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Learning and development, Travelling

Ólavsøka 2018

Every year during Ólavsøka, thousands of people gather in the streets of the country’s capital to celebrate Faroese culture. People walk up and down Tórshavn’s streets, many dressed in the colourful national Faroese costume, greeting friends and acquaintances and partaking in jovial celebrations.

A host of sporting, music and cultural activities are on offer during the two-day celebration, such as the national rowing race, football matches, concerts and art exhibitions. Restaurants are open late, giving you a chance to try both traditional Faroese dishes and foreign food. Ólavsøka is also the annual opening of the Løgting (Faroese parliament), when parliament is officially in session again after the summer holidays.

The celebrations culminate in a grand finale at midnight on 29 July when a large crowd gathers in the town square to sing old and new Faroese ballads and dance the traditional Faroese chain dance (Midnáttarsangur, translated as Midnight Song).

HISTORY

Ólavsøka was originally a memorial feast for the Norwegian King Olav the Holy, who was killed in the battle of Stiklestad, in Norway, on 29 July, 1030. His death is thought to have contributed to the subsequent Christianisation of Norway, and thus also the Faroe Islands.

Visit Faroe Islands

 

 

 

 

Love, Health And Wisdom

Brian

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Health, Learning and development, Physical activity, Travelling, Wellness

Torshavn Foggy Run

When I am in The Faroe Islands, I am in a kind of training camp. I go training nuts in the mountains with the fantastic fresh air. But sometimes it is so foggy that it is very dangerous to go up in the mountains. Today I didn´t dare to do it. You can see how foggy it was today.

But even in Torshavn there is a fantastic nature as you can see. Imagine the smell of fresh sweet grass. It is like it gives you extra power.

The pictures just above is from a beautiful place in Torshavn called Boanes.

At every picture you see I have taken 20 push-ups. Remember to strengthen your upper body every time you run.

In the first picture above, you can see the only campsite in Torshavn. 20 years ago when i first came to The Faroe Islands there were almost nobody at the campsite. Now it is filled up with mainly french, dutch, german, danish and english tourists.

Above you can see “Skansin”. Skansin is a historic fortress located on a hill near the harbor in Tórshavn, the capital of the Faroe Islands. After the city was nearly being attacked by pirates, Skansin was built to protect the city against enemy attacks around 1580 on the initiative of Magnus Heinason. The fortress got the current design including 21 guns in 1790. Skansin was active as a fortress until 1865, where the military on the Faroe Islands was converted into a police force. Then for a period used as policestation and prison. In 1884 a red lantern warning shipping was established and in 1909 the lighthouse was build.
During WW2 the Faroe Islands was occupied by the British, and they had their headquarters at Skansen. During this period, the fortress was reinforced with 2 modern guns.
A few years ago, Skansen was restored, so there is now an old guardhouse and the two guns from the WW2 as well as some Danish iron ore guns from the 1782nd.

The only trees in Torshavn is in The Plantation close to “Listasavn” and the Stadion. It is a very cozy and beautiful place.

It this time we are at 380 push-ups. I think that´s it for today. The run ended at 11 km. 250 meters up and 260 down. 130 meters above sea level. Thank you for joining me.

 

Love, Health And Wisdom

Brian

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Learning and development, Nature, Travelling

Gásadalur on Vágar 2018

        

The tour of the day in The Faroe Islands was in the western part. The weather in Torshavn was very bad and often if it is, the weather in the north and west are very good. We drove about 50 km to the western part of the islands, through the undersea tunnel to Vagar where Gasadalur is located.

Gasadalur is the home of the beautiful waterfall Múlafossur. The village of Gásadalur sits tucked away between lush green fields and soaring mountains to all sides. It is one of those locations that you only imagine you will experience through photographs.

Prior to 2004, there were only three ways of reaching the tiny community; none of them included travel by car. One way was to hike over the 700-metre mountains, and the other two options were by boat or helicopter. The inaccessibility of the remote location meant the village’s population fell dramatically.

In 2004, a tunnel was blasted through one of the mountains, allowing automobile travel to the isolated settlement. Today, the population totals approximately a dozen people.

Gásadalur has been one of the most isolated villages in the Faroes. It is difficult to get to the village by sea and it was not until 2004 that the village was connected to the rest of the island by road when the tunnel was built. The people of Gásadalur used to walk this path when they had to go to the neighbouring villages to trade or for other errands. The helicopter service began in 1983.

The first stretch of the path is steep and runs close to the edge of the mountain. Therefore, walk extremely carefully, but do not forget to enjoy the outstanding view over Sørvágsfjørður, Tindhólmur, Gáshólmur and Mykines. In 2014, two men managed to climb all fives peaks of Tindhólmur.

There is no church in Gásadalur so the school is used for services. The cemetery is from 1873. Before then, people were burried in Bøur and so the coffin had to be carried over the mountain to Bøur from Gásadalur. The trip was very difficult and the only place that the bearers could rest was at the Líksteinurin (Corpse Stone), which you will come upon halfway through the route. Further on, you come to the spring Vígdá. There is a story that a baby in Gásadalur became seriously ill and had to be taken to the doctor in Bøur. On the way to Bøur, the baby’s condition worsened and it was about to die. According to the Lutheran faith, your soul does not gain salvation if you die unbaptised. Therefore, the priest, who was travelling with them, quickly blessed the spring and baptised the baby.

When you continue, you will see Risasporið. There is a legend about two giants. One lived in Gásadalur and the other in Mykines. Once, they quarrelled and the Gásadalur giant wanted to go to Mykines to settle the dispute. He took running leaps along the mountain, took off, and with one leap, he landed on Mykines. He took off so hard that you can see his footprint to this day.

From Skarði, the path twists down the mountainside to the village. Beware of loose stones! The view down to Gásadalur is one of the most beautiful sights you can experience. The small, beautiful village is surrounded by green infield with harsh high mountains. One of them is Árnafjall, which, with its 722 metres, is the tallest mountain on Vágar. In the village, there are ruins from the Middle Ages, called Uppi við Garð and Gæsutoftir.

The bottom picture to the right, you can see Mykines, the most western island of Faroe Island.

Below you can see Gasadalur village with geese ;o).

Just a marvelous place, sunny green and fresh at the same time.

 

Love, Health And Wisdom

Brian

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Learning and development, Nature, Travelling

Kalsoy – The Island Of Tunnels

Today we went to the North East Island, Kalsoy to climb the Mountain close to Trøllanes and visit the Kòpakonan in Mikladalur. We drove from Torshavn to Klaksvik.

From Klaksvik we went by ferry to Sydradalur on the Island, Kalsoy.

  

On the Island of Kalsoy we went to the nothern part through three long tunnels to Trøllanes and started climbing the mountain to the top.

After this fantastic climb it was time to visit Kòpakonan in Mikladalur.

Kópakonan: A statue of the Seal Woman was raised in Mikladagur on the island of Kalsoy on 1 August, 2014. The statue is 2.6 metres long, weighs 450 kilograms, and is made of bronze and stainless steel.

The legend of Kópakonan (the Seal Woman) is one of the best-known folktales in the Faroe Islands.

Seals were believed to be former human beings who voluntarily sought death in the ocean. Once a year, on the Thirteenth night, they were allowed to come on land, strip off their skins and amuse themselves as human beings, dancing and enjoying themselves.

A young farmer from the village of Mikladalur on the northern island of Kalsoy, wondering if this story was true, went and lay in wait on the beach one Thirteenth evening. He watched and saw the seals arriving in large numbers, swimming towards the shore. They clambered on to the beach, shed their skins and laid them carefully on the rocks. Divested of their skins, they looked just like normal people. The young lad stared at a pretty seal girl placing her skin close to the spot where he was hiding, and when the dance began, he sneaked up and stole it. The dancing and games went on all night, but as soon as the sun started to peep above the horizon, all the seals came to reclaim their skins to return to the sea. The seal girl was very upset when she couldn’t find her skin, though its smell still lingered in the air, and then the man from Mikladalur appeared holding it, but he wouldn’t give it back to her, despite her desperate entreaties, so she was obliged to accompany him to his farm.

He kept her with him for many years as his wife, and she bore him several children; but he always had to make sure that she didn’t have access to her skin. He kept it locked up in a chest to which he alone had the key, a key which he kept at all times on a chain attached to his belt.

One day, while he was out at sea fishing with his companions, he realised he had left the key at home. He announced to his companions, ‘Today I shall lose my wife!’ – and he explained what had happened. The men pulled in their nets and lines and rowed back to the shore as fast as they could, but when they arrived at the farm, they found the children all alone and their mother gone. Their father knew she wasn’t going to come back, as she had put out the fire and put away all the knives, so that the young ones couldn’t do themselves any harm after she’d left.

Indeed, once she had reached the shore, she had put on her sealskin and plunged into the water, where a bull seal, who had loved her all those years before and was still waiting for her, popped up beside her. When her children, the ones she had had with the Mikladalur man, later came down to the beach, a seal would emerge and look towards the land; people naturally believed that it was the children’s mother. And so the years passed.

Then one day it happened that the Mikladalur men planned to go deep into one of the caverns along the far coast to hunt the seals that lived there. The night before they were due to go, the man’s seal wife appeared to him in a dream and said that if he went on the seal hunt in the cavern, he should make sure he didn’t kill the great bull seal that would be lying at the entrance, for that was her husband. Nor should he harm the two seal pups deep inside the cave, for they were her two young sons, and she described their skins so he would know them. But the farmer didn’t heed the dream message. He joined the others on the hunt, and they killed all the seals they could lay their hands on. When they got back home, the catch was divided up, and for his share the farmer received the large bull seal and both the front and the hind flippers of the two young pups.

In the evening, when the head of the large seal and the limbs of the small ones had been cooked for dinner, there was a great crash in the smoke-room, and the seal woman appeared in the form of a terrifying troll; she sniffed at the food in the troughs and cried the curse: ‘Here lie the head of my husband with his broad nostrils, the hand of Hárek and the foot of Fredrik! Now there shall be revenge, revenge on the men of Mikladalur, and some will die at sea and others fall from the mountain tops, until there be as many dead as can link hands all round the shores of the isle of Kalsoy!’

When she had pronounced these words, she vanished with a great crash of thunder and was never seen again. But still today, alas, it so happens from time to time that men from the village of Mikladalur get drowned at sea or fall from the tops of cliffs; it must therefore be feared that the number of victims is not yet great enough for all the dead to link hands around the whole perimeter of the isle of Kalsoy.

That was my great day on The Island of Kalsoy.

 

Love, Health And Wisdom

Brian

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Learning and development, Nature, Travelling

Pilot Whales In Torshavn

I have experienced it some times before in Torshavn, but the last time was in 2010. This time the Faroese fishermen forced around 50 pilot whales into the shore/beach of Torshavn. It looks very dramatic, but you have to know that the whales die instantly and every part of the whales are eaten or used. These whales are not protected. There are enough of them in the Seas of the world.

There is a fantastic teamwork among the Faroese people, when someone discovers the pilot whales in the ocean near The Faroe Island. Everyone who participates in the work of catching and killing the whales will get their share of the catch.

Very bloody, but very exciting too. Still a tradition and delicious food. I have tasted it several times and I love it.

 

Love, Health And Wisdom

Brian

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Health, Nature, Physical activity, Travelling, Wellness

Gjogv 2018

There are so many beautiful places in The Faroe Islands. Gjogv is absolutely a must if you go there some day. It is a wunderful cozy village up north on the East Island. Take a look for yourself and remember to imagine inhaling the cleanest fresh air in the world with a sweat smell of grass.

It is pure luxury to drive around in a big Volvo XC 60. Even when the roads are like a bicycle path. In the picture just above and below you can see why the village is called Gjogv. A gjogv is a Gorge.

The weather is often better in the North of these 18 small islands in the summertime.

Walk exercise in these mountains is just perfect.

This day Mother Earth smiled at me

 

Love, Health And Wisdom

Brian

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Mindset, Philosophy, Travelling

To Move, To Breathe, To Fly, To Float, TO LIVE

“To move, to breathe, to fly, to float,
To gain all while you give,
To roam the roads of lands remote,
To travel is to live.”

― Hans Christian AndersenThe Fairy Tale of My Life: An Autobiography

I travel each morning through wunderful landscape on my mountainbike to work and from work. Through rain, snow, stormy weather and lovely sunshine. My bike is my true companion.

In the spirit of full disclosure, you must know I am an admitted travel addict and spiritual explorer. My life and the traveled paths I have chosen have been inspired by the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Make as many experiments as possible.

For me, travel is the greatest experiment. It brings forth curiosity and the urge to investigate the experience of being alive. When we travel we get out of the old and settled habits of our daily lives and feel inspired to see the world anew. This heightened sense of awareness stays with us when we go home and permanently influences our perspective on life. When I ride my bike to and from work, I always travel different ways, roads and paths to get new experiences.

As Kate Douglas Wiggins puts it, “There is a kind of magic about going far away and then coming back all changed.” Once you allow yourself to get a little lost, reduce any over-controlling tendencies, and lose the sense of urgency, you no longer want to return to your old habits. You feel like life is offering you a new beginning, and it is.”

Let these traveling quotes inspire you:

1. “Travel brings power and love back into your life.” – Rumi

2. “Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” – Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky

3. “Nobody can discover the world for somebody else. Only when we discover it for ourselves does it become common ground and a common bond and we cease to be alone.” – Wendell Berry. A Place on Earth.

4. “The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.” – Christopher McCandless

5. “To move, to breathe, to fly, to float,

To gain all while you give,

To roam the roads of lands remote,

To travel is to live.”

– Hans Christian Andersen. The Fairy Tale of My Life: An Autobiography.

6. “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” – Mark Twain. The Innocents Abroad/Roughing It.

7. “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller

8. “There are several ways to react to being lost. One is to panic. Another is to abandon yourself to lostness, to allow the fact that you’ve misplaced yourself to change the way you experience the world.” – Audrey Niffenegger. Her Fearful Symmetry.

9. “What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? – it’s the too-huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.” – Jack Kerouac. On the Road.

10. “But that’s the glory of foreign travel, as far as I am concerned. I don’t want to know what people are talking about. I can’t think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything. Suddenly you are five years old again. You can’t read anything, you have only the most rudimentary sense of how things work, you can’t even reliably cross a street without endangering your life. Your whole existence becomes a series of interesting guesses.” – Bill Bryson. Neither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe.

11. “It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” – Ernest Hemingway

12. “Traveling outgrows its motives. It soon proves sufficient in itself. You think you are making a trip, but soon it is making you – or unmaking you.” – Nicolas Bouvier. The Way of the World.

13. “Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

14. “Personally I like going places where I don’t speak the language, don’t know anybody, don’t know my way around and don’t have any delusions that I’m in control. Disoriented, even frightened, I feel alive, awake in ways I never am at home.” – Michael Mewshaw

15. “We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate. We travel to bring what little we can, in our ignorance and knowledge, to those parts of the globe whose riches are differently dispersed. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again- to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more.” – Pico Iyer

16. “I travel light. But not at the same speed.” – Jarod Kintz. The Days of Yay are Here! Wake Me Up When They’re Over.

17. “I am infinitely curious and almost infinitely patient with mishaps, discomforts, and minor disasters. So I can go anywhere on the planet””that’s not a problem.” – Elizabeth Gilbert. Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage.

18. “Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things: air, sleep, dreams, sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.” – Cesare Pavese

19. “There are as many worlds as there are kinds of days, and as an opal changes its colors and its fire to match the nature of a day, so do I.” – John Steinbeck

20. “The value of your travels does not hinge on how many stamps you have in your passport when you get home — and the slow nuanced experience of a single country is always better than the hurried, superficial experience of forty countries.” – Rolf Potts. Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel.

21. “Only it seems to me that once in your life before you die you ought to see a country where they don’t talk in English and don’t even want to.” – Thornton Wilder. Our Town.

22. “We want to make good time, but for us now this is measured with the emphasis on “good” rather than on “time”….” – Robert M. Pirsig. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values.

23. “There is a kind of magicness about going far away and then coming back all changed.” – Kate Douglas Wiggin. New Chronicles of Rebecca.

24. “Travellers understand, instinctively and by experience, that travel and adventure change and elongate time, even while navigating the deadlines of airline and train departures.” – Paul Sheehan

Love yourself, love your day, love your life!

Brian

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