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Kallurin and Kópakonan on Kalsoy (Faroes)

Kallurin and Kópakonan on Kalsoy (Faroes)


Postby John Doh » Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:32 pm

Date walked: 17/08/2017

Time taken: 1.5

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One of the reasons I wanted to go to the Faroes in the first place was the island of Kalsoy. I had viewed it on Google Earth and was fascinated by its form. It's basically one long mountain coming out of the sea. There are four villages on Kalsoy from south to north: Syðradalur, Húsar, Mikladalur and Trøllanes. Until they were all linked by tunnels by 1985, the northernmost of the villages, Trøllanes, was really quite secluded, comparable to Gásadalur (see this report: https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=76461 for details on Gásadalur).

Kalsoy is relatively easy to reach. Drive up to Klaksvik and catch the ro-ro ferry which sails several times a day. Just be in time for the boat as there are no reservations possible. Oh, and another thing: Make sure to look up the correct ferry schedule... Initially, I had wanted to visit Kalsoy on Tuesday, 15 August, a beautiful sunny day. I had looked up the departure table on the internet and found out that the boat was leaving at 3:30 pm. I had then put the car in the line at Klaksvik at 1:30 pm and went shopping and having a drink in Klaksvik. When we returned to the port at 2:45, the boat was full and about to leave. I had looked at the Winter timetable. :roll: In the summer, the boat sails at 2:50 pm.

That meant I had to return to Kalsoy another day and the only possible day was Thursday, 16 August, because on Wednesday we visited Fugloy (see the report here: https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=76646) and on Friday we left. So Thursday it was, even if the weather was the worst in the whole week of our stay with a cold wind and rain. I made sure to be the first car in line at Klaskvik and this time, we were ready when the boat opened its mouth to swallow the waiting vehicules. 20 minutes later, at 3:10 pm, we arrived at the Kalsoy port below Syðradalur.

The mist was hanging low at our arrival.

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I was the first car to leave the ferry and had the road and the four tunnels linking Húsar, Mikladalur and Trøllanes to myself. There was no oncoming traffic but anyway, on the way north you have the priority in those unlit single track tunnels. To make things a bit spookier, there was fog inside the tunnels :D

Anyway, around 3:30 pm we had left the last tunnel behind us and stopped the car on the road above Trøllanes at a red gate, as suggested by our guidebook which was supposed to show us the way to Kallurin, the famous lighthouse on the cliffs north of Trøllanes.

At the red gate.

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The guidebook directed us to walk up the hill diagonally and, once on a bit more level ground, walk around the peak. This we did. The going was soggy and there is no path, only sheeptracks. Pick one.

Looking back down at the car at the red gate. You can also see the tunnel entrance.

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Looking down to the village.

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Soon, the village disappeard from our sight and we were all alone on the windswept hill. All alone? All of a sudden I saw two persons climbing up the hillside below us. They had parked at the car park in the village and were walking up the same direction as us. They had probably followed this guide: http://organizedwanderer.com/the-definitive-guide-to-reaching-the-kallur-lighthouse/ - there has to be another red gate down in the village... :roll:

Once around the hillside, I soon spotted the famous lighthouse.

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The guy from the couple beat me to it at the lighthouse, whereas his girlfriend only made it a few minutes after me and she did not look extremely happy. She could probably think of more agreeable things to do than climb a hill in cold rain only to find out the fog was blocking most views.

The view:

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At least the cliffs were impressive:

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But what was that? The weather cleared up a bit, you can almost see a spot of blue sky:

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I mean the weather was not great but at least we could look over to Eysturoy with the village of Gjógv just visible.

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As good as it got:

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The weather got no better so we made our way back around the hill and down to the car. 1.5 hours later (that is, 1.5 hours from the start) we were there and happy to change shoes and socks. We then descended to Trøllanes to have a look at this remote hamlet.

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Below the houses, a path goes down to the landing place.

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Before the tunnel, the goods had to be brought up and down this ridicoulous track:

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While contemplating this, the sky opened up a bit and we caught the first glimpse of Kunoyarnakkur, with 819 meters the highest sea cliff in the Faroes and one of the highest in the world.

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Back at the parking. The Kallurin light is behind that hill.

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Fun fact about Trøllanes. The name means "Headland (Norn -> Ness) of the Trolls". In the old days, the village was visited every Twelfth Night, by trolls from the surrounding mountains, and the villagers had to flee and seek shelter for the night in the neighboring village Mikladalur. And it is this which has given the village its name. One year on Tweltfh Night however, there was an old woman, who wasn't able to make the trip to the next village due to infirmity, and she hid under the table in the living room, when the trolls came. They danced and partied and made such a noise that the old woman, in fear called out the name of Christ. When the trolls heard the holy name, they stopped partying and cursed the old woman, and left the village, and have never bothered it again. When the villagers returned they expected to find the old lady dead, but she was alive and able to tell them about the nights events. (source: wikipedia)

There were no Trolls to be seen at our visit so we quit the village but not without taking a few pictures of it from above, near the tunnel entrance.

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And off into the tunnel.

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We still had some time to kill until the last ferry which was bound to leave at 6:50 pm so we decided to pay a visit to the neighbouring village of Mikladalur and its famous statue of the seal woman or Kópakonan. It is what is known in Scotland as a Selkie. You can read up the story on wikipedia under "Mikladalur".

I took a few pics and, once at home, played with them. Here are the results:

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You get the picture? :wink:

The statue is 2.5 meters high and down on the seashore at the old landing of Mikladalur (from before the tunnels). To get down to it you have to climb a few steps. Looking back up:

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Other than that, Mikladalur is pleasant enough to view from above, with atmospheric fog / clouds and a spot of sunlight over at Kunoy.

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It has some unusual features too:

1) A football / basketball pitch.

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2) A forest.

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I have talked a lot about these unlit single track tunnels. As I thought you would not believe me I took some pics too.

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Notice the passing place on the right.

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It was now time to get back to the ferry terminal. This left us no time to explore the two other villages of Húsar and Syðradalur. Their situation is a bit less spectacular than their neighbours anyway but Syðradalur looks nice from the boat.

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It was a nice day on Kalsoy even if the weather could have been better. Anyway, the "flute", as it is called due to its shape and the tunnel holes, is a must for island lovers.
Last edited by John Doh on Sun Jun 03, 2018 5:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Kallurin and Kópakonan on Kalsoy (Faroes)

Postby Sgurr » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:00 pm

Am loving these Faroe reports. Looks like we shall have to go.
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Re: Kallurin and Kópakonan on Kalsoy (Faroes)

Postby John Doh » Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:56 am

Sgurr wrote:Am loving these Faroe reports. Looks like we shall have to go.


I can only recommend it.

By the way, what I forgot to mention: Doesn't the Kópakonan have a striking resemblance to Danaerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones? :)
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