I recently have partnered with The Independent Traveller and am now leading the Eclipse Tour to the Faroe Islands in 2015. We went recently to explore the islands, to identify several potential eclipse viewing sites, and the many other logistical things that are required when finalising a tour. I find the islands a fascinating place – so remote yet very connected to the outside world. The islands are dramatic – you cannot escape nature here. The people are warm and welcoming, and I love the ‘land of maybe’ attitude – things may or may not happen, all depending upon the weather.
What is interesting about the islands is that people were not really aware of what was going to happen in 2015. We spoke to a lot of people, and I did an evening presentation about the eclipse and the locals are very keen to be involved. The media were very interested in interviewing us. The interest is there, but there is this interesting parallel perhaps related to the ‘land of maybe’ attitude that little has yet been centrally coordinated. This is changing, however. In the meantime, I’m still going to come across as that crazy lady who gets excited about something that is happening quite a long time in the future.
Another interesting thing about the Faroe Islands is that they experienced a Total Solar Eclipse in 1954 – within living memory. Many people we spoke to recalled their parents talking about the eclipse, or else experienced it for themselves. Our tour guide, Olaf, described how he was playing football outside with a few friends when it suddenly went dark. He recalled being terrified and running into the house. Others seemed to be aware that the eclipse was happening. It is certainly an amazingly beautiful place to observe a total eclipse. The weather is going to be a little bit of a challenge – the islands are renowned for unstable weather. You cannot predict the weather, nor can you control what happens. But what you can do is to obtain local guidance and plan what you can and have back up plans. Having been there, I am more confident about seeing the eclipse. Transport and communication networks are excellent, meaning you can easily relocate the night before / early morning based on the weather.
I can’t wait to return to these lovely islands. If it wasn’t for the eclipse, I probably would never have visited. Eclipse chasing certainly allows you to experience so much more in life and opens up to many rich experiences.