June 10, 2010 by jessperriam
Of all the things I thought I would do while in the Faroe Islands, climbing a mountain wasn’t on that list.
Especially not after dinner.
At 8pm. Three kilometres each way.
“Where exactly are we going?” I asked Karolina’s nephew (whose name is impossible to write in English so I’m going to call him Attenborough because he is like the Faroese, 13 year old version of him).
“Just up there… it’s not very far at all.”
‘Up there’ were three piles of rocks, barely specks on the very tall, 350 metre high horizon.
My left calf was already beginning to twinge in protest.
I trudged up the hillside while Attenborough tried to light tiny fireworks, leftover from New Years.
“Come on! Hurry up!” he yelled.
I didn’t think I was going to make it and although the scenery was spectacular (when isn’t it spectacular?) as we trudged past streams, mountain lakes and heard the national bird ‘gleep-gleeping‘ to warn us to keep the hell away from its nest, I was exhausted.
And that was before we had to clamber over big, volcanic rocks.
I wanted to sit down and catch my breath, but I knew if I did that, I’d never make it up there. I knew the view was going to be spectacular and the self-satification at making it to the top, even sweeter.
I grabbed a stone to throw onto one of the piles, just to make sure I contributed my bit.
After much whingeing on my behalf we made it and saw the three two metre high cairns that were looking down on the city of Torshavn and across to the island just across the bay.
The biggest cairn is meant to be the king, to his left, the queen and to his right, the prince.
“Who should I throw the rock at?”
Attenborough made a fairly convincing reason why I should throw it at the queen and I was too tired to care which pile it landed on.
So I climbed a little way up the queen and tried to wedge the stone in there. It’s a little piece of my adventure, overlooking Torshavn forever.
It was amazing. I was freezing, rugged up and exhausted. But it was worth it. The long, long North Atlantic dusk was just settling in for the evening and the sun was shining through the clouds to my right.
Attenborough had taken us up the mountain the hard way. Oddly enough, there weren’t any massive rock faces to ease ourselves down from. But the streams were still flowing down. The gleep-gleeps of the oystercatchers were even more insistent on us staying away from their nests and the smile on my face as I just did something pretty tough had settled in for the evening.
I can see the mountain from Karolina’s house. Every time I see the three specks on top of that mountain, I feel a little smug and think to myself – “Yep, I conquered that”.