Exploring cultures and communities – the slow way

In these days of discount airlines, we all expect to travel for next to nothing, except of course when we are flying to some far flung remote spot where there is absolutely no competition. So when hidden europe checked out domestic flights in the Faroe Islands last week, we expected to have to pay the earth to travel on the once a week flight from Froðba on the island of Suðeroy, at the south of the archipelago, to Hattarvík on Fugloy, the remotest island in the Faroes.

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Dear fellow travellers

In these days of discount airlines, we all expect to travel for next to nothing, except of course when we are flying to some far flung remote spot where there is absolutely no competition. So when hidden europe checked out domestic flights in the Faroe Islands last week, we expected to have to pay the earth to travel on the once a week flight from Froðba on the island of Suðeroy, at the south of the archipelago, to Hattarvík on Fugloy, the remotest island in the Faroes. We had already found a possible route to Fugloy involving three buses and three ferries, leaving at 12.35 pm and arriving at Hattarvík 22 hours later.

Then we checked with Atlantic Airways and saw that on Wednesdays you can catch a flight which coincidentally leaves Froðba at exactly the same time as the bus and touches down in Fugloy just one hour later. One way fare just 360 Faroese Kroner. That is about 49 EUR, all taxes included! Not bad for a flight that island-hops across the whole of the Faroes, dropping into tiny Stóra Dímun (population 5), the Faroese capital Tórshavn, and a bevy of other points en route. The last flight segment from Kirkja into Hattarvík is just three kilometres in length. The weekly flight, like other domestic services within the Faroes, is operated by a ten seater Bell helicopter.

The Froðba to Hattarvík flight operates year round, but only on Wednesdays. Surely there can be no other flight in Europe that offers such a festival of sightseeing, six intermediate landings and so much travel time saved for a mere 49 EUR. If you know one, do let us know.

After Ukraine now Georgia

In our last newsletter we announced that Ukraine would relax its visa regime for EU and Swiss citizens. Now it looks as though Georgia might be going to follow in Ukraine's footsteps. Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Kakha Sikharulidze told reporters at a news conference last week that the government will submit proposals to the Tbilisi Parliament in the coming days. Who knows how long that might take, but visa free travel to Georgia now looks like a tangible possibility by later this year.

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The May 2005 issue of hidden europe magazine will be published on 3 May. Subscribers to hidden europe's e-news will receive advance notification of the contents in our next newsletter which will be sent to you next week.

This article was published in Letter from Europe.

About The Authors

hidden europe

and Susanne Kries manage hidden europe, a Berlin-based editorial bureau that supplies text and images to media across Europe. Together they edit hidden europe magazine. Nicky and Susanne are dedicated slow travellers. They delight in discovering the exotic in the everyday.