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September 26, 2010
Everything you need to know about the Faroe Islands. Official guide!
Enduring ... the island of Vagar. Photo: Graeme Cornwallis/Lonely Planet
The Faroe Islands intrigue Sam Vincent, who discovers moodily beautiful landscapes and a people who defiantly cling to their Viking ways.
"SAVE the whales - for supper." The saying is common in the Faroe Islands, where the locals are fed up with foreigners telling them they shouldn't polish off pilot whales simply because these are "majestic giants of the deep". Around here, the only thing considered majestic about whales is the resulting taste when cooked in pepper sauce.
The Faroe (sometimes Faeroe) Islands are a semi-autonomous Danish possession perched between Iceland, Scotland and Norway. A spectacular group of 18 jagged hunks of grass-covered basalt, they are celebrated for plump sheep, cute puffins and a national football side that punches well above its weight. But they are also widely condemned for the "grindadrap", a summertime pilot whale hunt that has come to define Faroese identity, much to the ire of the anti-whaling lobby. A quick Google search will give you some idea of its infamy; type in "Faroe Islands" and suggested options will include "Faroe Islands whale killings", "Faroe Islands whaling" and "Faroe Islands whale cull". I've come to the Faroes to explore what is perhaps western Europe's most intriguing country, though before I leave home I decide to leave my Greenpeace T-shirt in my bedside drawer.
Read more about this fascinating place. Excellent article at: http://www.theage.com.au/travel/cracking-the-norse-code-20100923-15o0t.html