a radar station also at the service of NATO. Over time, the structure lost relevance. In 2010, the keys were handed over to the city council of the Faroese capital.

By this time, Torshavn was home to the archipelago's only prison facility. The authorities noticed, however, that it was getting too much mold. Apprehensive about the health of the detainees, they decided to deactivate it. Instead, they will use the vacant building of the former ISCOMFAROES.

Over time, Faroese and even visiting foreigners became aware of the privileged location where inmates served their sentences. The establishment gained the reputation of being the prison with the best view on the face of the Earth.

We lean to the side. Even without knowing much of the blue planet, we tend to agree. We understood how special Sornfelli's unexpected pildra was, better known as Mjorkaladur, a term translatable as Vale do Fogeiro.

We don't see a single fence, watchtowers or barbed wire. In keeping with the historical and architectural tradition of the Faroe Islands, the roofs are made of turf, covered by a damp-soaked grass that gives them a Hobbitian “Garden of Delights” look.

The Territorial Swan Lake of Mjáuvotn

As soon as we did, we freed ourselves from the wonder of the place and continued on. We join another main road, the Frammi í Dal. We walk along it, in contemplative mode, when a few meters below the asphalt plane, we glimpse two lakes nearby.

The first was dotted with several white swans that the waves rocked in the wind. We are approaching the bank of the Mjáuvotn. The swans come to investigate what we want from there.

Knowing how territorial and aggressive birds are, at the first sketch of an onslaught, we dispatched some final photos and retreated.

At a glance, we reached the edge of the neighboring and much larger lake, the Leyna, whose water feeds the body of the Mjáuvotn.

We passed through Kvivik. From this village, we continue to zigzag towards the north, slowly, along the Landsvegur Stykkid road.

Our first objective for the day was Vestmanna, a town and region famous for its steep cliffs and colonies, from time to time, populous with puffins that inhabit them.

The Vestmanna Cliffs and their Missing Puffins

There follows another abrupt and winding descent to another of the deep bays of Streymoy. We entered the premises of the agency in charge of the tour, excited by the incursion that followed.

As we walk towards the boarding point, however, a joke thrown by one of the passengers of the newly arrived tour, leaves us standing behind: “get ready, you're going to see a lot! “screams the man with a yellow smile on his lips. “About ten thousand. Or more!" adds.

We all put on helmets. The boat sets sail. The houses of Vestmanna are left behind.

We head towards the Vágar fjord, passing through fish ponds, from those amphibious ponds that are increasingly abundant in the Faroe and other Nordic countries. We sailed in the company of soaked sheep of different colors that grazed on the steep banks.

We approach the mouth of the fjord and the North Atlantic. The undulation is accentuated. It forces the helmsman to sail right along the rugged cliffs of Streymoy. We passed under natural arches.

Soon, we entered a cave at the base of a huge stone needle that tore through the mist above.

As far as we know, it was in that extreme habitat that puffins congregated in large numbers. Because we are out of season, or for another reason that the agency failed to inform, puffins or other birds worthy of registration, did not even see them.

The tour had the terminology “Vestmanna Birdcliffs” and a very high price, as there is almost everything in these remote and Nordic places. However, it revealed to the passengers only and only the abrupt coastline beaten by the sea.

A rainbow-generating arctic rain soaks the return and freezes us. Finally, having disembarked, we regained our balance carried by the waves, bought hot chocolate and resumed our journey to Streymoy.

Above Fjord always with Eysturoy in sight

The impassable relief to the east forces us to go back to the shores of the swan lake that we had visited. From there, we crossed to its eastern coast, facing another neighboring island. No longer Vágar, now, Eysturoy.

From bottom to top, on the map, there are villages with names ending in vík: Hósvík, Hvalvík, Nesvík, Haldarsvík and Tjornuvík.

Vík means, in Faroese, Icelandic and Scandinavian dialects, cove. Now, the coves, sheltered from the wind and sea storms, have always proved to be the right places for life in the archipelago.

Of the various villages listed, we had saved time mainly for the last two, the northernmost ones. A few dozen kilometers later, we find ourselves at the entrance to Haldarsvík.

Haldarsvik and its Octagonal Church

We find its white church, the only octagonal church in the Faroe, built in 1856 and with one of the most peculiar altars in the archipelago and surroundings, with a Last Supper, in which the faces of the apostles are replaced by those of public figures of the nation.

We went up a staircase. From the top, we have a view of the church, the multicolored houses of the one hundred and seventy inhabitants, set against the U-shaped bottom of the cove where a voluminous waterfall fell unceremoniously.

And the harbor, partially protected by a pier covered with green grass. A couple joins us. While scanning the view, we analyze an enigmatic metallic monument.

The various names inscribed on plaques encrusted in the grass, help us to conclude that it was a memorial to the fishermen and sailors of the village lost at sea.

Taking into account the small population of Haldarsvík, they formed an impressive number of victims, which sheds light on how, throughout their history, the Faroese were always forced to venture into the ocean to survive.

And how often the treacherous North Atlantic took their lives.

At that moment, another vessel was leaving the port, first towards the fjord that separated Streymoy from Eysturoy. Then pointed north, towards the even deeper bay of Tjornuvík.

Although by land, along the Bakkavegur, we followed its course. The road leads us to a geological alley with no apparent exit.

To the deepest cove and closed off by slopes that we had seen until then, with a few houses nestled in a corner of the beach, flown over by bands of intrusive mist.

Tjornuvik and its Breathtaking Deep Cove

We admire the place as if it were the first place we saw in Faroe. When, finally, we recovered from the charm, we started the descent that led to the village.

Delivered to the slope, we noticed the presence of several sheep, so fluffy that they looked more like sheep's balls, grazing in a defiant balance on the grassy ravine. We stop the car.

We perched on the iron rail and, for the rest of the animals, we photographed them from a short distance. We are in this entertains when a resident of Tjornuvík passes us, in contained disapproval.

In the days we spent traveling around the Faroe, we were warned more than once about how much it disliked livestock farmers when outsiders bothered their animals.

Not this faroes, but another, complained about the unwanted intrusion of tourism: “It's you. And hundreds more all summer long! Do you, by any chance, have an idea of ​​how much grass the sheep stop eating and how much weight they lose because they are always bothering them?

Because. They do not know. But we know. The damage comes out of our pocket.”

We completed what was missing from the route. Already between the houses, we looked for the beginning of a trail that led to a waterfall that we could see flowing from the entrance to the cove.

The Volcanic Shapes of the Giant and the Witch

Once the new half-slope has been conquered, we admire the A-roofed castro, prepared for the snowfall of the long winter, at that time, lost in a grassy hollow that the sea, there, smooth, at the imminence of low tide, bathed in slow motion. .

On the black sand, a couple got into full wetsuits. They prepared to bathe like the frigidity of the arctic allowed them.

We watched them walk into the shallow sea, with the children in their arms.

We see them stop to look, as if hypnotized, at two black rocks that stood out from the horizon, under the spell of the Witch and the Giant, a petrified duo at Eysturoy's feet.

This is already another island other than Streymoy. And another story.

Mykines, Faroe Islands

In the Faeroes FarWest

Mykines establishes the western threshold of the Faroe archipelago. It housed 179 people but the harshness of the retreat got the better of it. Today, only nine souls survive there. When we visit it, we find the island given over to its thousand sheep and the restless colonies of puffins.
Kalsoy, Faroe Islands

A Lighthouse at the End of the Faroese World

Kalsoy is one of the most isolated islands in the Faroe archipelago. Also known as “the flute” due to its long shape and the many tunnels that serve it, a mere 75 inhabitants inhabit it. Much less than the outsiders who visit it every year, attracted by the boreal wonder of its Kallur lighthouse.
Tórshavn, Faroe Islands

Thor's Faroese Port

It has been the main settlement in the Faroe Islands since at least 850 AD, the year in which Viking settlers established a parliament there. Tórshavn remains one of the smallest capitals in Europe and the divine shelter of about a third of the Faroese population.
Vágar, Faroe Islands

The Lake that hovers over the North Atlantic

By geological whim, Sorvagsvatn is much more than the largest lake in the Faroe Islands. Cliffs with between thirty to one hundred and forty meters limit the southern end of its bed. From certain perspectives, it gives the idea of ​​being suspended over the ocean.
Kirkjubour, streymoy, Faroe Islands

Where the Faroese Christianity Washed Ashore

A mere year into the first millennium, a Viking missionary named Sigmundur Brestisson brought the Christian faith to the Faroe Islands. Kirkjubour became the shelter and episcopal seat of the new religion.
Jökursarlón Lagoon, Vatnajökull Glacier, Iceland

The Faltering of Europe's King Glacier

Only in Greenland and Antarctica are glaciers comparable to Vatnajökull, the supreme glacier of the old continent. And yet, even this colossus that gives more meaning to the term ice land is surrendering to the relentless siege of global warming.
Thingvellir National Park, Iceland

The Origins of the Remote Viking Democracy

The foundations of popular government that come to mind are the Hellenic ones. But what is believed to have been the world's first parliament was inaugurated in the middle of the XNUMXth century, in Iceland's icy interior.

The Geothermal Coziness of the Ice Island

Most visitors value Iceland's volcanic scenery for its beauty. Icelanders also draw from them heat and energy crucial to the life they lead to the Arctic gates.
Jok​ülsárlón Lagoon, Iceland

The Chant and the Ice

Created by water from the Arctic Ocean and the melting of Europe's largest glacier, Jokülsárlón forms a frigid and imposing domain. Icelanders revere her and pay her surprising tributes.
Husavik a Myvatn, Iceland

Endless Snow on the Island of Fire

When, in mid-May, Iceland already enjoys some sun warmth but the cold and snow persist, the inhabitants give in to an intriguing summer anxiety.

The Island of Fire, Ice and Waterfalls

Europe's supreme cascade rushes into Iceland. But it's not the only one. On this boreal island, with constant rain or snow and in the midst of battle between volcanoes and glaciers, endless torrents crash.
Seydisfjordur, Iceland

From the Art of Fishing to the Fishing of Art

When shipowners from Reykjavik bought the Seydisfjordur fishing fleet, the village had to adapt. Today, it captures Dieter Roth's art disciples and other bohemian and creative souls.
Lion, Elephants, PN Hwange, Zimbabwe
PN Hwange, Zimbabwe

The Legacy of the Late Cecil Lion

On July 1, 2015, Walter Palmer, a dentist and trophy hunter from Minnesota killed Cecil, Zimbabwe's most famous lion. The slaughter generated a viral wave of outrage. As we saw in PN Hwange, nearly two years later, Cecil's descendants thrive.
Faithful light candles, Milarepa Grotto temple, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Annapurna (circuit)
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A Walk between Acclimatization and Pilgrimage

In full Annapurna Circuit, we finally arrived in Manang (3519m). we still need acclimatize to the higher stretches that followed, we inaugurated an equally spiritual journey to a Nepalese cave of Milarepa (4000m), the refuge of a siddha (sage) and Buddhist saint.
Sculptural Garden, Edward James, Xilitla, Huasteca Potosina, San Luis Potosi, Mexico, Cobra dos Pecados
Architecture & Design
Xilitla, San Luis Potosí, Mexico

Edward James' Mexican Delirium

In the rainforest of Xilitla, the restless mind of poet Edward James has twinned an eccentric home garden. Today, Xilitla is lauded as an Eden of the Surreal.
lagoons and fumaroles, volcanoes, PN tongariro, new zealand
Tongariro, New Zealand

The Volcanoes of All Discords

In the late XNUMXth century, an indigenous chief ceded the PN Tongariro volcanoes to the British crown. Today, a significant part of the Maori people claim their mountains of fire from European settlers.
Dragon Dance, Moon Festival, Chinatown-San Francisco-United States of America
Ceremonies and Festivities
San Francisco, USA

with the head on the moon

September comes and Chinese people around the world celebrate harvests, abundance and unity. San Francisco's enormous Sino-Community gives itself body and soul to California's biggest Moon Festival.
Back in the sun. San Francisco Cable Cars, Life Ups and Downs
San Francisco, USA

San Francisco Cable Cars: A Life of Highs and Lows

A macabre wagon accident inspired the San Francisco cable car saga. Today, these relics work as a charm operation in the city of fog, but they also have their risks.
Obese resident of Tupola Tapaau, a small island in Western Samoa.
Tonga, Western Samoa, Polynesia

XXL Pacific

For centuries, the natives of the Polynesian islands subsisted on land and sea. Until the intrusion of colonial powers and the subsequent introduction of fatty pieces of meat, fast food and sugary drinks have spawned a plague of diabetes and obesity. Today, while much of Tonga's national GDP, Western Samoa and neighbors is wasted on these “western poisons”, fishermen barely manage to sell their fish.
Kiomizudera, Kyoto, a Millennial Japan almost lost
Kyoto, Japan

An Almost Lost Millennial Japan

Kyoto was on the US atomic bomb target list and it was more than a whim of fate that preserved it. Saved by an American Secretary of War in love with its historical and cultural richness and oriental sumptuousness, the city was replaced at the last minute by Nagasaki in the atrocious sacrifice of the second nuclear cataclysm.
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When Only Cock Fights Wake Up the Philippines

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Chefchouen to Merzouga, Morocco

Morocco from Top to Bottom

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Cocoa, Chocolate, Sao Tome Principe, Agua Izé farm
São Tomé and Principe

Cocoa Roças, Corallo and the Chocolate Factory

At the beginning of the century. In the XNUMXth century, São Tomé and Príncipe generated more cocoa than any other territory. Thanks to the dedication of some entrepreneurs, production survives and the two islands taste like the best chocolate.
Sunset, Avenue of Baobabs, Madagascar
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio

days like so many others

Jean Marie Tjibaou Cultural Center, New Caledonia, Greater Calhau, South Pacific
Grande Terre, New Caledonia

South Pacific Great Boulder

James Cook thus named distant New Caledonia because it reminded him of his father's Scotland, whereas the French settlers were less romantic. Endowed with one of the largest nickel reserves in the world, they named Le Caillou the mother island of the archipelago. Not even its mining prevents it from being one of the most dazzling patches of Earth in Oceania.
Moorea aerial view
Moorea, French Polynesia

The Polynesian Sister Any Island Would Like to Have

A mere 17km from Tahiti, Moorea does not have a single city and is home to a tenth of its inhabitants. Tahitians have long watched the sun go down and transform the island next door into a misty silhouette, only to return to its exuberant colors and shapes hours later. For those who visit these remote parts of the Pacific, getting to know Moorea is a double privilege.
St. Trinity Church, Kazbegi, Georgia, Caucasus
Winter White
Kazbegi, Georgia

God in the Caucasus Heights

In the 4000th century, Orthodox religious took their inspiration from a hermitage that a monk had erected at an altitude of 5047 m and perched a church between the summit of Mount Kazbek (XNUMXm) and the village at the foot. More and more visitors flock to these mystical stops on the edge of Russia. Like them, to get there, we submit to the whims of the reckless Georgia Military Road.
Visitors to Ernest Hemingway's Home, Key West, Florida, United States
Key West, United States

Hemingway's Caribbean Playground

Effusive as ever, Ernest Hemingway called Key West "the best place I've ever been...". In the tropical depths of the contiguous US, he found evasion and crazy, drunken fun. And the inspiration to write with intensity to match.
Garranos gallop across the plateau above Castro Laboreiro, PN Peneda-Gerês, Portugal
Castro Laboreiro, Portugal  

From Castro de Laboreiro to the Rim of the Peneda – Gerês Range

We arrived at (i) the eminence of Galicia, at an altitude of 1000m and even more. Castro Laboreiro and the surrounding villages stand out against the granite monumentality of the mountains and the Planalto da Peneda and Laboreiro. As do its resilient people who, sometimes handed over to Brandas and sometimes to Inverneiras, still call these stunning places home.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Dunes of Bazaruto Island, Mozambique
Natural Parks
bazaruto, Mozambique

The Inverted Mirage of Mozambique

Just 30km off the East African coast, an unlikely but imposing erg rises out of the translucent sea. Bazaruto it houses landscapes and people who have lived apart for a long time. Whoever lands on this lush, sandy island soon finds himself in a storm of awe.
Principe Island, São Tomé and Principe
UNESCO World Heritage
Príncipe, São Tomé and Principe

Journey to the Noble Retreat of Príncipe Island

150 km of solitude north of the matriarch São Tomé, the island of Príncipe rises from the deep Atlantic against an abrupt and volcanic mountain-covered jungle setting. Long enclosed in its sweeping tropical nature and a contained but moving Luso-colonial past, this small African island still houses more stories to tell than visitors to listen to.
Heroes Acre Monument, Zimbabwe
Harare, Zimbabwewe

The Last Rales of Surreal Mugabué

In 2015, Zimbabwe's first lady Grace Mugabe said the 91-year-old president would rule until the age of 100 in a special wheelchair. Shortly thereafter, it began to insinuate itself into his succession. But in recent days, the generals have finally precipitated the removal of Robert Mugabe, who has replaced him with former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Soufrière and Pitons, Saint Luci
Soufriere, Saint Lucia

The Great Pyramids of the Antilles

Perched above a lush coastline, the twin peaks Pitons are the hallmark of Saint Lucia. They have become so iconic that they have a place in the highest notes of East Caribbean Dollars. Right next door, residents of the former capital Soufrière know how precious their sight is.
Chiang Khong to Luang Prabang, Laos, Through the Mekong Below
Chiang Khong - Luang Prabang , Laos

Slow Boat, Down the Mekong River

Laos' beauty and lower cost are good reasons to sail between Chiang Khong and Luang Prabang. But this long descent of the Mekong River can be as exhausting as it is picturesque.
Train Fianarantsoa to Manakara, Malagasy TGV, locomotive
On Rails
Fianarantsoa-Manakara, Madagascar

On board the Malagasy TGV

We depart Fianarantsoa at 7a.m. It wasn't until 3am the following morning that we completed the 170km to Manakara. The natives call this almost secular train Train Great Vibrations. During the long journey, we felt, very strongly, those of the heart of Madagascar.
Tabatô, Guinea Bissau, tabanca Mandingo musicians. Baidi
Tabato, Guinea Bissau

The Tabanca of Mandinga Poets Musicians

In 1870, a community of traveling Mandingo musicians settled next to the current city of Bafatá. From the Tabatô they founded, their culture and, in particular, their prodigious balaphonists, dazzle the world.
Busy intersection of Tokyo, Japan
Daily life
Tokyo, Japan

The Endless Night of the Rising Sun Capital

Say that Tokyo do not sleep is an understatement. In one of the largest and most sophisticated cities on the face of the Earth, twilight marks only the renewal of the frenetic daily life. And there are millions of souls that either find no place in the sun, or make more sense in the “dark” and obscure turns that follow.
Everglades National Park, Florida, United States, flight over the Everglades canals
Everglades National Park, Florida, USA

Florida's Great Weedy River

Anyone who flies over the south of the 27th state is amazed by the green, smooth and soggy vastness that contrasts with the surrounding oceanic tones. This unique U.S. marsh-prairie ecosystem is home to a prolific fauna dominated by 200 of Florida's 1.25 million alligators.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.