Wanderlust: Faroe Islands

The Faroe Islands are an archipelago of 18 upthrusting rock in the middle of precisely nowhere, the stretch of North Atlantic halfway between Norway and Iceland.

Each island a giant tooth covered in a green felt emerging from a rough and looming sea. Streamer clouds in their perfection encircle the mountains. Rocky cliffs plunge nearly vertical into the sea, while up from the water jut massive, looming waves.

Vikings settled the islands more than a thousand years ago, and almost 50,000 of their descendants now live here, sharing space with 75,000 more or less freely roaming sheep.

Stephen Metcalf of the New York Times travel piece on the Faroe Island shares "A mixture of slow farm life and vicious fishery - to this day and for the last 700 years when a Faroese man, looking out to the harbor, cries “Grind,” every man in town, from the barkeep to the mayor, drops what he is doing, reaches for a metal implement and sprints toward the water. The cry means whales have been spotted, are being herded into the harbor and now need to be slaughtered, in a ritual called a grindadrap. Within minutes, the harbor waters are drenched in red and the corpses of pilot whales lie on the dockside in a row. The precious meat and blubber is distributed, first according to who spotted and who killed, then according to need, with a special emphasis on the elderly, sick and poor."

An ancient life continued. Regardless of your feelings on whaling, the Faroe Island enchants.

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