Day 4 of my trip around The Faroe Islands with The Clipperton Project.
Today we are travelling from Tórshavn to Mykines.
Mykines is the westernmost island in the Faroes, and has a permanent all year round population of 11 people, with about 40 houses, most of which are only used in the summer season. Most excitingly however, are the puffins! The island is one of only two remaining that is home to a colony of nesting puffins, as well as countless other seabirds, including gannets, guillemots, kittiwakes, fulmars, etc. etc.
It’s also a place where I learnt a great piece of mythology…
Tórur Rami intended to conquer Mykines and all of its wealth. He therefore went towards Mykines and went ashore at Borgaragjógv, eastwards of Mykines and walked westwards towards the village. Óli Rami then saw Tórur, heading towards him above the village and flew west towards what soon would be the Holm and which at that time was a part of Mykines. In an attempt to be safe, Óli asked for the Holm to be an island and so it became. But that fact was not enough to stop Tórur, who just jumped across Holm Gjogv. Now the to giants began to fight and the fight was very violent and took place at a place, which now is called “í Traðki”. Óli got the upper hand and was close to kill Tórur. But Tórur now asked for mercy and promised Óli three gifts, which should come to Mykines every year, if Óli would spare his life.
The gifts were a whale, which every year should strand at Hválagjógv, a piece of timber, which should strand at Viðarhelli and a special bird, the gannet, which should settle down at the Holm. But there was one condition; none of these gifts should ever be sneered at. If the Mykines people did so, the gifts would disappear. Óli accepted the conditions and spared Tórur’s life.
They so agreed and both settled down on Mykines and are said to both be buried on Mykines close to where the Memorial now is standing.
But the story continues. The people of Mykines criticized the gifts. They were unsatisfied with the whale, which had only one eye and which gave them a bad stomach. And also the timber wasn’t good enough, it was awry. From then on neither a whale nor a piece of timber came ashore. But with this experience in mind, no citizen from Mykines dares criticize the gannet, as they say, “Súlan er goð”, the gannet is just fine.
So, that explains the birdlife!!!
After a lazy start to our morning, we headed out of Tórshavn on a bus to Søvagur to catch the ferry over to Mykines.
Søvagur was a pretty little town, with a beautiful harbour… with plenty of rusty metal inspiration for me to photograph!
Boobs… hmhm, okay immature… shush!!!
All aboard the ferry we go!! It was a lovely ride over, pretty smooth, and wonderfully sunny for most of the way. Our first taste at being out on the water…
Panoramas pinched from Naomi J. Falk
And into the harbour we go!
Although I took this photo later on when I went for my walk, I include it now because I want to show you the harbour contraption they had going on. Like many of the islands, Mykines is surrounded by cliff faces… so how does one get a boat/heavy luggage up and down the cliffs? build a pulley system on tracks to pull it up and down! Brilliant. I include this mostly for my Dad as it’s the kind of clever and simple mechanism he’d like… so, if you’re reading this, you big weirdo, enjoy!!
After setting ourselves up in the yellow house, and having a little dinner, I went for a wee walk around the town, and then down to the harbour to see what I could see.
My first puffin sighting!!! And many more to come tomorrow…
Mykines was a big highlight in my trip.