…I have measured out my life with coffee spoons…
– The Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock, T.S, Eliot
Amidst the gentle sounds of folk music and the whirring espresso machine, I soak in the last few moments of this calm morning in Klaskvik with a latte in the Cafe Frida. It’s all over too soon and I can’t help imagining a return trip to the Faroes, with more time, with friends, waterproof clothing and a pair of rubber boots. The weather requires a slow pace, to allow time for fog to lift and rains to disperse. When the skies clear, the color and light is so much more like a gift in these hidden islands. There are bird havens and cliffs to explore. I would have liked to charter a small sailing vessel and traveled around the islands, or taken one of the helicopter flights, or found an island with fewer tunnels and more roads on which to cycle. In some places you can go diving. I would have liked to spend a few days interviewing locals and spinning out my stories. This is undoubtedly a place to come back to. Like my fantasy of renting a loft in Venice for a month and writing a novel, here is a place into which I could quite easily disappear.
I sent off my postcards to friends and family with Faroese stamps. I purchased a box yesterday at the post and filled it with Faroese treasures for loved ones. Candies of all kinds, special canned fish, jam, and soft licorice skipper’s pipes. Licorice seems to be especially beloved by the Scandinavians. I’ve found more candy of that flavor than any other, and they even sell licorice root in the groceries. But there’s still room in the box, so perhaps I will discover some other small sweets I can lodge into the remaining space before I send it off. Maybe one last little blackberry jam packet or Danish caramel.
I will take the noon bus to Tórshavn and wander the streets of the capital until it’s time to board the ferry. The bus takes an hour and a half and stops in six other towns along the way. It’s tempting to get out and cycle a bit, but I don’t have the time. Check-in is between 15:00 and 17:00. Departure is at 18:00 and we should arrive in Iceland’s eastern port of Seythisfyodur by 8:30 tomorrow morning.
After consulting the guidebooks in the guesthouse and talking with people, I changed my original plans for traveling through Iceland. I cancelled one of my hostel bookings and decided to drive along the southern route instead of the northern one. It’s more sparsely populated and I can use my tent to camp for one night if the weather permits, or sleep in the car. There are some black sand beaches recommended to me in Vík, and the road passes through areas with both volcanic and glacial scenery. I knew that the Faroes and Iceland would be nothing but a tease if I gave them such a short visit, but coming home this way was more to my liking than a non-stop flight from Frankfurt to Anchorage. The beauty and the people whose lives I pass in and out of fills me with a sense of nostalgia even before it’s over, and I am the richer for being among so much that fills me with wonder. After staying at Kinga’s guesthouse, I was so inspired that I even starting toying with the idea of opening my own in Anchorage. I think I would run an excellent travel business of any kind, but hospitality suits me particularly well. Who knows what will happen? There is so much to discover, inside and out.