Nata Vestnorden

Glaðari þú – sea swimming group from Iceland

December 2, 2022
Grants, News
December 2, 2022
Grants, News

Glaðari þú – trip from Iceland to the Faroe Islands on the 6th-9th of May 2022

We had an amazing time visiting the Faroe Islands in May. We were 30 Icelandic women and one Faroese woman who travelled from Iceland to the Faroe Islands to explore this beautiful country and to learn how the Faroese people may also be inspired to seek the health benefits of swimming in the cold sea surrounding their Islands.

Maria á Heygum is our inspiration

Our inspiration is Maria á Heygum, the 98 year old „swimming granny“ that still to this day goes to „dyppa“ in the sea near the elderly home where she now lives in Vestmanna. We wanted to visit her and to learn from her how it is to have gone swimming in the cold sea every day for 60 years.

Once we decided that we would visit Maria á Heygum, our schedule for the trip materialized with the help of Halla Nolsöe Poulsen, who is also a member of our sea swimming group “Glaðari þú” and the Faroese ambassador in Iceland. Halla was instrumental in establishing contacts and help us create a fantastic schedule for the trip in the Faroe Islands for our group and that we all enjoyed very much.

Aldan is our friendship sea swimming group

On Friday the 6th, we started our trip by meeting our newly formed “friendship sea swimming group” Aldan in Miðvagur immediately after our flight. We changed into our swimming costumes on the shore and went for a dypp with a few members of Aldan, whose members had also prepared coffee and cakes for us to enjoy after the swim. We really enjoyed meeting the members of Aldan and it was such a great start to our trip and a warm welcome to the Faroe Islands. We all decided together that Aldan would plan to meet us in Iceland sometime next year and we are all looking very much forward to welcome the members of Aldan in the same warm way in our country.

Just arrived at the Faroe Islands and already swimming in Miðvágur with Aldan. Photo: Glaðari þú

Swimming close to the capital Tórshavn in Gamla Hoyvíkin

On the Saturday we started our day by going sea swimming in Gamla Hoyvikin. The weather was wonderful, sunny and warm. We enjoyed a hot tub and a sauna, fresh fruit, bread buns and drinks, as well as an unexpected Ribb boat trip for a part of our group and dancing on the pier. We loved being introduced to Faroese ring dancing and we all danced one of those on the pier after our swim.

Sightseeing and visiting Faroese people

Saturday evening was spent at the home of Oli and Anna in Velbastað, where they invited our group into their home for tastes of a traditional Faroese meal. We enjoyed the evening at their beautiful home, where we were also entertained by a Faroese stand-up comedian Astrid. Very funny 🙂 After the visit in Velbastað we went to a town hall in Torshavn where we participated yet again in a traditional Faroese ring dance. We absolutely loved it and only wished we understood the language better in order to also being able to sing along to the powerful verses that were sung during the dance.

On Sunday was our most anticipated day, as we went to Vestmanna to visit Maria á Heygum. However, the day first started with a radio interview and the three of us, Halla, Margrét and Tinna where able to speak about our trip. We also had the opportunity to practice a little bit of our Faroese, but we made a decision NOT to speak English during the interview and it was a pleasure to discover that we could easily understand one another speaking “blandinavisk”.

Following the interview we drove to Vestmanna with our group to visit Maria á Heygum and this was such a great visit. We went swimming with Maria (Mia) and after our swim we were all invited into have hot chocolate, coffee and bread buns and spend some time with Mia chatting about our mutual love of sea swimming.  Mia is such an inspiration to us, and we truly have learned a lot from her. Namely – it is not necessary to always do such a lot or stay in the sea too long, they KEY is the consistency of going every day. This is now our new mantra. Thank you very much NATA for the travel support, we are very grateful for the grant we received.