After spending a few days sightseeing, shopping and chilling in the capital, we both felt that it was time for another hike – after all, that’s what the mountains are there for, and we wanted to do as many hikes as we could during our 18 days of travel in the Faroe Islands.
The evening before, we had visited a friend of mine in Tórshavn, Erling, who owns a beautiful old cottage in Saksun. He told us that the key hangs where it used to, so we could just use it as we wanted while we were there. We decided to go to Saksun in the early afternoon to hang out in the cottage for a while, before starting the 3-hour hike to Tjørnuvík, another tiny village on the other side of the mountains from Saksun.
We hitchhiked from Tórshavn to Saksun, and once again, we got really lucky. We were picked up by a lovely lady, who offered to drive us most of the way, since she was going there anyways, but when we got to the turn-off for Saksun, where she was supposed to drop us off, she decided to drive us all the way instead – which was an extra 20 km. for her! We always make sure to strike up conversations with the people who pick us up, and she was a lot of fun to talk to – definitely one of my favourite experiences with hitchhiking!
Getting to Saksun was – as always – a beautiful experience. Saksun is by far my favourite village in the country with its perfect little stone houses with turf roofs tucked away above a tidal lagoon, which goes all the way out to the North Atlantic Ocean. When the tide is low, it’s possible to walk all the way out to the ocean, which is a beautiful walk, but unfortunately, we didn’t get there in time that day.
The woman dropped us off at the cottage and we waved goodbye to our new friend as she drove away. Saksun was covered in fog and it was drizzling, so we quickly went inside the house and got cozy in the kitchen, playing cards and eating our lunch. We stayed inside for several hours, listening to the rain outside and dreading the fact that we had to go out there sometime soon.
We saw several people coming down the mountain, who must have started the hike in Tjørnuvík, but we didn’t see anyone starting the hike from Saksun like we were about to. Still, when the fog had lifted a bit, we decided to give the hike a go despite the fact that it was getting late. We had about three hours until sunset, which – thankfully – was exactly the time we needed.
The upwards climb was steep in some places, but the well-trodden path and the red sticks that show the way were easy to follow until we got to the place where the sticks were replaced by the ancient cairns that people used to find their way before modern times. We got a bit lost, but with the help of the newly numbered cairns, we quickly found the path again. From then on, we followed the cairns up the mountain in fog that just kept getting thicker with every step we took.
It was as though the path just kept on going up, but despite the late hours and the bad weather, we kept our spirits high with music and singing as we walked.
Two hours after we had left Saksun, we finally reached the top of the mountain pass and started following the cairns down the mountain. I was worried about whether or not we would even reach Tjørnuvík before dark, but after about three hours of hiking, we finally caught sight of the beach and the two rocks, Risin and Kellingin, in the distance, and then the tightly packed houses of Tjørnuvík.
We were finally there – now we just had to walk the last few hundred metres and then find a car that could drive us the 11 km. to the main road, from where we would be able to catch another ride to Tórshavn.
But that was easier said than done. The problem with Tjørnuvík is that it’s the last village on that road, and it’s a pretty much dead village. We stood on the road for about half an hour, freezing in our wet clothes and drenched boots. There were no cars coming in or going out of the village, so we decided to ring the doorbell of a random house to ask if we could borrow a phone, so we could get a taxi. But when we did that, we experienced once again how friendly and hospitable Faroese people can be. The lady who opened the door offered to drive us all the way to the main road, despite the fact that she was in the middle of dinner and hadn’t planned on going anywhere that evening. She was a real angel and I’ve never been so thankful for anything in my life before!
When we got to the main road it only took a few minutes for us to find a ride with a friendly man, who told us stories about the Faroe Islands all the way to Tórshavn, where he dropped us off at our borrowed house. Never before had I been so thrilled to get inside and change my clothes!
The hike from Saksun to Tjørnuvík was beautiful despite the fog and rain, but next time I’ll be doing the hike the opposite way and in good weather!