January 21, 2017
I will not hide it any longer, I was heavy hearted when I landed on the Faroese ground from Reykjavik this January 2017. I did not come from Paris, linen folded in a tidy bag no, I just came back facing 10 days in the harsh winter of the Icelandic Westfjords.
10 days of lonely walking through the fjords, snowstorms and blocked roads, the night falls at 3 pm and landscapes that leave you in tatters.
The trigger was the love of a girl I met in the summer of 2016, a “holiday love” in the Westfjords. This is not common you tell me, to meet someone in these wild lands. Magnetism, the magic of the place must have troubled us. Alas, the story did not last but I wanted to come back, walk in our footsteps to relive on the 66th parallel these moments shared.
Mixing storm and wounded heart was not the best of my ideas. You will soon discover this trip which, if it was trying, allowed me to keep my promise: discover the Westfjords in January.
And then came the time to change. To take some fresh air. Discover a new land. A cousin, a sister of Iceland: the Faroe Islands.
The decision was made a few weeks ago following the support of the Visit Faroe Islands team.
This will surprise you but I did not prepare anything, read anything, see anything on the Faroe Islands. I wanted to feel like a shipwrecked man, landing there without knowing anything, thus making every road, every path, a treasure of discovery.
This adventure will last 18 days. Here is the story of my first day.
I stayed at the Hotel Foroyar . Everyone knows him. This is the grand hotel of the Faroe Islands. We celebrate weddings, major events, we receive presidents (Bill Clinton has left his name to a sequel). Nestled in the ground and overlooking the city, the rooms all overlook the bay. Every morning is a miracle of colors, lights and reflections.
From here you can see the harbor. I like cities that have a port. I have often said that it is a fragrance that is lacking in Paris .
What would I do with this day? I only listened to my desire, that of turning left out of the hotel and take 50 , this old road often plunged into the fog that runs through the backbone of Streymoy . It is one of the most beautiful roads of the Faroe Islands, why resist?
Make no mistake. The light does not spread like a liquid. It’s solid, compact, it’s a snake of photons that slips slowly into the hollow of Kollafjørður .
Past the long tunnel here I am on Vagar . Since Sandavágur we can see other islands whose name I do not know yet. I watch the show. The light is low, powerful and fragile at the same time.
I’m heading to THE LAKE. In all respects he sows trouble. To begin with it has two names: Sørvágsvatn or Leitisvatn , that is according to. The Faroese call it “The Lake”, this solves the question.
Visual trouble then because this lake seems suspended above the waves like the gardens on Babylon . I spend my first hour walking along the calm waters. The contrast with the ocean in the distance is striking.
Arrived on the cliffs Trælanípa I take the measure of the elements that face me. Here everything is right angle. Horizontal and vertical form the landscape. Nature plays Mondrian .
I venture on the summits. I reach the point of view so much hoped for. From here we offer ourselves the unthinkable, the elements play with reality. I venture close to the edge. The wind blows so hard, 200 meters below the ocean is unleashed. With a trembling hand I hold the box, the other I grab the rock.
Further down I see the Bøsdalafossur fall, an umbilical cord that connects clear waters and salt water. Just behind the Geituskorardrangur , basalt canines of the Vagar south coast. There deep down the island of Mykines that makes me dream so much.
I would like to stay here, enjoy it, but I have another project for the day. It is 12:30, I have an hour to reach the car … it gives us 13:30? okay. The sun sets at 15:58 sharp. It leaves me 3 hours to complete my idea.
I have taken the lead and this quarter of an hour in advance allows me to try to approach the finger of tröll, the “ Trøllkonufingur “. It is as high as the Eiffel Tower (313 m) yet I do not know how to reach it, it escapes my every step. I walk through a moor full of water, jumping fences, pulling myself out of the bushes, looking for a point of view that will restore all its majesty.
I found the car. It’s time to go west, it’s already past 14h. I stop at Bøur , hypnotized. It is the most beautiful village that I have ever crossed.
I pass this river and park my car at the end of a path. There I take my two boxes (5DSR + 24-70 f2.8 II, 5DSR + 100-400 f4.5-5.6 II) around my neck and get ready to climb the mountain Heinanøva culminates at 612 meters.
What is my goal ? Avoid the tunnel and reach Gásadalur on foot, by the mountain. But why ?…