Learning to Drive in the Faroe Islands

The sunset from the Old Mountain Road from Gøta to Leirvik.

The sunset from the Old Mountain Road from Gøta to Leirvik.

We parked on the old mountain road, where sheep and lambs frolicked beneath us as the sun set on the sea between the islands. Unfortunately, I wasn’t there to enjoy the view. I was there to learn to drive.

As I processed that information, the scene seemed to shift from idyllic to terrifying before my eyes. The narrow road angled down, steeply to my eyes, and with a slight but definite curve on top of that. To the left of the road was mountain, to the right, a little guardrail all that stood between us and the sea. I felt dizzy just thinking about getting behind the wheel — and that wasn’t even factoring in the obstacle course: a couple walking on the side of the road, the lambs crossing here and there at will, the trawling lines laid out for reorganization just a bit farther ahead.

Trawling lines laid out for reorganization on the Old Mountain Road between Gøta and Leirvik.

Trawling lines laid out for reorganization on the Old Mountain Road between Gøta and Leirvik.

“I can’t do this,” I said. “Isn’t there some place flatter?”

“What?” said my friend Uni. “This is flat!”

“…”

“This is where I learned to drive!” he continued.

“Great, you are a superior human being,” I said, swallowing my pride for once in my life. “I can’t drive here. Not the first time.”

The harbor, then. Late at night. The closest thing the Faroes had to the huge, flat, empty church parking lot where I’d first learned to drive automatic almost a decade ago. Here, there was just barely enough room to get up to third gear before having to turn before we went into the ocean. Perfect.

Bitstrips Driving

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