It’s morning, and I meet Debora and Greg at the base of Slættaratindur, the tallest mountain in the Faroe Islands. I’m told that every island can be seen from the top of it, though I never find out for myself. It’s not for lack of trying. I zigzag, scale, and slip a little in spots, turning around to check my progress more often than I probably should. Along the way, Debora reassures me that she isn’t practiced in climbing. She’s modest or I’m out of shape, because I can’t gain on her or even keep her in sight towards the end of our hike.
The closer I get to the top (and I do get close!), the more I realize that the thick cloud hovering overhead is all I’ll see.
I meet Debora and Greg just outside of the haze. We share a rock and look out over the expanse that spreads out ahead of us. Though we can’t see all 18 islands, we see many. Once again, Debora names them all.We head back down the mountainside and make plans to meet at Kirkjubøur, an old village outside of Torshavn. When we arrive, we find more grass-roofed houses and the oldest building I might ever have seen this close in my life. Though it is deteriorating, it is decorated in scaffolding, waiting to be new. I stand on its dirt floor and wonder what it has seen.
We leave and head back to Torshavn, but not before seeing a Faroese cow crossing the street in front of us. The cows here are as skinny as they are hairy, and I have to double-check with Debora that it’s actually a small cow and not an overgrown cat. It is.
We arrive in Torshavn in the early evening and I finally see Tinganes up close (opposed to only seeing it from the window of the living room of the Airbnb where I’m staying). It’s the oldest part of Torshavn and it’s pressed up against the harbor. Its uniform red walls, grassy roofs, and narrow passageways can’t be accessed by cars and make it easy to find when juxtaposed against the sprawling town around it. Vikings originally settled here, but it’s used for government affairs now.
Our night ends at Sirkus, a swanky restaurant down the street from the harbor. Debora’s brother joins us, taking my local friend count climb to two. Over dinner, we do that thing people who’ve really hit it off do: we wonder at the fact that we only met yesterday. It seems like we’ve known each other much, much longer.
We walk outside and say goodbye.
Waking up in the morning, I have two goals for the day: I want to find the perfect Faroese sweater, and I want to shoot a couple’s photo here. It’s my last day here, so I have one shot. I head downtown and quickly knock out what I consider to be a sort of rite of passage. I buy a black and white wool sweater.
The last goal is trickier. I stop by the office of Brynhild, Passion Passport’s local contact, to try my luck. Her boyfriend Louis is American, and actually grew up a few hours from where I did in the States. The two of them kindly oblige, and we make plans to head back to Saksun so I can take photos of the two of them later that evening.
Everything goes as planned, and we drive to Saksun. As a wedding photographer, I’ve imagined shooting weddings and engagement photos along the way at each unique place I’ve stopped on my trip. Saksun is at the top of my list, though. My excitement is blatant, I’m sure.
We shoot around the old church, cliffside, and even around a few of the local homes. Louis piggybacks Brynhild over muddy patches, and I remember the rain that left them there. I’m grateful that the weather is finally on my side, and I’m so much more than grateful for the opportunity.