If you find a narrow road on the Faroes, chanses are high you can find a small village at the end of it. Often the road gets smaller and smaller, until you think about if you should have rented a motorcycle instead. That is when you meet a local truck or a bus and have to use every inch of the passing place on the road. At least as long as no fellow tourist has parked their car on the passing place. The signs are pretty clear that no parking is permitted, although not every tourist seem to think it overranks a nice waterfall or a great view over some cliffs.
Often the village at the end of the road is situated in a very dramatic spot. Between high cliffs or mountains, next to a spectacular waterfall or in a natural small port. The villages we visited had about 50 houses and seemed to be highly alive. If I travel in the Swedish countryside I see a lot of villages that are more or less dead. This is not the case on the Faroes. The houses seem to be in good shape, even though the weather is not the best all year around. It says something about the force of the wind, when a small boat on a trailer is fastened to the ground. The villagers have been around and they know how to take care of their things.
Often there is a small café in the village, that can serve a good cup of coffee or something to eat. Public toilets are also often seen, which can be very welcome after a hike or a drive. The people are very friendly and helpful. It is often obvious what once was – and in many cases still is – the main occupation of the people living there. Fishing is, for example, a big industry on the islands and as I understand, also one of the reasons The Faroes have choosen not to join the EU.
One thing I cant help thinking about is how close things are on the island – and still so far away. The islands are not big – but the landscape is of a kind that is not really the best if you want to travel by car. A lot of effort have been put in to making roads, tunnels and bridges. But still; the small villages is often connected to the big roads by a single small road, that stretches over mountains, through narrow tunnels or along steep slopes. It suppose that it is not uncommon that the vilage is cut of from the rest of the islands due to weather.
A thing I very much apprichiated was the lack of shops selling cheap souvenirs. If you go to the Faroes, you go there to experience it – not to buy souvenirs. Some hikes are very popular and obviously attracts a lot of people, which can have a negative inpact on the nature. There are paths to follow and sometimes fees to pay. I think this is a good thing, if it can help to preserv the landscape. It is very clean everywhere and not a lot of junk laying around. I suppose this is very much thanks to the locals, but perhaps also to the kind of tourists that visit the islands. It is up to us who visit, to take good care of the surroundings and show respect to the locals and the nature it self.