Atlantic Archipelago – A week in the Faroe Islands – Part 3

The following day we woke up early and drove south-west, to the island of Vágar. There we would visit the village of Gásadalur and see the waterfall that cascades into the ocean at Gásadalur and hike to the cliffs at Sørvágsvatn. Then we were to fly by helicopter to the island of Mykines where we planned to stay for 2 nights. We said farewell to the family we had stayed with and stopped at the small harbour in Hvannasund to admire some fishing boats before the 1.5 hour drive to Vágar.

Driving through more tunnels and winding roads, the weather seemed to change every 10 minutes. We soon descended into a sub-sea tunnel that took us to the island of Vágar. We emerged on the other side to a thick blanket of fog and worried how it might affect our visit to the waterfall. We soon entered another narrow tunnel which would take us through to village of Gásadalur.

Miraculously, as we exited the tunnel the fog seemed to clear up, letting the sun shine through and illuminate the landscape. There in the distance, at the base of a mountain and under a blanket of dissipating fog, was the village of Gásadalur. The waterfall soon become visible and was flowing rapidly with the melting snow from the mountains. We seemed to be the only visitors, and sat there on a lone bench that overlooked the waterfall. The view was breathtaking. We sat in silence, content with our own thoughts, and watched the water fall into the ocean, splashing onto the breaking waves below. Daylight wasn’t on our side, so we decided to continue and explore the village before heading to our next destination.

Driving back through the tunnel we compared the waterfall with the beauty of the other sights we had seen, and what a difficult question it was. The fog was back, and the visibility had become quite poor. We were heading to Sørvágsvatn, a massive lake that meets the ocean. One can stand atop a nearby cliff and look downward on the edge of the lake as it meets the ocean in one amazing setting. We had only seen photos of course, and it seemed like some kind of optical illusion. We stopped and asked for directions at a petrol station, as we were unable to find the turn-off in the dense fog. With help from petrol station attendant, we eventually found our way and parked with the lake in view.

As we set off, it dawned upon us that the view we were eager to see would probably be obscured by the lingering fog. We continued on, determined, and hoped that perhaps it may clear up by the time we arrive. We followed the shoreline of the vast lake and could only see fog on the horizon. There was no clear path and we trudged through ankle deep snow and sodden patches of grass. An hour had passed and we had still not reached our destination. We were definitely unprepared and didn’t actually know what we were looking for as the fog covered everything. We soon reached a small waterfall that was flowing over a series of rapids into the ocean. We were confused and didn’t understand how to get to the viewpoint we had seen many photos taken from. It began to rain and our spirits were low. We decided to admit defeat and make our way back to the car. We walked, demoralised, back through the mud and snow.

After making it back to the car we made our way to another Airbnb house we had booked. The next day we were to fly to the island of Mykines for 2 days. We checked the weather forecast which still showed fog and also strong winds for the following morning. It was quite common for the helicopter to the island to be cancelled, leaving passengers stuck at Vágar Airport and unable to pick up passengers waiting in Mykines. The following morning we peered out the window to see if the fog had lifted, but it was too dark to tell. We drove to the airport and were told that our flight had been delayed an hour due to the weather. We ordered a round of lattes and sat at a table discussing our worries of not being able to return from Mykines on time for our connecting flights.

As it happens, we had made one of the oldest mistakes in the book, and put our visit to Mykines at the end of our trip rather than at the beginning. All 3 of us had connecting flights to catch a few hours after our return helicopter flight and were worried we would miss them if the helicopter was cancelled. A lady from the helicopter company said we would be crazy to go and that we shouldn’t risk it. We decided that she was probably right, and cancelled our trip. It was a hard decision as we had booked a cosy little cabin and had planned to relax and hike to another lighthouse. We had already paid for the chopper flight, so decided to just go for a joy ride instead. It felt like the scene from Jurassic Park when they were flying to the island for the first time, past massive green cliffs. It was truly amazing and made us feel extra disappointed that we had decided to cancel.

We had 2 days to spare, so caught a taxi back to Tórshavn where we stayed at Hotel Streym which was very good. Although we would have rather been on Mykines, we enjoyed our extra time in the capital and spent many hours exploring, drinking and talking into the night in dimly lit bars. We’d had a spectacular time in the Faroe Islands and had some amazing experiences and created some very special memories. Although we wondered what it would be like visiting in summer, we were glad to have experienced a winter here and seen the snow.



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