visit the Faroes - it's like a
scene from Lord of the Rings
As the aeroplane dipped beneath the clouds I got my first glimpse of the Faroe Islands.
I took a deep breath and zipped up my fleece – for it was a daunting panorama of jagged volcanic mountains, immense sheer-sided cliffs, long dark fjords and bleak windswept moorland.
Waves crashed against black rock pillars standing alone in the sea and huge basalt peaks loomed through dark clouds. It looked like a fantasy landscape from Lord of the Rings. Actually some of the fishermen do look a bit like Gandalph.
Anyway, I was heading for Torshavn, the Faroes’ capital, and what was promising to be one of the world's strangest citybreaks.
As the classic European destinations like Barcelona, Amsterdam and Paris become more and more popular with visitors, new ones keep trying to join the citybreak boom.
Tiny Torshavn added its name to the list of possibles, almost unnoticed among the rows of glossy brochures featuring romantic names like Madrid, Prague and Florence.
But when I read that Torshavn’s population is just 17,000, there hasn’t been a murder for 15 years and the Prime Minister works in a red wooden shed on the harbourside, I reckoned it might offer a great short break that’s very different - more like an adventure holiday.
The brochures had told me the 18 Faroe Islands are a self-governing part of Denmark, high in the North Atlantic between Scotland and Iceland. Indeed, my first impressions were of an intimidatingly wild polar land fit for Vikings, mountaineers and bearded bird-watchers.
I stepped from the plane to find that the airport stands on a bleak plateau of peat bogs with fords either end of the runway. Some city break... the capital is on another island, over an hour away by bus and ferry.
READ MORE about my first adventure in the Faroes HERE.
TOP: There are 18 Faroe Islands, sometimes it seems you can
see them all at once.
ABOVE: Kalsoy rises like a
smoking pyramid from the sea.
BELOW: Faroese fishermen's huts stand at the side of a fjord.
BOTTOM: Just a few minutes outside the capital things
get pretty serious.