Sunday, June 25th
This summertrip starts in Billund. Atlantic Airways take me directly to Torshavn on Faroe Islands. The landing in Vagar airport is very spectacular. You can almost touch the cliffs next to the runway.
Then a shared taxi to the hotel. It’s called Hotel Torshavn. I check into fine room 411. It’s 8 pm so there is time for a short walk along the harbour. Weather is a bit cold – but nice. Lovely light and a rainbow in the back. A buy a sandwich to take back to the hotel. At 10 there is still lots of light outside. Nice views from the room of the city and the surroundings. It doesn’t seem to get dark.
Monday, June 26th
A busy day is ahead. First a good breakfast at the hotel. Then to the bus-terminal to buy myself a card that gives me access to all busses and ferries for the next week. Then a walk north along the ocean. My target is the Helicopterpad in Torshavn. I have to try something new – going by helicopter. They have a service with helicopters to more remote areas on some days. Locals have priority, but tourists can join if there is space. I have been lucky and booked a seat for a trip to Frodba on Suderoy. A spectacular flight. 2 landings on the way, on islands with no other transport service than this helicopter. The trip is only 30 minutes. Views are fantastic and noise enormous. But you do get earmuffs for the noise.
From Frodba there is a short walk to Tvøroyri, which is Suduroy's largest city. Here I hang out for a couple of hours before driving a bus to Vagur. As such, a few rather uninteresting towns, but the views and surroundings are impressive. From Vagur return at 5 o'clock to Krambatangi. Here MS Smyril sails back to Torshavn at 6.30. You must not take a helicopter either way. The sailing trip is also nice, and today's board is Meat Loaf, potatoes and brown sauce. Dare to mention that truck drivers are the main target group. Torshavn 8.30. And yet not a drop of rain. Really unbelievable.
Tuesday, June 27th
Reasonably early up, to be ready at the bus station at. 8. The trip goes to Vestmanna. From here there is a nice boat trip along the beautiful cliffs and a rich birdlife. The tour starts at 10. We sail close to the rocks and look at birds and sheeps grazing on the steep slopes. All passengers are fitted with a helmet. It can have 2 purposes. One to avoid falling stones and one to avoid the birds shit in your head. Back 2 hours later, and then by bus to Torshavn. It's just over 13 when I'm home. It calls for a nice steak and a subsequent nap.
Tour 2 is an evening tour. Soccer. Champions League - 1st qualifying round. Viking Göta has chosen to play the home game against Trepca 89 from Kosovo at the beautiful Torsvöllur stadium. It is a 20-minute walk from the hotel. It's the second time I see Champions League. First time was Real Madrid against Bayern Munich, so the level is falling. There is free access to the match. When I arrive 20 minutes before time there is no one there, but there will be 1800 when we get started. Viking wins 2-1 and the match is worth the whole entrance. However, none of the teams should expect to join group games.
Wednesday, June 28th
Another day with the finest weather. It is quite unique in the Faroe Islands, where wind, rain and fog are the norm. The day is spent in Torshavn and the surrounding area. First a walk down to the industrial part of the harbor where is a small shipyard. So around in areas most with housing. Also in Torshavn, you have ugly housing blocks.
Then by city bus - free - to a small town south of Torshavn, called Kirkjubøur. It is famous for the ruin of a very old church of Magnus Cathedral. Even the ruin is so old that it is now drifting apart, and therefore partly held up by a scaffolding. It was originally built around 1300. There are also several other very old and beautiful buildings, and then a new church - last renovated in 1966 - called the Olav church. I'll hang out for a couple of hours before the bus no 5 take me back to Torshavn center. Then there is time for pizza and relaxing in the hotel.
Late afternoon tour around central Torshavn. Down on Tinganes, where the Self-governing authorities have their offices. While I am there the ship Norröna arrive from Hirtshals and go to the dock. So on to City Burger. Torshavn is quite well-stocked with junk food. Coffee and donuts are bought home to the hotel from a supermarket, and you can see the Confederation Cup match between Portugal and Chile on Icelandic TV.
Thursday, June 29th
It's another fantastic sunny day on the Faroe Islands. In this field, the islands have not lived up to their reputation - and that's great. I get up early to get ready at the bus station at 8. First bus to Oyrebakki, where you switch to another that drives to the small town of Gjogv. It is a nice little picturesque village next to the Atlantic Ocean on the north side of the Faroe Islands. No people around in the morning, but very nice houses and amazing views. I have 2 hours before the 201 drive me back to Oyrebakki.
Here I continue on bus 400 to Klaksvig. A nice trip through hairpins and tunnels under the mountains. I'm in Klaksvig at 1 o'clock. Unfortunately, it appears to be a hole without anything interesting to see. Then I just go for lunch before returning to Torshavn. I'm back at 4 o'clock.
In the evening it will be a short walk around the city, a pizza at Pizza King and relaxation at room 411 with a happy accompaniment from an orchestra who is practicing at the "Margarine Factory" on the other side of the road.
Friday, June 30th
Today's tour is an afternoon tour, so this morning is in the company of William Heinesens "The Forget Players". But a little before 2 pm it’s the bus again. This time to Tjørnuvik, which is a small village among the mountains on the northernmost part of Streymoy. It takes about 1 ½ hour to get there, and then I have an hour in the small town before I go back. It is the price to use buses on these places. Had I done the trip yesterday, I could have experienced a real Pilotwhale kill. According to the bus driver, the catch was 43 whales. But it is surely more pleasant today to walk around in the nice little town. There are great views of a number of mountains all around. At sea you can see the 2 free-standing cliffs Risin and Kellingin. The whole thing is quite spectacular in magnificent afternoon sunshine. But I have to take the bus back at 4.40, as next option is on monday. After switching to Oyrebakki, I am at home at 6 o'clock. Dinner at City Burger, and coffee and donuts for Friday evening is bought at my supermarket.
Saturday, July 1st
Then it finally happened - what I have been waiting for all week. The serious Faroese rain. It rains most of the day. The activities are therefore limited. Early morning visit to the beautiful Nordic House, with a nice photo exhibition - and to the trivial shopping center SMS. The rest of the day is indoor activities in the form of Netflix, William Heinesen, pizza and coffee.
Sunday, July 2nd
The sun has returned this last day in the Faroe Islands. First breakfast, then pack, then leave the luggage at the hotel and then down to the harbor to take the ship Ternen to Nolsoy. It's not that far - just 20 minutes by boat. Nolsoy is a small island. There is a nice little town and you can go for a long walk to a lighthouse. However, I'm missing out on that and hangs out in Nolsoy town and surroundings. Nice little place, excellent views of the Atlantic Ocean and a lot of birds. 3 ½ hour and then the Ternen returns.
Sausage in my favorite shop, grab the luggage, down to the bus station and then to the airport. As usual in good time. Atlantic Airways leaves at 19.30. A good hour later, there is a touchdown in Edinburgh. Get my luggage and a tram into the center. Check in at Old Waverley Hotel - when I find it. Room 309 is excellent overlooking Old Edinburgh. 2nd half of this trip can begin.
Monday, July 3rd
Edinburgh has just come on the program because FlyBe - or FlyMaybe, as they are also called - fucked a flight from the Faroe Islands to Aberdeen. But on the other hand Edinburgh is a nice city. I have not made any special plans for the day, so it will be for 2 long walks - one in Old Town and one in New Town.
Old town is the part that tourists know best. It is up and down The Royal Mile with respectively the new Scottish Parliament at one end and Edinburgh Castle in the other. Both are affected by many tourists today, so I do not want to go in. Between them - at the Mile - are plenty of other impressive buildings in the typical massive gray stones used here. And then there are plenty of alleys and small spaces in between as well. It's almost the funniest because you discover more here. Lunch is served at a classic pub Ensign Ewert close to the castle. A must when you are around here. Then time for a break at Old Waverley.
Tour 2 is in New Town. I've never really been here before. It is such a planned district with streets that are perpendicular to each other. The houses are similar to each other - large Georgian bricks, with stairs, scaffolds, iron railings and weldings. But the funniest is the streets behind the nice houses, which now contain plenty of offices and restaurants. Here, service routes have been made throughout the area. There is garbage, graffiti - and this is where the many employees hang out and smoke. Several of the streets could go directly into movies, and it's an ingenious place to hang out to take pictures. Then it takes a few hours before I return to the hotel and have dinner in the hotel's pub. "Bangers and Mash" is a must.
Tuesday, July 4th
Rainy day in Edinburgh. The morning activities are canceled and instead I hang out in the hotel bar. At 1.30 there is a departure from nearby Waverley Station to Aberdeen. 2 hours later I arrive, and then a short walk to the North Link Ferries terminal. Here the ship Hrossey is ready to transport me to Kirkwall on the Orkney Islands. It takes 6 hours and is quite wonderful relaxing and boring. Love the kind of transport where you just sit down, go out on the deck and enjoy it. Lovely weather, coffee at the bar and fish'n'chips in the restaurant.
The entrance to Kirkwall is amazing in the sunset. We are in Kirkwall at 11 pm. Then a bus into Kirkwall Downtown, and check in at room 333 at Kirkwall Hotel. Quite cheap place, which probably explains the poor Wi-Fi, the ceiling light that does not work, toilet paper is not on rolls and you can choose between hot and cold water - but cannot mix. On the other hand, the view from the room across the harbor is worth all the money.
Wednesday, July 5th
It may be that the room here at Kirkwall Hotel is not that special, but the breakfast fails nothing. It is served in a nice hall and I choose the traditional Scottish version - however, no blood sausage and haggis. After that it looks like another sailing trip in great weather. It only takes 20 minutes and goes over to Shapinsay. Here it's 3 hours for a nice long walk. I'm a bit away from where people usually come. At least, my presence make considerable attention among a large bunch of cows. You must also remember to close the gate on the footpath, and it may be that the sign "Private property" at Balfour Castle meant that you did not have to go that way. In any case, a nice walk among hills and fields before returning at 1.30.
Back in Kirkwall there are approx. 20 minutes on foot to the Highland Park Distillery. So, I attend the 3 o’clock show, where I - by the way - is the only participant. Exciting and educational trip, and I have bought the slightly expensive variant that gives access to 4 taste samples. And not enough, I also get private lessons in how to taste. First, the glass is heated in the hand, but not shaken. Then you smell, with the front of your nose and slightly open mouth. Then take a sip, as you first slide around the front of the tongue, then at the back of the palate before drinking it. A whole different experience than when I usually drink whisky, where I go straight to the final. If desired, you can add a single drop of water. It releases some taste and aroma. It's a heavenly experience, and 2 of the 4 tastes are pretty nice things.
Then I return to the hotel and a nap. Dinner at Skippers Bar - right next door.
Thursday, July 6th
Dull gray weather from the morning. Great time for a tour the laundry. While doing that, I can just sneak over to see Kirkwall's greatest attraction St. Magnus Cathedral. It is from the 12th century and there is a lot of viking things associated with the church.
At lunchtime there is a "dinner concert" with a young orchestra called Kiltearn Fiddlers. An excellent little concert with old Scottish folk tunes.
Then there's lunch before going for a walk around Kirkwall. A trip to the harbor, around the center and some ancient ruins. Kirkwall is quiet after today's cruise ship has left the city in the middle of the afternoon. The Skipper Bar once again for dinner.
Friday, July 7th
Quiet day today. By bus X10 to St. Margaret's Hope. It's a small cozy sleepy village half an hour's bus ride south of Kirkwall. Here I go around for a while before the bus returns. On the return trip I spend an hour at The Italien Chapel. It's a fun little church that was built and decorated by a bunch of Italian prisoners of war during World War II. The church is built in 2 united barracks, and it is made quite impressive.
The rest of the day is used in Kirkwall. Great fish'n'chips for dinner. I choose a place where the locals stood in line all the way down the street. Local knowledge is valuable.
Saturday, July 8th
Last day on the Orkney Islands. But as I first go to Shetland at midnight, I have to "kill" the day. This is done by taking the bus to Skara Brea. It is an archaeological excavation of a small town that existed 5,000 years ago. There are a bunch of small houses, with a fireplace in the middle. They are dug into the ground to give protection. It is complemented by a visit to a small castle Skaill House.
Then on the bus to Stromness. Another nice little town, like many other cities on this trip, consists mainly of a long main street along the harbor area. Here I hang out for a few hours in gradually increasing rain.
The rain continues in Kirkwall. I take a pint on "The Reel", a fish'n'chip at Harbor Fry, and a concert with a selected ensemble from Her Majesty's Royal Marine Scotland in Magnus Church to end the day
Sunday, July 9th
Night sailing from Kirkwall to Lerwick - the "capital" on the Shetland Islands. During this trip I have booked a "pod", such a super comfortable sleeper seat, so I get the sleep of most of the trip. We dock at Lerwick at 7.30 and then a half-hour walk to Queens Hotel. Even though it's early, I'm lucky and can check directly into room 238. The Queens Hotel is a little genius at the central port of Lerwick. Yes, actually in the harbor, because parts of the building are in water and should I choose to leave room 238 through the window, I will go directly into the bay by a small sandy beach.
Even though the sailing trip has been ok, I start with a nap. By 11 o'clock I'm ready to look around. I take a rather long walk past a local viewpoint, the local Pitch and Put course, a castle ruin Clickimin Broch, a couple of thousand years old and the local Tesco. Then the I return home. Just outside the hotel, it becomes one of the stranger experiences of the trip. A man is out and walks with his goat - who is wearing a cord and a charm cloth..
Break - before trip 2. It will be short city trip to the fortress Fort Charlotte. Nice view of the city from the top. Dinner at Queen's small pub. There are fish on the menu in this area. Evening relaxing at room 238.
Monday, July 10th
First an excellent breakfast. As usual in this area.
So for today's trip. First with bus No. 6. It takes me to a place near a boat that sails across to the island of Mousa. There are no people living at Mousa. They are not allowed. On the other hand, there are lots of birds and a stunningly beautiful nature. There is a path around the island, which the people visiting are requested to use. It is not to interfere with wildlife. The trip can be done in 1 hour, but it is 2 ½ before the boat sails back, so it fits perfectly with my strolling speed and a number of photostops along the way. At 2.30, the boat returns. Then there's a little wait for the bus, but at 4 o'clock I'm back in Lerwick. Just a walk after my head.
The rest of the day goes for a nap, a pizza, a walk on the harbor, and relaxation at the hotel with an open window in the room. You can hear the seagulls and the ocean in the back.
Tuesday, July 11th
On such a long trip as this, there are days where you do not really want anything special. That's how it is today. It will be just a trip by ferry over to Bressay. It's an island just across the other side of Lerwick. It takes only 7 minutes by boat. For some reason, I go there without paying for the trip. The island is beautiful. Lots of fields, flowers, sheep and birds that you can look at, during the 2-hour walk I take until I return to the ferry home again.
The rest of the day I hang out in Lerwick. It will also be time for some reading. William Heinesen is finished yesterday. Now it is more contemporary. Kim Leine - The Prophets of Eternal Fjord - as an e-book.
Wednesday, July 12th
The still quiet Queens Hotel is filled with muscular men with strange hairstyles this morning. Whether there are "drill workers" on the way to one of the many drilling rigs in the area or whether they are participants in an MMA event I don’t know. By the way, they are very nice.
Today's trip goes to Sumburgh Head. It is by bus at. 10:30. The trip down to the southern tip of the Shetland Islands takes an hour. Down in Sumburgh we cross the airport, and quite literally we do. The bus simply runs across the runway. Fortunately no plane starts or lands right at that time. I'm jumping off at the hotel, and then there's a 3 km's walk up to Sumburgh Head. Here is a nice lighthouse and a magnificent view. But first and foremost, birds all over the steep cliffs. And not least lots of puffins. They stay close to the top of the cliffs. If it is as consideration to the tourists or their lack of flying skills I don’t know. Their departure is more a fall than a flight. But as they approach the water, there is air under the wings, and they keep flying. But located at the top of the rock, their funky appearance - and their apparent indifference to humans - make them very photogenic creatures. Fortunately, I've just changed memory cards in my camera last night, because this is so good for my 610.
I hang out for a couple of hours with the lighthouse and the birds before it's back to the busstop. Now lucky downhill. The bus is there 3.30 - and an hour later in Lerwick. Dinner at my favorite Chinese place at the bus station, and otherwise pure relaxation.
Thursday, July 13th
End to this island-hop hallow. At 9 am bus to Sumburgh Airport. at 11 fly - and this time they do - to Aberdeen. It takes place in a small propeller and takes 1 hour. So by slow airport bus to downtown, and on foot to The Brentwood Hotel. The room is not ready yet, so I leave my luggage and go to the local pub to get some food and a pint. Kl. 2.30 I can return and check in on room 114 and get a little nap.
At 4 o'clock out, look at the city. The center is boring. There is only shopping. So I'm heading down to Aberdeen Beach and going for a long walk. Once upon a time, it was a fun place like Blackpool. Now there's only an old funparke left. The walk along the beach is excellent. On the other side of the road you can look at one of Aberdeen's many golf courses. At 7 o'clock I return to the hotel, along with a Burger King menu. It makes for a kind of dinner.
Friday, July 14th
Last day of the trip, start by checking out the fine Brentwood Hotel. Then the day will be killed in Aberdeen - or "Granite City" as it is also called - since almost all buildings are made of gray granite. Color images from this city are wasted in many ways. The center is boring, so I go down to the harbor and take the obligatory pictures of streets with gray houses. It's a rough harbor area with industry only mixed some very scary looking pubs. Out of the end there is a really fun little neighborhood. Officially called Footdee, but the locals call it Fittie. It was made for harbor workers and is preserved in a small colorful enclave.
After that back to the center. Museum visit at the excellent Maritime Museum - the only museum visit on the tour. Lunch at my local pub The Shag. And then a walk around the center to look at some of Aberdeen's finer buildings and memorials. It’s a little away from the dull Union Street shopping street, so it's nice enough.
My feet are tired and I do not care anymore, so I get back to the hotel, pick up my luggage and find a taxi to the airport. Here I arrive - as usual - way too early for the departure with SAS to Copenhagen at 7.30. This flight is a dreadful with drunk Swedes and screaming kids. Arrival in Copenhagen at 10.10. Then there are 2 hours wait for the night train. In Aarhus at 4 o'clock. Bedtime. Goodnight.