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A picturesque archipelago between Norway and Iceland, the 18 tiny Faroe Islands beckon nature lovers, adventurers, birdwatchers and sightseers. Through George Fischer’s lens, you’ll rappel down sheer cliffs, soar with giant gannets and revel in unspoiled beauty. You’ll stand on hallowed historical soil, admire ancient ruins – and savour the sea’s bounty in Faroese cuisine. And you’ll be among the first to discover this untamed region’s growing appeal.


Dancing Between Sea & Sky

Dancing Between Sea & Sky

$39.95 ISBN 978-1-77108-438-3





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Know, if thou has a friend whom thou fully trustest, and from whom thou woulds’t good derive, thou shouldst blend thy mind with his, and gifts exchange, and often go to see him. THE HÁVAMÁL (“SAYINGS OF THE HIGH ONE”) – OLD NORSE POEMS

Thank you Jean and Reggie, not only for your support while we travel, but also for your true friendship over so many years. I am blessed to be able to see you both often. —G ­ eorge


Situated atop dramatic cliffs, Kallur Lighthouse helps guide ships around the northern tip of Kalsoy. Island of Kalsoy

Copyright © 2017 George Fischer All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written permission from the photographer, George Fischer. Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication

Design and captions: Catharine Barker National Graphics, Toronto, ON Canada

Fischer, George, 1954-, photographer

Copy Editor: E. Lisa Moses

Faroe Islands : dancing between sea & sky / George Fischer.

Nimbus Publishing Limited PO Box 9166, Halifax, NS Canada B3K 5MB Tel.: 902-455-4286

ISBN 978-1-77108-438-3 (hardcover)

Printed in China

DL271.F2F57 2017

1. Faroe Islands--Pictorial works. I. Title. 949.15


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When describing the Faroe Islands, those who know them best speak with passion and awe. Images of the sky, the sea, the rocks and the skerries have settled in their souls, electrified their minds and animated their bodies.


Mountaintops protruding from the sea are grounded on an ancient basaltic plateau that sank into the sea about 60 million years ago. About the size of Britain,

*A line from a poem by Faroese author Poul F. Joensen: “Tú lýsti” “You radiated” The title reads: Your dear name is engraved in my heart.

Tinganes (“parliament point” in Faroese) juts into Tórshavn harbour. This historic location has been the government seat since Norwegian colonists first met here in 900. Tórshavn, island of Streymoy C3 C

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Shopping for chic wares by talented local designers, or lunching at a café are good reasons to visit Öström, a former waterfront cannery turned “home of Faroese design.” Tórshavn, island of Streymoy C 13 C

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Generally referred to as Vatnið (“the lake” in Faroese), it is also called Sørvágsvatn or Leitisvatn depending on whether the speaker lives east or west of the lake. There is some debate about its name being associated with nearby settlements. Island of Vágar

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Time runs like the river current. FAROESE PROVERB

Bøsdalafossur (waterfall) plunges 30 metres straight down from the lake of Vatnið to the Atlantic ocean. Island of Vágar

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PREVIOUS PAGE: Distant outlines are visible through dense cloud around Skálafjørður, the largest fjord in the Faroe Islands

Island of Eysturoy

The striking beauty of the waterfall near Gásadalur is iconic. The tiny village is backed by the highest peaks on Vágar. A stairway was built during the 1940s to permit access to the beach. Today, a car tunnel allows easier passage. West coast, island of Vágar

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The #1 industry is fishing (and fish products). IT and business ventures are being explored to open new markets.

Boathouses lining Rundingur Street are a testament to the country’s thriving shipping industry, its most important source of revenue. Tórshavn, island of Streymoy C 30 C

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Faroese wool is particularly warm, sheared by hand from family flocks. Brilliant dyes are added after it is graded by the yarn manufacturers.

A busy market in Gjรณgv brings the sheep farmers together. Traditionally, small family flocks are the norm.

Tรณrshavn, island of Streymoy

Island of Eysturoy C 48 C

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A weatherbeaten relief from St. Magnus Cathedral is still recognizable as a scene from Jesus’s crucifixion. Kirkjubøur, island of Streymoy C 248 C

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Next to the graveyard at Kirkjubøur, construction on the medieval St. Magnus Cathedral had begun around AD1300 but was never completed. Efforts are being made to preserve the historic ruin. Kirkjubøur, island of Streymoy C 249 C

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Fishing is not only the islands’ premier industry, but also a popular pastime for locals and visitors. Shorelines and sheltered havens provide conditions that are almost always perfect. Lake Leynar, island of Streymoy

PREVIOUS PAGE: Rays of sun push through the clouds

between the islands of Eysturoy and Kalsoy.

Photographed from Kallur Lighthouse, island of Kalsoy C 254 C

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Naturally optimal conditions ensure the success of the aquaculture enterprises. The Faroe Islands’ high-quality Atlantic salmon is in great demand as an export. Tórshavn, island of Streymoy C 255 C

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You are never more than 5 kilometres from the ocean on the Faroes. (There are 1100 kilometres of coastline.)

From an aerial perspective, the solid shape of Borรฐoy rising steeply from the sea stands out from the other islands. Island of Borรฐoy C 276 C

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National Geographic Traveler magazine voted the Faroe Islands the most “authentic, unspoiled, and likely to remain so” of 111 islands worldwide.

PREVIOUS PAGE: The wedge-shaped islet of Tindhólmur, which supports a small sheep population, watches the mouth of the Sørvágsfjørður (fjord) on the west side of the island.

Photographed near Sørvágur, island of Vágar FOLLOWING PAGE: The sea stacks of Risin og Kellingin are

A slatted wooden bridge connects the isthmus of Rituskorð to the mainland at an estimated 289 metres above seal level – just over the birds.

illuminated through an inky backdrop beside the point at Rivtangi and the soaring northern precipices on the island of Eysturoy.

Photographed from the island of Kalsoy

Island of Suðuroy C 282 C

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George Fischer is one of Canada’s most renowned and prolific landscape photographers. He has produced more than 50 books and 50 art posters as well as numerous prints. George’s work has appeared on the covers of countless international magazines and newspapers, and in the promotional publications of tourism agencies around the world. The publication Exotic Places & Faces is a stunning compilation of his extensive travels. George’s book titled Unforgettable Canada was on The Globe and Mail’s bestseller list for eight weeks, selling over 50,000 copies. From his base in Toronto, Canada, George is working on several new books, including Portugal and Simple Beauty – an abstract treasury of photographic art.

Born in Sablé-sur-Sarthe, France, Jean-Louis Lepage traveled extensively across Europe between the ages of 18 and 25. He came to Canada in 1966, settling first in Montréal, then moving permanently to Toronto. Jean-Louis has visited at least one different country every year for the past 25 years, and over his lifetime has seen more than 85 countries. Since 1991, he has worked as George Fischer’s assistant on some 40 photography books featuring various countries. He likes to travel to the mountainous regions of Mexico in the winter and Europe in the fall.

Réginald Poirier was born on Les Îles de la Madeleine in the province of Québec and studied agronomy at Montréal’s McGill University. His Acadian roots surely account for his abiding love of the sea, the wind and island living. For the past 20 years, this Madelinot has been a co-owner of Domaine du Vieux Couvent, a superb small hotel on Les Îles. When George and Réginald met 28 years ago, they became instant friends. It is Réginald’s deep-seated penchant for adventure that has led him to accompany his photographer friend on a number of expeditions.

See more at

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Jón Gauti Jónsson was born in Reykjavik, Iceland. Fascinated by the country’s natural treasures, he spends most of his professional and leisure time climbing, skiing or hiking sheep trails with tourists. He became a registered nurse (BSc) but his passion for the outdoors lured him into travelling and mountain-guiding. Teaching various outdoor and survival courses at a professional and recreational level is a major part of his work. For two years, Jón was editor-inchief of Útivera outdoor magazine. His book Fjallabókin was nominated for the Icelandic Literary Award in 2013. Jón also makes radio and television appearances as an assistant program host and survival expert. Jón Gauti owns and operates Mountain Tours ( offering hiking, mountaineering, skiing and rockand ice-climbing courses and adventures.

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The Faroe Islands were unknown to me until I met Jón Gauti and we started talking about trekking. The idea of a trip was sealed and the Faroes became a destination that mesmerized me, like so many others who have crossed the Atlantic to discover the islands. And there are those that I met along the way who encouraged me and became part of this book project. I’d like to thank Guðrið Højgaard, Súsanna Sørensen, Bárður Eklund and Brynhild D. Weihe for their contributions. For modelling and helping me portray the Faroe spirit, I am grateful to Rakul Maria Hjalmarsdóttir Tórgarð, Fríðgerð í Líð, Anja Mouritsen Møller, Anna Maria Nattestad, Elisabet Nattestad and Gunnar K. Nattestad. I am especially indebted to Gunnar who went the extra mile to help with facts and text edits — his help was invaluable. For her writing to bring the Faroe Islands into perspective I appreciate Sigrún Valbergsdóttir’s wonderful introduction. Her view of the Faroes allows visitors to better understand this “shining emerald.” Bringing it all together is a process of hard work and organization and I would be at a loss without my talented art director and designer Catharine Barker. To E. Lisa Moses, who makes sense of all things, I would award the distinction of “Greatest Editor Ever.” Credit again and again to my assistants – my friends – Jean Lepage and Réginald Poirier. It is not often that all three of us are at the same location so this is a very special memory. I am truly blessed. And to Jón Gauti Jónsson, busy with his own company, I am happy that we were able to do another project together. Many thanks for your willingness and advice. (I would also not forget your wonderful wife’s cooking on my stopovers. Thanks, Hulda.) FOLLOWING PAGE: The importance of tourism is increasing as word spreads

about the archipelago’s unspoiled nature and incredible landscapes. For more information, the website and the Visit Faroe Islands tourist office by the harbour are great places to start.

Tórshavn, island of Streymoy

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Faroe Islands, Dancing Between Sea & Sky - excerpt  

A picturesque archipelago between Norway and Iceland, the 18 tiny Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic Ocean beckon nature lovers, adventurer...

Faroe Islands, Dancing Between Sea & Sky - excerpt  

A picturesque archipelago between Norway and Iceland, the 18 tiny Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic Ocean beckon nature lovers, adventurer...