Today was going to be a tour day that I was quite excited about. The goal was the Vestmanna sea cliffs!
But first, we need an embarrassing tale. The morning starts off with breakfast at Kaffihúsið. It is a little café on the boardwalk at the docks. I ordered a few things for a complete breakfast and one of them happened to include a soft-boiled egg.
The last time I had a soft-boiled egg was many years ago back home so I might have forgotten that these were even a thing. Expecting it to be a hard-boiled egg, I pick it up and try to peel it. Well I cracked the shell and it suddenly went POP. Honestly, from what imagination remembers it was more so as an explosion that just happened but it realistically was a probably a small pop. The end result was I had egg yoke all over me, the plate, the table, the chair… just about everything in the blast radius was covered in egg.
Thankfully I was the only one in the café and the ladies working there were in the back. I tried to hide the evidence and clean everything up as quickly as possible.
Moving on to improve on the day …
Normally the way north from Tórshavn is to take the primary highway 50. I’ve taken it a few times at this point so it was needed to try the other way along the number 10. The road is a bit smaller and hardly had any vehicles in comparison to the 50. The route does climb up and over the hill instead of through it via a tunnel as the 50 does. This would have been the original road prior to the addition of the tunnel.
Starting off on it I wasn’t very optimistic of any views though as visibility was pretty much nothing.
Without warning, the clouds disappeared! You can see highway 50 running along the right-hand side of the water. There is also an observation point you can stop at although by that point the clouds rolled right back in for me.
There was still some time to spare before the boat tour started so I headed over to the Hydro Dam 2 & 3. It is one of the earliest hydro power plants in the Faroes. While the dams are nothing exceptionally notable the drive up there is actually quite nice. A little narrow road winds along the hillside with no guard rails.
What more could you ask for!
The Vestmanna Hydro Dam 1, 2, and 3 all work by collecting rain water in the surrounding mountains. It is moved through these pipes down to the turbines in the power plant that is located in the village. The village is called home by roughly 1,300 people so it is a notable size by Faroese standards.
It was now time for the boat tour. I always love any tours or adventures on boats. I live in a land locked area of Canada and I do substantially better at drowning than swimming. As a result, any chance I get to spend time on a boat it feels quite special!
The tour itself is roughly two hours and there are a few different operators that seem to run it. The boat we were on was two levels with the bottom level protected from the elements. With the persistent slow drizzle that was occurring it was quite tempting to head downstairs but you end up having to shoot through the windows which is not quite as clear. I found it quite challenging to keep the lens dry up top and also not end up throwing the camera overboard in the waves we had.
You are also provided a little plastic helmet in the event rock falls from 300m up and somehow doesn’t break this flimsy plastic. I suppose it is the thought that counts.
Drifting just meters away from the cliffs you feel as though you are a tiny insignificant spec. Our captain would occasionally head into one of the narrow sounds where you’re surrounded by rock. You feel as though you could touch the cliffs in each direction … or one rouge wave could ruin your day.
Looking straight up the cliff face seems to go on forever and touch the heavens themselves. Depending on the time of year numerous bird species call these cliffs home. Puffins, kittewakes, fulmars, and guillemots all nest here every summer.
It was after nesting season for me although there was still a large mass of birds flying around and perching on the cliffs.
At one point we sail through one of the grottos. The ceiling was low enough I was actually able to reach out and touch it. I suppose the helmets were a good idea after all! There is actually quite a few youtube videos of kayakers kayaking through some very tiny and lengthy grottos. I could only imagine how much your heart would have to pound as the waves raise and lower the water level as your head is only inches away from this confined space.
Happy to report this tour was quite safe and did not resemble one of these death defying youtube kayakers.
From a distance the little rocky outcroppings seem to pale in comparison to the Vestmanna cliffs themselves, as though you could just pluck them up with you fingers. When you sail right next to them you suddenly realize just how massive they are on their own as they tower up overhead.
If you’re your is making decent time you get to motor on a bit further and actually see the hidden oasis beach at Saksun. We’ll get back to this shortly though.
As you speed back to port, keep an eye out for any grassy patches on the cliffs. You’re bound to see sheep! They know absolutely no fear. Grass that is at such an angle I would fall to my doom with no seemingly safe way to get there, sheep meanwhile are just casually munching away.
Back in the Vestmanna village it was time for a bit of a lunch before moving on. There isn’t much for options so I headed to the local grocery store tucked away in the back of the village. I’ll admit that this isn’t exactly lunch but who needs protein when you have sugar …right? If memory serves right there was at least one restaurant there but it was more than I wanted to spend and I wanted to keep moving.
Turns out this Kremlongd was absolutely delicious. And I mean the sky opened up and its as though an angel came down with a platter of orgasmic decadence. I’ve looked for this recipe online periodically but at least based on the word “Kremlongd”, I haven’t been able to locate a single thing. It shall have to live on in sweet memory unfortunately.
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