TNS on tour or should that be Tor-shavn

The capital of the Faroes is situated on Streymoy the biggest of the 18 islands which make up the Faroe Islands. The main airline to the islands is Atlantic Airways and the airport at Vagar is linked to the capital by an underwater tunnel. The islands are linked by a couple of tunnels and some bridges with some ambitious plans for further undersea tunnels to link the islands currently served by ferries.

The population of the islands has been steadily rising and is expected to top 50,000 this year. The main sport of the population is football and, as the National side completed a double over Greece in the National Stadium in the capital in their last fixture in the European Championship Qualification, hopes are currently soaring. Despite only having a population of about 50,000 the country has four divisions of 10 teams for men plus an over 35 and over 45 competition of ten sides and 5 age group divisions of ten for boys. Add to this two divisions of 10 for ladies plus an older age group league and four age group sections for girls and the depth of interest is easy to appreciate.

The National Stadium is one of only three grass pitches on the islands and the ground has a capacity of 6,040. Recently the end nearest the road and the garage opposite has had a massive overhaul and has only recently reopened; the opposite end houses an indoor facility whilst the two sides are uncovered. There is also the old ground and a fully synthetic pitch as part of the complex where games are staged practically every evening. The ground is a pleasant around a 15 minute walk from the centre of Torshavn.

The city itself is reached from the airport by bus with a good regular service which links at the port with connecting bus and ferry services. Opposite the port there is a snack bar and a restaurant both of which are reasonably priced by the expensive Scandinavian standards which prevail. The currency is linked to the Danish Krona, which is currently a little over 10 Krona to a Pound, the Faroese produce their own notes depicting a view of the islands on one side and generally a type of fish on the other.

Accommodation is expensive, when I visited I stayed at Bladypi Guest House which was fine but may well be sold out, Kerjalon was another possible venue which is slightly cheaper than the Hotels.

Although I tend to try to avoid Irish Bars abroad, as I like to enter into the local culture, the one in Torshavn is worth a visit. The catering is competitively priced and it has a decent range of beers. There are two breweries on the islands which both produce a range of, basically, lagers. There are televisions in the Irish bar and also a full array, featuring Sky Sports, in the bar underneath which is also reasonably pleasant. These two hostelries are near the second bay in the capital which sports an array of yachts.

The weather can be very changeable with fog and rain to the fore but pleasant spells as well. After heavy rain take a bus trip and wonder at the splendour of plethora of temporary waterfalls which suddenly appear alongside the roadways. The people are hardy and hard working but generally very approachable. When Iceland had their financial crash the Faroese became the first people to lend the stricken economy money.

These fixtures should see The Saints prevail but it will not be easy and booking for Videoton is not advised yet.

The islands have supplied two sportsmen to the Danish Olympic squads, a female rower, Katrin Olsen in 2008, and more recently long distance swimmer Pal Joensen who has won a bronze for the Islands in the World Championship and has secured four silver medals in the European Championships. Joensen who is from the most southerly island Suduroy is hoping that the islands eventually secure Olympic status so that he can represent his nation and not Denmark at that level.

 

Mike Jones

 

 

Mike Jones.