Shetland, Orkney, and Faroe Islands
week commencing 30.6.14
As you know I left Scotland, port of Aberdeen on Friday evening and after 2 hours of waiting and 12 hours of sailing and connecting with some wonderful people at the port and on the board of the ship which I got a bit sea sick after sitting in front of the ferry for long and with high waves and turbulence sea so I had to seek a quieter place to rest before I throw up, but anyway we arrived next day morning in a wonderful little town of Lerwick the new capital of Shetland Islands.
Afterwards I couldn’t speak to the captain, but I managed to say goodbye to some of the crew and headed out towards the town centre, on my way I managed to speak to the manager of a Co-op and he very kindly offered me to chose some food and drinks enough for few days,so after a lot of appreciation I said goodbye to them, and I headed further towards the town centre from the seafront, and it was here that I started asking people and companies to see if any of their fishing boat, yacht or ships go towards the Faroe Islands, but with no luck.
On my way towards the harbour office I got in touch with a local photographer and he had asked me few questions and taken some photos and then I got in touch with a local cultural centre as well and from there I enquired a bit more about other places which might connect me to the Faroe Islands, and then finally I got in touch with a controller from the port authority as the office was closed and he very kindly told me that the only chance will be a fishing boat or a private yacht, otherwise there isn’t any other way for me to get to my next destination from there.
So after I got that news I tried to get in touch with few private yachts and fishing boats but with no luck I headed towards another community cafe and then a local market in famous fort william which I managed to get in touch with a few more wonderful people and they all were kind and supportive and even I got in touch with a photographer for the local Shetland news as well, who knew the photographer which I met earlier as well.
Then I headed out towards a hostel in some other part of the town and after getting in touch with people who were looking after it I was told that they wouldn’t be able to help me to stay there for the night, so not far from there was a local funeral centre and I stayed there for a bit and I managed to speak to a local and he wasn’t happy about the town council and he was saying it is controlling everything and they are not very good at helping people, so after resting a bit there and eating some more of the wonderful food which I got earlier from the co op, then I made my way towards the harbour again a place which earlier in the afternoon I was there which was a music festival set up place, and by the time I got there everything was finished so I managed to speak to a person who knew about the scaffolding music stage and I told him about my story and I said I have asked a lot of B and B and guest house and even some hotels and they all do not have any place for me to stay so I’ll make this stage my peace stage for the night, and he was happy for me to do so.
I managed to speak to a lot of people and also I was offered a lot of fish and chips but by 3am the situation got a bit out of hand so I have to abandon the place to avoid any problem with people who were under the influence of alcohol, then I headed towards another quieter place in the harbour area.
So I managed to stay awake till next day monday morning and I tried to connect with some other part of the harbour and the marina area trying to find a way out to connect with Faroe Islands, but with no luck throughout all the area I tried to get back to the town centre and near to the main port authority area to see a yacht race back to Bergen in Norway on time, so it was here near to the marina area which I met this wonderful person and after explaining what I was doing, then she told me she will take me back to the race area and I thanked her after coming back to get me with her friend to be on time for the race, but when I got back to the town, there was these massive cruise ship, which drawn my attention towards it and I couldn’t see the race after all and I tried to get in touch with the captain of the ship through some of the people outside the ship at the pier, which some small boats were bringing people to the pier and taking them back to the ship from the harbour with these little boats, and it was a restricted area for me to go to see the captain with security people from the port and the ship, so I tried to do some meditation with my board and tried to send a message to the captain through the ship’s security but later on I got some apples and oranges and no sign of me getting in touch with the captain, and the ship security told me it’ll will be very difficult for me to get on board due to a lot of officiality and paper works, so I decided to abandon the idea and headed out to find other alternatives.
By now the time was about 5pm and I headed out towards the second largest town in the shetland islands and it is Scalloway, so on my way through the town towards there I came across a wonderful woman who has seen me from the night before in the town and wanted to know how she can help me, so I told her what I was going to do, and she very kindly connected me with the old capital’s harbour of Shetland (Scalloway), and by the time I got there the harbour was closed and I tried to get in touch with a community based place so I could put my head down for the night and I came across a floating ship in the harbour which was used to accommodate workers for an oil rig and I went there and tried to speak to the people over there and they told me they can’t provide me with a place for the night but they kindly helped me with some food and drinks and recommended few place for me to visit in the hope that I can put my head down for the night.
After asking and looking at few places finally I got in touch with a methodist church and the organisers very kindly helped me to stay in their hall (Leslie hall) for the night, and it was here that I came across a person who told me I should visit this town in a hope I might be able to get to my next destination, which it did help after he told the others in the congregation he has seen me in the ferry and I should visit here to see if the people here could help me, in terms of shelter and maybe sailing connection.
But anyway I managed to put my head down for the night and then next day I managed to get in touch with the port authority which the day before I couldn’t see anyone due to closure.
After waking up and having something I managed to head out towards the harbour and in there I managed to speak to two wonderful people in the office and they very kindly gave me some contact details in the town and some other harbours around the islands, and also told me to come back next day to see two more people who might have more contact details which I did and I thanked them and even next day despite getting in touch with other two people but they didn’t have much information, anyway I managed to go and explore the little town including the shetland bus memorial and the marina collage and few other people, and more of the old capital for a bit more and get in touch with some more wonderful people and then back to my resting place for the night.
Next day as I said I got in touch with the other two people from the harbour but with no further information, I tried to make my way back towards the Lerwick and it was today that I saw the torch for commonwealth were here in the old capital and earlier I came across some people by the museum and the castle, which were coming from norway and I spoke to them about my journey, and then I headed out.
On my way after some walk a wonderful couple who knew me from the day before at the church stopped and kindly connected me back to the town and when I got back there I saw another cruise ship which was in the harbour so I tried to get in touch with the captain but again the security people in the harbour which they knew me from before told me not to approach and I was told to get in touch with the people who might be able to help me to speak to the captain.
So it was today that I wanted to know how and what’s the best way to get in touch with the people so called the agents who provide security for the cruise ship and those who make all the arrangements? so I started by walking towards their office and after some miles I managed to get in touch with them but they told me they can’t get in touch with the captain and they gave me a list of companies and people for me to contact to see if they might be able to help me to connect with the Faroe Islands.
They kindly brought me back to the main harbour area and I got in touch with the first company and they told me they don’t have any connection with the Faroe Islands so I started to walk back towards the town and on my way I spoke to the second person from another agent and he told me that they don’t have any connection either, but if he finds any will let me know, so it was today that I decided to go and speak to the manager at the harbour office which since my arrival day haven’t managed to speak to them at the port authority, so after some walk again I got in touch with them in the town, and he told me he wouldn’t be able to help and they don’t have much connection either and the chance from the mainland would be much better than here, unless a private yacht, which is very difficult to get hold of them as well.
It was here that I headed back towards the harbour area where I came in and on my way I came across this wonderful person who gave me a lift to the town few days back and she told me to let her know if I didn’t made it out of the Island, so I could stay in her place.
I got back in touch with the north link and I told them my situation and I said to them I wanted to get back to the mainland Scotland in Scrabster and they said to me that they don’t have it for today but tomorrow night they have one to Orkney and then next day to mainland, which I appreciated them and I accepted it and then said goodbye to them and tried to get in touch with this person who offered me a shelter for the night earlier in the town, but with no luck with her, and no luck with the north harbours connection as well, so I managed to meditated till next day around the town in a container at the back of coop, and then got back to the ferry office next day and they very kindly offered me the connection to the Orkney and then Scotland the following day, which I was happy to get out of an Island, which I thought I´ll be able to get closer to Faroese and found out it was the most difficult to connect with the islands.
So after going around the town again for the last time and specially in a shopping area to connect with some more local people before I head out of the town, I managed to speak to some people and then get in touch with a wonderful person who offered me a shelter for the night but it never finalized and she again asked me if she could help in any way, and I asked her to get me a fish and chips as my last meal of the shetland Island if it is ok, and she very kindly made her way by cycling and bringing one at the last minute before the ferry leaves the islands at about 5pm, so after thanking her and saying goodbye to her and the islands I headed on to the board of the ferry and I had my wonderful fish and chips on the board of the ship and waited on board till about 11pm where I have to say goodbye and it was the end of my rocky sea journey here in Kirkwall in Orkney and I have to wait for a bus till about 11:30pm, which then after speaking to the driver he very kindly helped me to get to Stromness the capital, so I can connect back to the mainland scotland next day.
When I got there I had a very short walk from the harbour to the town and I went to a local restaurant and inn and they kindly offered me some dried food and drinks, and they told me they haven’t got any place to offer me, but they told me about a hostel not far from there and I said goodbye to them and headed towards the hostel (http://www.brownsorkney.co.uk/), which finally I managed to find and through a wonderful Australian woman I got connected to another wonderful woman who was looking after the place, and she very kindly offered me a place for the night to put my head down, after I explained what I was doing, and why I was there?
Next day I managed to take a shower and headed towards the port and the ferry was waiting for me and at about 11am we start another sail back to the mainland scotland and after about an hour and half of sail we were in Scrabster, on board of the north link ship I managed to connect to some wonderful people including a cyclist from switzerland, then at the port I asked for the harbour master and port office which was in a walking distance and I managed to connect with him and he very kindly told me to get in touch with ASCO office (http://www.ascoworld.com/) and I managed to get connected with them and they very kindly helped me to contact Faroese office on my behalf and arrange with them if they could help me to connect me with Faroe Islands, so after five days of waiting and connceting with so many wonderful people from Scrabster, Thurso and some other parts of the scotland, which they were one of the most helpful people I had come across, I can’t name everyone but they all know who they are far, around the port and Thurso, but list to mention are specially the manager of the port Gorden and everyone else at the port, Colin from fishermen’s mission (www.fishermenmission.org.uk), all the staff from the ASCO office and everyone at the fish market at the harbour specially Darren, and all the other fishing crews who they have all contributed towards my stay and continuation of my peace journey north, and here as well I would like to thank all the wonderful crew and the captains of the cargo ship of fresh link Silver Fjord (http://www.freshlink.fo/), for all their kindness and dedication towards my peace journey.
week coming 7.7.14
Finally after 28 hours on the board of Silver Fjord I put my foot down on a Faroe Islands in a little town of Runavik, and after connecting with the harbour office they very kindly helped me to put my head down for the night.
Next day close to the mid day I headed out towards the capital Torshavn, but I came across a wonderful local DIY man in the the town, who very kindly offered me a visit to another fishing town in the north of the islands, before I head on towards the capital, then on my way towards Torshavn after some walking I got connected to some more wonderful people who helped me to get to the capital.
Here in the capital I managed to get in touch with the port office and a wonderful person who was a duty manager of the harbour very kindly tried to find out if they can help me to connect with Iceland but after speaking to his line manager he told me they can’t help and he was very upset and disappointed about it and instead he very kindly offered me to find a place for me to put my head down for the night, and he told me that was least he could helped me with and I very much appreciated and thanked him for the shelter for the night in a so called love hostel in the capital, also he advised me to get in touch with the mayor who might be a best person to be able help me to connect with my next destination “Iceland”.
Next day as a matter of priority I headed towards the mayors office and after some time of waiting in front of his office and trying to connect with the locals and other peoples around the area,I managed to arrange with his deputy to see the mayor for just about 5 minutes and that was enough for me to tell them all about my story and why I was there, and that meet up later was put by their journalist on the mayor’s office website (http://www.torshavn.fo/Default.aspx?pageid=37&NewsItemID=4974), and has made a headline in their website with a photo of me with him in front of the mayors building and it managed to clear a question mark over me and my board in a round about which someone has already put me in a newspaper a day before, so everything was now clear through the mayor’s office and the deputy mayor tried his best to link me with couple of connection and despite those connection weren’t available, but he very kindly did his best to help me to connect with Iceland, also I have to say I was offered a wonderful open buffet from their kitchen, and then some fruits and drink as well, and their anual bussness report magazine then I said goodbye and headed towards the office of a shipping company (http://eimskip.is/fo/Pages/default.aspx), which was famous for their connection with Iceland and when I got there, the manager a wonderful woman was there, while the deputy mayor was trying to get hold of her few time with no luck, but here we go she was in her office and she very kindly offered me to send my details to the Icelandic shipping company and she said she will wait for their response, and she told me she doesn’t guarantee they will take me, but I said if you ask them there would be no harm done, and she did very kindly also she offered me some famous mix english chocolate as well, then I said goodbye to her, and thanked her for all her support and now it was just matter of waiting for an answer.
As the day was coming to an end I have to find a place to put my head down and I have heard the day before from the harbour duty manager that there is a salvation army where they help people with no place to stay, so I did ask few wonderful local and I got in touch with them and their night shift people very kindly took me on board and offered me a place to put my head down for the night.
Today I managed to explore the town a bit more and then at about 5pm I came back to the place where I was resting last night and I spoke to some new wonderful people who were running the place and they very kindly offered me some wonderful fish food, and then I asked them if I can make a phone call to the manager of Faroe ship and they kindly helped me with that and it was here that the wonderful manager told me that the Icelandic shiping company ( http://eimskip.is/EN/export/default.html) has kindly accepted to take me to Iceland next day on Sunday 9pm, I was over the moon, and I broke the news to the people at the salvation army place (https://www.flickr.com/photos/redisch/5078007580/), that I was staying and they were quite happy for me and my connection also they very kindly offered me to wash my cloth as well, then I had a shower and watched some football again in a local Irish pub, then said goodnight to the universe and everyone else around me and rested for the night in the salvation army place.
Sunday 13.7.14 I woke up and had some wonderful food and headed out to explore another part of the wonderful capital torshavn before I say goodbye to Faroe Islands for the last time, then later on I connected with my resting place for another wonderful evening meal and then I thanked everyone in the salvation army and headed towards the Irish pub before I connect with the harbour.
After watching another episode of the world cup final, and connecting with some wonderful people local and from other part of the world at the pub I said goodbye to people over there and I headed towards the port and just about 9pm I got my connection with my mighty second cargo ship and this time towards Iceland, a mighty place, where a lot of people across my peace journey back in England, Wales, and even Ireland were asking me how am I going to get there? and my answer to them all was simple! I don’t have to worry about it now when I get to Scotland those people will help me how to get there! as they have had that connection for hundreds of years if not thousand! so here we go turned out was absolutely right just needed a little of patient and courage, for that to happen.
So after being on the sea for 36 hours and having a private cabin for the duration of my peace journey and enjoying talking to the crews and the captain, and eating food and drink on this mighty ship and very nice and friendly people, also I have to say the chief (cook) was wonderful, but as I was coming to have my meal I was not knowingly sitting on the captain table and he told me next day that that table is for the captain and his deputy so when I am here in the kitchen I should sit on the other tables and I said to him no problem Mr Cook.
I also managed to have a conversation with the captain about the whale situation in Iceland, as I had that conversation with the Faroes as well, because in Scotland some wonderful Scottish people told me be careful with the Faroes as you are going there, they are not treating whales very well, and I told them no problem I’ll have a word with them and will find out their side of the story, which I did and they had their own reason for why that is happening? (for the Faroes their ancestry has done that for generation and as long as they do it in a moderation will be a good balance, but with the Icelandic they were not happy that American are doing it and no one is telling them off, but for them everyone is complaining, which they weren’t happy about it, anyway I said I am not pro whale hunting at all unless a whale is about to lose their life and we can´t bring their life back in anyway, so I don’t have an argument with that,!? but overall I am more happy to be a vegetarian then meat eater, but due to circumstance I haven’t yet adopted it.
So my wonderful people across the planet earth that was how I got to touch down my foot on the land of Ice, volcano and aurora (northern light).
Watch out for more updates from this land and see how my dream of saying goodbye to this kind peaceful nation with a very good memories let them down by their forces, which they became forth in terms of showing a bad example across my peace journey from Saudis, Israelis, Hungarian and now Icelandic, who locked me in a cell fo 14 hours without offering me even a glass of free icelandic natural water, and also they have taken more than 100 items on my candle peace vigil night in front of their parliament and least to mention the most important one to me is my galexy note that I was able to update and sent photos out, and it has got the footage of how the rampaged the Syrian refugee camp look alike peace tent number 3 and my famous KSA peace tent number 1, and my super big rainbow umbrella, while Saudis offered me food and drinks also Israelis offered me a bottle of water, Icelandics matched their European counterpart Hungarian in not offering anything don’t you think why!?
Watch out for more stories as I go along through the footsteps of vikings here in Reykjavik and Iceland as a whole.
with much love and peace
your humbled Earthian brother