Not much food grows here in the Faroe Islands, and on my last trip to the grocery store I looked around to find out where it comes from. Here is a list of some of the foods that I saw in one little store:
pears from Holland
broccoli from Spain
red grapes from Chile
green grapes from India
limes from Brazil
pineapple from Panama
garlic from China
mushrooms from Holland
ginger from China
baby ears of corn from Thailand
nectarines from Colombia
bell peppers from Holland
tomatoes from Holland and Denmark
lamb from New Zealand
ground beef from New Zealand
I hope that the fruits and vegetables have an easier flight to the Faroe Islands than I usually do, but maybe they get special treatment. A six hour lay-over in the Copenhagen airport always makes me feel very wilted. The lamb and beef from New Zealand have come as far as anything can possibly travel and still remain on earth. New Zealand is almost exactly on the opposite side of the world from the Faroe Islands.
With the cost of travel, it isn’t too surprising that food is very expensive in the Faroes. When I shop for groceries, I try to ignore the exchange rate for krónur to dollars and don’t even think about the cost of a leg of lamb. It is a bit ironic that there are sheep all over the hillsides, out every window in my house, but the leg of lamb came from the other side of the world. In October, some of the lamb will be from the Faroes and some from Iceland, but this time of year it comes from the Southern Hemisphere.
The weather has been beautiful and clear this week, though it is still cold by California standards. There has been very little rain, and the hillsides are still more brown than green. When the wind is still and the tide is still, there are beautiful reflections in the bay. At night, the skies are not dark enough for the stars to come out. If you want to see stars, come to the Faroe Islands in the winter, not the summer. I need to remind myself to go to bed while it is light. If I wait for it to get dark, I won’t get much sleep at all, this time of year.
Sometimes the Fuglafjørður harbor is a very busy place, and at other times there doesn’t seem to be much going on. On Sunday and Monday, I didn’t see a single ship, but later in the week, it was very busy, and there were ten different ships here on Wednesday and Thursday. With the high price of fuel, I have heard that some ships are delaying going out fishing, waiting for a better market for the fish. At the moment, there are four ships still docked across the bay from me.
On a different topic, a few days ago the street lights in Fuglafjørður were turned off for the summer, and they won’t come back on until August. The sky is dim for an hour or two, but it doesn’t really get dark.
The weather has been nice, with no rain for a couple of weeks, and people have been outside all over the town doing repair work and maintenance – fixing houses, cars, bridges, boats, gardens. Since I am retired, I enjoy taking pictures of other people working.
I always enjoy the spring gardens in Fuglafjørður. This time of year, many colorful bulbs are blooming. I have noticed that a lot of the plants are very similar to those in the San Francisco bay area, where I am from. I think it is interesting that their “Easter Lily” is our daffodil. We have a different lily that we call an Easter Lily.
As always, I enjoy the views of the bay and the mountains. As I was sitting here looking out of my window, a six-man row boat passed my house. They are preparing for upcoming races in several towns in the Faroe Islands.
During the past weekend I was able to participate in the vocal workshop with the Gøta-Leirvík Choir. I sang with them for their Christmas concert, and I was also with them two years ago
The lower fields along the road that passes my house are home to newborn lambs that arrive in May every year. In a few weeks they will be going back up to the higher mountain fields to graze during the summer.
I am living in the same little house again, right on the edge of the bay in Fuglafjørður, with views from my windows of the town, the docks, and the mountains.
I am back in the Faroe Islands again for a two month visit. I arrived on Tuesday evening after a very long trip from San Francisco. The skies over the Faroes were clear when I arrived, and we could see all of the islands from the air.
I am here this time to do the final editing on the book I have written about my father, his family, and how I found them again some eighty years after he left the Faroe Islands. The book is scheduled to be published in Faroese in the fall.
I am staying in the same little house on the edge of the Fuglafjørður bay, where I have stayed before, so you will probably see some pictures very similar to ones I have taken before.