Tag Archives: Torshavn

5 August 2019:
Torshavn, Faroe:
Retracing the Route of the Vikings

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

From Iceland, we sailed east to a place of great reputation not often visited: The Faroe Islands, a trip of 311 nautical miles, equivalent to 358 statute miles or 576 kilometers.

The Faroe archipelago consists of 18 islands and islets of varying size that are about midway between Iceland and Norway. Over the past 14 centuries or so, they have come under the influence of Irish and Scots, Nordic people including the Vikings, Denmark and Norway, and the Brits.

Not much grows here on these isolated rocks. There are not many people, and even fewer trees. Oh, and fog and rain visit for extended periods of time.

Today I went with a group of guests up to the north end of the main island to Vestmanna, a set of dramatic nearly vertical cliffs populated with sheep hanging on for dear life. The captain of our boat navigated into narrow sea caves and between sea stacks as if he were driving a rental car. Here is some of what we saw:

All photos by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved 2019

Torshavn

The greater metropolitan area of Torshavn, a rather grandiose description, is home to about 21,000 people. The town itself, about 13,000.

That makes Torshavn one of the smallest capital cities in the world.

The Norse established their parliament on the Tinganes peninsula in AD 850. The Vikings established parliaments, called tings, in different parts of the islands; the tings were supposed to be located in uninhabited places to maintain neutrality.

Near Torshavn, the Vikings would thus meet on the flat rocks of Tinganes every summer. That old part of town is still made up of small wooden houses covered with turf roofs.

The Viking age ended in 1035, but Tórshavn has remained the capital of the Faroe Islands ever since.

Denmark is a member of the European Union but does not use the Euro. The Faroe Islands is a self-governing nation within the Kingdom of Denmark, but it is explicitly not part of the EU. Is that foggy enough for you?

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ANY PHOTO OR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

10 July 2018:
Tórshavn, Faroe Islands:
Fish and Chips

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We have moved east to a place of great reputation not often visited: the Faroe Islands and its capital and principal settlement, Tórshavn.

It would seem perfectly reasonable to pronounce the name of this place as if it were “Tor’s Haven”, which is what it essentially means.

But the Nordic-Faroese pronunciation is more like “Tor-shawn.”

Thor, as in the Norse god with the hammer. The god of thunder and lightning, also responsible for storms, oak trees, strength, fertility, and more.

The Faroe archipelago consists of 18 islands and islets of varying size about midway between Iceland and Norway. Ove the past 14 centuries or so, they have come under the influence of Irish and Scots, Nordic people including the Vikings, Denmark and Norway, and the Brits.

Not much grows here on these isolated rocks. There are not many people, and even fewer trees.

On our visit today, we sailed in through pea soup fog which as the day went on somehow became thicker. But it added a great deal of sense of place to this unusual set of islands.

Here’s some of what we saw through the mist:

I also went for a visit to the very impressive historical museum just outside of town and saw some ancient artifacts as well as some of the evidence of the whaling and fishing history of the islands.

All photos by Corey Sandler, 2018. All rights reserved.

As was the case with Iceland, the first settlers here were believed to be Irish monks who did not persist, or procreate. They were followed by Vikings about the year 800.

Again, like Iceland, the Faroe Islands were occupied by the British during World War II and did suffer the occasional attack by German aircraft although a full-scale assault was never attempted,

At Torshavn Cathedral you will find a plaque installed by British war veterans thanking the Faroese people for their kindness during the occupation, which began in 1940 and ended in 1945.

Apparently the kindness was pretty significant; about 170 marriages took place between British soldiers and women from the Faroes.

The last British soldiers left in September 1945, and the Faroese did not want to go back to their previous status as a colony of Denmark. A referendum on independence was held in 1946, and in 1948 autonomy was granted, within the Danish realm.

After all these years, though, the Faroese still love fish and chips as well as British chocolate such as Cadbury Dairy Milk.

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS