Saturday, September 27, 2008


(Yes, I know it's not Friday, but there's a financial crisis going on here. How can I be expected to do anything while there's a financial crisis? I could have suspended this blog but I didn't. So there)

While I don't know how true this is in the Faroe Islands, a belief in trolls is not uncommon in many Scandinavian countries. Indeed there are stories of crews in Iceland having to change the course of roads because the pavement would destroy a troll's home.

In the Faroes, the village of Trøllanes gets its name from a legend involving, not surprisingly, trolls. Tradition has it the good people of Trøllanes were visited by trolls on each Twelfth Night (January 6th). The troll swarm was so unpleasant that the people of the village left town each January 6th to avoid it.

But one year an old woman was too weak to make the journey, so she remained behind. When she beheld the terrible sight of trolls dancing and singing, she exclaimed, "Jesus, have mercy on me!"

Upon hearing the name of "Jesus", the Trolls left the village and haven't been seen since. That's really a shame for the trolls, because there are some lovely views of the sea and other islands from Trøllanes. Just look at this...
But now the village is visited by something much more terrible than trolls. Something that scares me much more than any goblin ever could...
No, it's not that woman, it's the mysterious lumps behind her. It's something called Garnatálg and it looks pretty disturbing. Look at this close up...
Oh my! What exactly is that? Wikipedia describes Garnatálg as being "made with offal such as intestine, covered in a layer of fat and usually served in slices." Garnatálg is a specialty of Trøllanes, which may explain why only 27 people live there.

Don't get me wrong. I still want to visit the Faroes. And I'd really like to see Trøllanes. But I just might pass on the Garnatálg. Or is that the price of admission?



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