Fancy winning a trip to the most magical place on the planet?

Thought that might catch your eye!  Well, today, my friend, is your lucky day because until midnight tonight Visit Faroe Islands is running a competition for one lucky winner and a friend to fly from anywhere in the world to this magical place for a 4 night stay in the jewel of the Nordic countries’ crown.

Comprised of 18 islands and a total of 1,289km of coastline the Faroes as they’re colloquially known are a nature lover’s paradise.  No matter where you are on any of the islands you’re only ever 5km from the ocean – how many places in the world can claim that?

With less than 50,000 inhabitants across all the islands the Faroes is the ideal place if you want to get away from it all and get back to nature.  The terrain is ideal for hiking and trail running but if you fancy a slower pace you can earn your sea legs by taking a boat tour and checking out some of the 300 species of migrating bird that flock to the islands to breed.  If you can’t imagine a holiday without a soundtrack what could be better than embracing HOYMA – the newest trend of enjoying a concert from the comfort of your sofa, as featured in last week’s Nordic Style magazine?  Or, if you prefer a bit of a bop there’s always the annual G! Festival where you can dance the day (and night) away before unwinding in a relaxing hot tub with an ocean view.  If you want to get a flavour for tradition plan your trip to coincide with the Faroe Islands’ National Day, Ólavsøka in July.  And if you’re looking for a souvenir, why not follow Sarah Lund’s lead and snap up a jumper that will keep you toasty warm when nothing else will do.

Entering the competition is really easy.  All you have to do is follow this link and select your favourite image from the current ad campaign and write a slogan to accompany it.  Then you simply enter your details, click enter and keep your fingers crossed that today might be your lucky day.  You can share your entry on your Facebook page if you have one although, as far as I understand, the winning postcard will not be dependent on the number of likes it receives online, rather on whichever slogan captures the essence of the Faroes best.  If you do share your entry on Facebook and Twitter, make sure you use the hashtag #visitfaroeislands

foroyar pic

The winning entry? 😉

My love for the Faroes comes from my Omma, Johanna – or ‘Nanny’ as she’s best known to me – who was born in Tórshavn – the capital of the Faroe Islands.  She grew up there with her brother and sisters and got a job as a nurse in a local hospital.  During the Second World War she met a young man from Belfast – I suppose you know where this is going by now – fell in love, got married and moved to Northern Ireland where she and her husband made a life for themselves but she never forgot her Faroese roots.

Over the years, Nanny travelled back home for visits, each time bringing more of her extended with her to share in the place that had made her so happy growing up.  A few years ago she began to suffer from dementia but every now and then she would talk about wanting to go home one last time.  A couple of years ago my mum, aunt and uncle moved heaven and earth to make it happen and Nanny was able to make one last trip to Tórshavn.  Sadly, I didn’t get to go along but I know my Nanny had a great time – she even got to stay in Hotel Foroyar – reportedly the swankiest of all the hotels on all of the islands.

mama nanny john

foroyar flag


grass house

Nanny’s dementia has progressed she isn’t able to walk and sometimes struggles to communicate so we are so grateful she was able to go home when she did.  Nowadays she loves to listen to songs she grew up with – her favourite is a little tune by the name of Eitt Sunnukvøld í Plantasjuni. They never fail to make her happy!  In Nanny’s case, once you’ve been to the Faroes, the memories you make there take up residence in your heart and your head for the rest of your life.

Fingers and toes crossed that luck is on your side!  And if not it’s time to get saving!  Bon voyage!xx

A post a day keeps the doctor away…

…or something along those lines. I’ve been a pretty irregular blogger up until now so I thought I would set myself a wee challenge to post every day for a week. I’ll kick it off with a video I stumbled upon about a week ago.

I mentioned in a previous post that I have family in the Faroe Islands. My grandmother was born and grew up there. During the war she met my grandfather who tempted her with his Belfast brogue to cross over the ocean and set up home in Northern Ireland. She’s lived here ever since but she’s never forgotten her home. A few years ago we discovered she has dementia and it’s slowly eaten away at her memories as time has progressed. But one place she never forgets is the Faroes.

This video features the grandmother of a man named Heiðrik á Heygum. He directed the True Love video I posted a couple of weeks ago. Following the birth of her daughter, Runa, Maria felt herself becoming very weak. I think nowadays she’d probably be diagnosed with post partum depression but back then these things didn’t exist. Or rather they did but weren’t diagnosed. Maria’s husband recommended she swim in the ocean to try and heal herself. She did and she’s been swimming in the Atlantic ocean daily ever since.

When I first saw this video I was filled with admiration for Maria but I also felt a pang of sadness. My nanny used to love the ocean. When she was still able to go out in the car her favourite thing to do was enjoy an ice cream or a bun and watch the boats sail across the Lough. I remember her telling me stories of how she used to row from Torshavn to Nolsoy as a young girl and how she loved the freedom of moving through the open water. How she and her friends were scolded by angry fishermen for rowing in rough tides. She still remembers some of those stories in her more lucid moments but those are fewer and farther between each day.

I hope you enjoy the video. It’s in Faroese but has English subtitles. It’s under ten minutes long, give it a watch. It might just uplift you like it did me. If you fancy watching more of Heiðrik’s work check out his vimeo channel. My particular favourite is a short film called Sigarett. It’s pretty brilliant. Enjoy.

Almost time to hit the road…

…but before I go I thought I would share a little something with you. This evening, (when I really ought to have been packing), I was scrolling down my newsfeed on Facebook and spied a video a friend had shared of the Faroe Islands. I have some family living there so naturally was curious to take a peek. The Faroes is an amazing place and deserves, at the very least, a post all of its own but this one is about the singer featured in the video – which you can view here.

I was looking for some new music for my Stockholm trip playlist and Eivør’s haunting tunes will be the perfect antidote to the 2.5 hour bus journey to airport that awaits me in the morning. Here’s a favourite, called ‘True Love’. The video is pretty cool – filmed in the Faroes as well I think, directed by Heiðrik á Heygum. Obviously I don’t own any rights to these videos but they are just too good not to share with you!