A few days ago, a guy from Switzerland parked his car in a small Faroese village and went for a trip in the mountains of Kunoy. Short lesson of geography: The most northern part of the Faroe Islands is called Norðoyggjar, and Kunoy is an Island located in the north-east. Back to our main character, the guy from Switzerland. After his car had been spotted for some days, people started to worry. A search was carried out, by boat and helicopter. Finally, they found the guy. He was perfectly fine, just about to take some pictures of the landscape.
To be honest: It is not very smart to go hiking and not letting anyone know that you are planing to stay up in the mountains for a couple of days. Some basic rules: Tell someone (host, information office, bakery, neighbours) which route you plan to take, and inform them when you have arrived back. Beware of loose stones and marsh land, avoid climbing fragile soil, and always have in mind that the stony terrain along the cliffs can be quite slippery. You have a fear of heights? Routes can get extremely steep. Don’t go alone. And never walk in fog.
For all German readers of my blog: There is this marvelous book called „Von Inseln weiß ich“, it has been published by Unionsverlag, and it offers you the possibility to make yourself familiar with Faroese literature. All stories, old and modern ones, have been translated into German. In one story, a brother and a sister get lost in fog. From one second to another, they are surrounded by the thickest fog you can imagine. The girl starts to cry – she thinks this is the end. Have you ever seen real fog? Which means: Not seeing anything at all? You walk the Faroese mountains and all the sudden fog rises, thick like cotton candy? Stay right where you are. Don’t move. Stick to one of the cairns that mark the path and keep yourself warm. Be smart and wait. It’s better than losing one's bearings and falling off a cliff or a hillside.
Even though there is no Mount Everest or K2 in the Faroe Islands: The mountains still deserve your respect. Once we were sitting around some friend’s kitchen table when a group of Faroese popped in, returning from a hike. I will never forget what one of the guys told me about this particularly dangerous mountain trip: „If my wife knew where I was walking today, she would kill me.“