Welcome to Gjógv!

Gjógv, I had read before our trip, is one of the prettiest spots in the Faroe Islands, and the local guesthouse one of the most delightful. Both, it turns out, are true.

We arrive in Gjógv just at sunset, having navigated an under-sea tunnel, a bridge over the North Atlantic, and switch-backs up the mountains! The Faroe Islands are made up of 18 islands, with the airport on one island (Vágar – bottom left), the capital on the largest island (Streymoy – middle), and our guesthouse on yet a third (Eysturoy (upper right). Below is just a section of the Faroe Islands map. Vagar is connected to Streymoy via an under-sea tunnel, stretching almost 5000 meters or ~3 miles under the Atlantic Ocean. Once on Streymoy, our path takes us through the center of the island and along the eastern coast, until we cross the “only bridge over the North Atlantic” at Nesvik.

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The drive through Eysturoy is scenic, and we pass cheerful villages with colorful houses perched on the ocean (Funningur, below, is one of our favorites).

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Past Funningur, however, the road gets tricky. We discover a series of cliff-side switchbacks up into the mountains, before climbing over the top and into the valley where Gjógv is located. We drive slowly and carefully, and are relieved to be on this road during daylight hours. But our efforts are rewarded as we crest over the last hill and enter town. This is the view from our guesthouse:

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Minutes later, the fog blew out of the channel, and we were rewarded with views of the soaring vertical cliffs on Kalsoy, the next island over.

Sunday dinner at the Gjógv Guesthouse (link HERE) is no small deal. They serve a veritable Faroese feast (below), and we even got to try some of the local delicacies! Everything is delicious, with surprising touches of curry and chutney, and the proprietors are just lovely and welcoming. We have:

Left: shrimp salad, fruit salad, smoked salmon, roast beef, herring chutney with hard-boiled eggs (amazingly delicious), and liver pate with bacon.

Right upper: cooked salmon with lemon sauce, sauteed potatoes, and pork chops with vegetables.

Right lower, i.e. the local delicacies! on the left is wind-dried fish (ræstur fiskur), eaten with boiled potatoes and marinated squares of whale blubber. On the right is fermented wind-dried lamb (skerpikjøt), which is eaten with rye bread. The taste varies depending on the weather conditions during the fermentation process, and our sample has the texture of prosciutto but with a rather stinky interesting flavor.

After this delightful dinner, we go for a short walk through town and along the harbor before heading in for the night.