Dots on the Map (Faroe Islands)

Dots on the Map book coverby Colin Leckey

Together in one volume – An Englishman traipses through Europe’s 7 least populated nations. More about the countries of:

* Liechtenstein
* San Marino
* Vatican City, and
* Monaco

later on in the blog – plus the self-governing territory of Gibralter. All are mere Dots on the Map. More like Iotas on the Map, really. (I didn’t include Andorra because I’ve already blogged about it.)

The Faroese

I want to be from the Faroe Islands. (Except for trying to date someone you aren’t related to, it sounds grand.) I want to be related to everyone else on the plane from Heathrow. I want to be able to tell the lone Englishman aboard, “Sorry Sir, we only have newspapers in Faroese.” The author says the language sounds a lot like Danish. Hey, my ancestors were Danish.

Faroe Island SheepI want to be a farmer winching her sheep up to the cliffs to graze in the summer.

Absailing sheep, for real!

In a land of few blaring car stereos, conscientious drivers, and streets that run almost straight up and down. Where the very ancient parliament is called the ting. Or as Leaky says, the Thing.

Would the place be so fascinating if I lived there? No. Comforting, perhaps – maybe even a little boring. But there’s always the Internet.

Unfortunately the national dish is boiled puffin.

Fimm fimm Stars

How could you even think about eating these cute little birds?

Yes, that’s “five” in Faroese. You need both “fimms”. The Danish word, if you’re interested, is “fem” – Faroese having separated itself from Old Norse about 600 years ago.

Leaky writes with self-deprecating humor and the keen eye for the ridiculous that makes the travelogues of Redmond O’Hanlon so enjoyable.

I look forward to comparing the other “tiniest” countries. And theorizing on why they remain independent when bigger ones were swallowed long ago.


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