Monday, October 9, 2017

FAROE ISLANDS: Land of Fjords and Green Cliffs, Guest Post by Tom Scheaffer

Faroe Islands Peace Run
My brother Tom Scheaffer has just returned from a two week trip to Iceland and the Faroe Islands. Tom’s trip was part of the Sri Chimnoy Oneness-Home Peace Run, a worldwide promotion of peace to “help remind millions of people every day in so many countries that our common goal is peace.”  Tom traveled with eleven friends to six of the islands using ferries or undersea tunnels. They ran with the peace torch and visited 20 schools and saw more than 2000 children. 
The Faroe Islands consist of 18 major islands about 407 miles off the coast of Northern Europe, about halfway between Iceland and Norway. The islands are an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark.
Here is Tom's report.
I am in Faroe Islands and it is spectacular. It is a land of fiords and green cliffs.We have had great weather so far with no rain and lots of sun. The landscape is incredibly green with waterfalls cascading down the mountains and into the sea.
Tom in the Faroe Islands
Schools are very modern and look like art museums.  A teacher told me that 5% must go to art when they build a new school.
School library
They have a high standard of living here in the Faroe Islands, and we were told it is even higher than in Denmark, with which it still has political and economic ties.
Tom with students
The people speak Faroese which is a Nordic language. The Vikings had a large impact on the Faroe Islands and there are many Viking legends. Written Faroese is most similar to Icelandic and to their common ancestor Old Norse, though the spoken language is closer to Norwegian dialects of Western Norway. Although Faroese is the official language on the islands, Danish is taught in schools. Many people also speak English.
Salmon farming is a huge industry here because of the clean cold water of the North Atlantic, which is ideal for raising salmon. You can see the salmon corrals and the fish jumping. Torshavn is the largest city with a population of about 20,000, but many people live in smaller villages on the edge of the sea. Sheep abound on the hillsides, and it is more likely you will encounter a sheep on the road than another car!
Today was the last day we visited schools. Afterward we went to a most beautiful waterfall and ran along the ocean cliffs. 
 
This is a land of incredible beauty and there is a real sense of peace because one is surrounded by nature wherever you go. In the summer, puffins and other sea birds come to the cliffs to nest. The maritime climate is cool, but not too cold because of the Gulf Stream which tempers the climate. The Faroe Islands are still unspoiled and worth the effort to travel to if you love nature.

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