| By Quentin Bates |
There are quite a number of things that make the Faroe Islands a very special place — the islands’ compact nature provides an informality of the kind rarely seen elsewhere, and it means things can be fixed with remarkable ease.
It’s an undiscovered but rather damp gem in the middle of the Atlantic that few people notice on their way past. It’s not to everyone’s taste, but the Faroe Islands are truly one of the pleasantest places in the world. As both a business traveller and an occasional tourist, there are few places I’d rather go.
The trouble is, the Faroes aren’t all that easily reached. My first visit was thirty years ago as a practically penniless backpacker heading back to a job in Iceland after a few weeks of hitchhiking around Denmark and Norway. I arrived on board the old Smyril ferry from Bergen, where I had cashed a cheque that subsequently bounced and worried the bank manager back home in England for months. As the ferry back then ran a circular route between Bergen, Tórshavn, Seyðisfjörður and Hirtshals, taking in a dogleg detour to Lerwick, I found myself with three days and practically no cash to spend admiring the turf roofs of Tórshavn bathed in July sunshine.
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