The Faroe Islands
The name Føroyar or the Faroe Islands, is derived from old Norse and means the sheep Islands.
Ownership and jurisdiction:
The first known settlers in the Faroe Islands were Irish monks, who in the 6th century AD told of “the Islands of the sheep and the paradise of birds”.
However this suggests that other sailors had gotten there before them, to bring the sheep. So exactly who was there first is a bit unclear.
In the 9th century Norse viking people sailed from Norway and settled in the Faroe Islands, establishing their free state.
The medieval culture seen in the Faroe Islands was clearly Norse. They established a parlament called “Løgtingið” and govorned themselves very well.
Viking age Norweigian kings wanted to take control over the Faroe Islands for a long time, but the Faroese people managed to fight them off. At least for a while.
In year 1035 the Faroe Islands eventually became a part of Norway.
In the 14th century Norway and Denmark went into a dual monarchy, bringing the Faroe Islands along.
Because of the long distance to the Faroe Islands among other factors, the Faroe Islands always maintained a special jurisdiction along with their distinct language and culture, guarded by the ancient “Løgting”.
In 1814 a big rearrangement of ownership and partnership in the name of peace occurred called “The Treaty of Kiel”. It affected many countries, leaving Faroe Islands with the new Danish kingdom, as Sweden and Norway went into a new dual monarchy.
During world war II, as the Nazi Germans were occupying Denmark, Brittish soldiers invaded and occupied the Faroe Islands, ready to protect them from the Nazis.
This was because of the strategic placement of the Faroe Islands in the Atlantic ocean.
The Brittish soldiers left again shortly after the war.
Pirates in the Faroes:
Pirates ravaged the Faroe Islands in the 17th century. Suðuroy, the most south island, was the island with the most severe cases and the island with the most raids.
In 1629 three Turkish pirate ships attaked the village of Hvalba. When they left the village after the ravage, two of the ships ran aground on some rocks and were shattered by the heavy surf. The stories say that more than 300 bodies washed ashore.
In Gjørðasondum in Hvalba there are a few tufts called "Turkagravirnar" meaning The Turks’ Graves. It is said that the bodies of the Turkish pirates that washed ashore were buried in this location.
A few red-, green- and white speckled rocks still remain on the sand in Hvalba and can be found, if one is lucky. These rocks are called Turkarasteinar, meaning ‘Turkish Rocks’, and are said to be remnants of ballast stones of the pirate ships.
It is also said that 30 women and children from Hvalba were kidnapped to be sold into slavery in North Africa. Many people of the Faroes tried to raise enough money to buy back the people. However, this was not successful and the people never returned to the islands.
The Faroe Islands today:
Today the Faroe Islands are an autonomous entity within the kingdom of Denmark.
The people are mostly descendants from vikings with a dash of pirate blood in there. You can see that by the darker color of the skin and hair of a few of the Faroese people.The feedback we get from tourists, is that we are a very friendly people, helpful, welcoming and everyone is good at speaking English, so it's easy to be a tourist in the Faroe Islands.
The nature is beautifully raw and the weather is forever changing. It's one of the few places on earth that is still so natural and unspoiled. It's also one of the safest countries on earth, with extremely few crimes and almost no murders at all. The only danger can be the nature, if you don't know how respectfully and carefully venture into her.
There are a lot of different tour guide / hiking / adventure companies in the Faroe Islands that can assist you if you wish to explore the unknown safely. Some of them are:
Guide to Faroe Islands: guidetofaroeislands.fo and Visit Faroe Islands: visitfaroeislands.com
You don't have to spend money to hike safely, there are safe hiking manuals for free which you can use if you want to save money. But if you're not saving and just want to experience, then there are a lot of different adventure, sport, sailing, flying activities that you can do in the Faroe slands.
Tourism used to be low in the Faores for a long time, but it's just starting to grow since we came on the map of gastronomical countries. A few years ago the restaurant KOKS just got their first Michelin star, and last year they got their second.
Before this we only had nature interested tourists, but now we also have gastronomically interested tourists. And hopefully with this festival, soon we will have musically interested tourists as well (YOU)!
Never before in the history of the Faroe Islands, has there ever been an alternative electronic festival, so come and be a part of history making with us!