I had a death grip on the steering wheel. My fingers clutched it tightly as I nervously leaned forward in my seat, my right foot hovering on the brake. I was slowly ringing the Faroese island of Streymoy, driving way below the recommended speed and snaking my way along the steep, craggy coastlines as the dark waters of the North Atlantic churned below.
“You know what we call this speed on the Faroe Islands?” Olí asked me as I rolled up to his farm. “Funeral speed,” he laughed, referring to the slow crawl of a funeral procession. “Now I understand why you were late.”
My first stop in the Faroe Islands was supposed to be dinner with Olí and his wife Anna, who regularly invite visitors into their home in the sleepy cliffside village of Velbastaður to experience heimablídni – home-cooked hospitality as part of a supper club they organise. But as my plane descended parallel to staggering cliffs on the island of Vágar, and as I watched waterfalls gracefully tumble down into the sea, I already sensed I was arriving at a place where surrendering control was inevitable.