The Faroe Islands: An Unexpected Party Destination
When I initially mention the Faroe Islands to someone, they reaction I get is, “Where’s that?’’ When I then go on to explain that I had one of the booziest and most fantastic weekends ever there, they are as equally taken aback.
After I graduated from university, two of my dear friends set a date to tie the knot to each other. Not only was it so exciting because of the abundant romance, it also meant that I had an excuse to travel to somewhere off the beaten track. Luckily for me, the bride was from the Faroe Islands!
I will never forget this Faroese wedding, which is surprising because it involved a lot of alcohol.
If gorgeous Hobbit-like scenery, friendly locals, fine ale and lots of fun are your things, you will be amazed! I am lucky because I got to really experience a typical Faroese celebration. However, if you do not know any Faroese people to invite you over when they get hitched (and let’s be realistic – how many Faroese people do we know?), I would still highly recommend this beautiful country.
When I arrived in the Faroe Islands, I first made my way to my hostel, which was cheap and cheerful. The hostel’s name was Kerjalon Hostel and you can book a room through their sister hotel, Hotel Føroyar. I immediately put my suitcase away and went to meet friends. Another bonus of this trip: getting to see university friends who I had not seen for an entire year.
First, we decided to do some exploring. In true university friends’ style, we ended up in a quaint bar up one of the many small hills (which were all dotted with adorable turf-roofed buildings). The bar had a gorgeous view of the streets and the ale and cider were delicious. I think that if something is not mass produced, it really has an extra special quality about it. After this, we went on a walk to admire the stunning scenery, drank a little more and went to bed to prepare for the real party the day after – the wedding!
I will never forget this Faroese wedding, which is surprising because it involved a lot of alcohol. The ceremony itself was held in a beautiful old, traditional church right on the coast. The bride and groom looked stunning surrounded by the rocks and crashing waves. The scene looked like something out of a film. The party after that was held in a huge decorated room, right next to the coast, too.
During the party, one of my friends was nominated to hand out Akvavitt (a 40% Faroese spirit) and even though I didn’t know the rules, I could figure out that the basics were that you had to drink. One Faroese tradition involved playing a game in which when the groom goes to the toilet, all the males run and kiss the bride before her new husband comes back (and vice versa – there’s no sexism!). At first people were shy to play this game, but after a few shots, everyone was involved.
Don’t be fooled–the Faroe Islands may be a small and remote country, but they hold the key to top quality food, beer and partying!
The day after the wedding, a few of us were invited to the bride’s house to finish the wedding celebration. It’s a tradition to serve a buffet meal. As I knew the bride, I wasn’t surprised that whale meat was part of that buffet. The Faroese are known for their whaling and consumption of sea birds and whale meat.
If you can blag your way into a wedding ceremony, do it! If not, there are very popular music festivals held here, including G! Festival and Summarfestivalurin. Don’t be fooled–the Faroe Islands may be a small and remote country, but they hold the key to top quality food, beer and partying!
Photo credit: Stig Nygaard