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Kirkju to Hattarvíkar (The old village path)
The tour begins in Kirkju, a 3 hours hike and is moderate
Island Fugloy
Difficulty Moderate hike
Length 6 km
Pref. Wind South-west, West

The average hiking speed is 2 km per hour. This tour will take about 3 hours.

It was not so long ago that the people knew the land much better than they do now - And that is not so strange because men spent a great deal of time in the wilderness of the Faroe Islands. They attended to the grasslands, maintained the walking paths and walked in the mountains. In an age where people still used the burning Furness, they were all out in the grassy mountain landscape a great deal. The summer was used to attend to the cows. Those, who did not have daily routines, still gathered leisurely. Certain days during the summer were used to gather berries. Men raided birds and eggs. The people knew the local names of every hillside in their surroundings, were able to point out where they had been and what they had seen unfold in great detail. The stories told depended on the locally known names and were an integrate part of the experience.

Times change. Progress has undone many of the things, which were once considered natural. Today, many of the historical culture stories of the Faroe Islands are in danger of being forgotten and lost. For example, modern roads have replaced the several century old mountain pathways, which have now fallen into neglect and obscurity.

On "Fugloy" island there was once many pathways spread across the island. The path between the villages of "Kirkju" and "Hattarvík" were the ones, which most likely were used the most. This path from "Kirkju" begins by going midway from the village and up into the southern hills, which is just below the local area named "Bøgarðarnar", until you arrive at "Hvíthjalla". Thereafter, the path continues along the road next to a stonewalled fence and the local hills of "Bakkatromini" until you arrive at "Gjónna á Vaði" where a river is found. South of this river is the first of the locally constructed stone pile / rock formation landmarks, which were used to navigate the path.

"Kirkja" was the village where people celebrated the 13th day after Christmas. When the people from "Hattarvík" were done celebrating and were on their way back home, it was common for the people of "Kirkju" to join them as far as to the stone pile / rock formation landmark at "Gjónna á Vaði". Speeches were then given and this stone pile / rock formation landmark was used as a platform for this very purpose.
      People then proceed along the path further south through the grassy hillsides and south to "Fløtur" where the path divides into two. One of these paths goes up onto the local area known as "Kross". Non-local people are advised against of using this path, which leads around the cliffside.

West of the area is known as "Krossi". Locals also named it "Líkheyggur", which connotates the meaning of where the dead are places. A few stones mark the spot. This historic landmark marks the spot where men placed the coffins of those, who needed to be buried, and took a rest before they continued along the path between the villages.

Thereafter, people walked across "Krossin".

On the mountain row, which is above "Hattarvíkar", is a stone that looks like a man wearing a Faroese looking cap. It appears that his stone figurine of man bends down to tie his foot straps. A local legend tells that each time the rooster crows, this stone figurine turns around three times around himself. The stone figurine's appearance is best observed from "Hattarvík".

The path then continues down through the "Ryggir" and further down to "Krók". Here is the landmark known as "Gullheyggi", which is a plateau hillside with a small spot of what locals call the "blábryti" stone formation. Legend has it that this stone formation is a hidden entrance, which leads down to a gold deposit that is guarded by a great worm. The worm is so large that its tail resides within the mountain itself, its belly is under the gold and its head is in "Hattarvík". The legends also tells that if the gold was ever removed, the part of the Island of "Fugloy" known as "Eystfelli" will break of from the island as the worm will come to claim back the gold, which was stolen.

Again, the path continues along the local grassland stonewall of "Uppi í Krók" until the people came to "Skarðið" where a gateway in the stonewall allowed them to pass.

It is worth mentioning that the locals build landmarks in form of stone piles / rock formations all the way along the road between "Kirkju" and "Hattarvík" to better be able to navigate in bad weather conditions. Most of them have been reasonably preserved.

From "Skarðinum", the path leads to "á Heygg" where it splits into a crossroad. One path goes from "Skarðinum", another path leads down to "í Hús" along the church, the third path goes down to "Geilagarð" up at "í Húsi" in "Hattarvík" and the last path goes towards "Konugerðilið" and further to "á fløtur". It is also possible to see the sight of "Kjørbreyt" from the crossroad.

Today, some parts of the old paths have been completely lost due to the construction of modern roads.

Finally, it is also worth mentioning that the distance between the local stone pile / rock formation landmarks is so long that it is not possible to see the next one during dense fog in today's weather conditions. However, they were an indispensable aid to locals, who traveled in the darkness under the evening and night skies in ancient days.

Along the path are also a number of diverse places, each with its own name, history and legend: Stone houses, large rock formations, rivers and so on. A great many things were associated with this path during its time.

Jákup á F. Jacobsen

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Download and install Iphone / iOS users: please download and install the “Topo GPS” app. Then Buy the “Føroyakorti”, which is the map for the Faroe Islands. Price 29,00 DKK. Other / Android users: please download and install the “Great Britian” app. Then buy the “Føroyakorti” which is the map for the Faroe Islands. Price 29,00 DKK. How to use Use the app to open a downloaded hiking track. Safety Remember that the app is not a replacement for an original waterproof GPS unit. Not all smartphones can withstand the weather or being accidentally dropped / damaged.
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