Underwater tunnel & Faroe Islands tunnels:
Underneath the North Atlantic Ocean lies a series of sub-aquatic tunnels, connecting the rugged islands that comprise the northerly Faroe Islands archipelago.
After more than three years of construction, the new tunnel network is due to open on December 19th 2020
The new Eysturoy tunnel network has already caused a splash, thanks to newly released photos of its centre point — a striking sub-aquatic traffic roundabout: illuminated, turquoise-blue and some 187 meters under the sea.
The lights, colors and ethereal design makes the structure look otherworldly and people have started referring to it as The Jellyfish. Which is exactly what it looks like, a giant one!
The 11-kilometer-long tunnel will likely be a welcome development for locals, shortening the 64-minute drive from Tórshavn — the capital of the Faroes — on the isle Streymoy, to the hubs of Runavík and Strendur, on the isle of Eysturoy, to just 16 minutes.
And for tourists, the dazzling traffic circle could become yet another reason to visit this Danish autonomous territory, already known for beautiful scenery and wildlife.
Those using the tunnels will be required to pay a toll fee. Local.fo, a Faroese news website, reports that passenger cars will have to pay 75 Danish Krona one way.
Locals can sign up to a subscription which makes it cheaper.
The tunnel is a two-laned undersea tunnel that has three tubes which meet at an underwater roundabout, 72.6 metres below the surface of the Skálafjørður fjord.
The tunnel is 2,153 metres long from the entrance at Rókini in Saltnes to the roundabout, and the distance from Sjógv at Strendur to the roundabout is 1,625 metres. The main branch from Tórshavn to the roundabout measures 7,460 metres and resurfaces by the village of Hvítanes. This results in an overall road length of 11.238 kilometres, making it currently the 2nd-longest sub-sea road tunnel in the world, surpassed only by the Ryfast tunnel at Stavanger in Norway. The roundabout is the world’s first sub-sea roundabout , which is pretty cool fact and it certainly is unique!
Each tunnel portal features a sequence of freestanding concrete and lit arches, as landmarks.
The traffic circle, located at the centre of the tunnel network, was designed by local artist Trondur Patursson. It’s made of natural rock, just like the wider tunnel network.
The colours regularly change from blue, yellow and green and the lights dance, creating a dazzling effect. I only hope they have installed pull in points where you can stop and enjoy the spectacle, otherwise I guess you have to just take a few turns around the roundabout, like being on a fair ride!!!? This could slow down traffic, but weight of traffic is not such a big issue in the Faroe Islands the roads are impressively clear/empty 😊
Art in the tunnel
The roundabout is fitted with metal artwork by the renowned Faroese artist Tróndur Patursson, as well as lighting effects. The artwork is an 80-metre (260 ft) piece which he custom-made for the tunnel, featuring a combination of human silhouettes and light effects. The metal plates will be allowed to oxidise and change colour. The Norðoyatunnilin tunnel, which opened in 2006, also includes some of Patursson’s light art.
Teitur Samuelsen, CEO of Estunlar, the company constructing the tunnels, said he talked to Patursson about designing the roundabout.
“I spoke to Tróndur Patursson about it. The art symbolizes among other things the people walking from the darkness toward the light. Which means that every person shall use their skills here in life for something,”
“It also symbolizes the Faroes chain dance, where people hold hands, and when the Faroese hold hands – working together – we are able to do more together than individually.
“The Faroese history has from the old days not been written down, but is told from generation to generation in the ballads to the Faroese chain dance.”
About the artist: Tróndur Patursson – recognizable abstracts
Tróndur Patursson is ‘nature-inspired’ in the sense that he feels inspired to render visible that which is essential – the metaphysical and spiritual dimensions – behind nature’s visible forms of manifestation. What is especially characteristic of Tróndur Patursson’s artworks is that the artist has animated them with his distinctly cosmic sensibility about nature. This has always been a vital part of his being. Even more than this, he has nurtured this sensibility in his mind through participating in a number of extraordinary expeditions across the globe’s vast oceans with the Irish seafarer Tim Severin. Tróndur Patursson’s overall artistic profit from his sea travels with Severin manifests itself as a strengthening of the “ocean feeling”, which means to say, of that cosmic sensibility about nature that constitutes his true basis of his artistic work. www.trondurpatursson.dk
The Eysturoy Tunnel opened on December 19, 2020 and it’ll be followed in a few years’ time by the still-in-construction Sandoy Tunnel, which will link Streymoy to the isle of Sandoy.
The Jelly Fish – I love the fact that something as mundane as a roundabout, even though it is already special as it is sub-aquatic, has been enhanced / turned into a feature , to make it interesting and cool, I personally cannot wait to see it, definitely added to my to do list 😊
Here are some fun facts about the Faroe Islands:
Where are the Faroe Islands
The Faroe or Faeroe Islands are a North Atlantic archipelago located 320 kilometer’s (200 mi) north-northwest of Scotland, and about halfway between Norway and Iceland. Like Greenland, they are an autonomous territory within the Kingdom of Denmark.
Who own the Faroe Islands
Like Greenland, they are an autonomous territory within the Kingdom of Denmark.
Population of Faroe Islands
Locals say there is no rational explanation for settlement on the Faroe Islands; the islands are far too remote, far too small, far too hostile for hum ans. They are perfect for birds of passage, not for tenants! And yet there are, 48,000 people who braved and live on the islands in adverse circumstances over many centuries.
Faroe Islanders are family-orientated, down to earth and have a high regard for tradition.
An important characteristic about Faroe Islanders is their openness towards visiting tourists. Faroe Islanders are proud of their country and culture and are eager to show visitors the best of what the Faroe Islands have to offer.
I have visited the Faroes and find the islands enchanting and stunning. I love the way that the locals can make something quite mundane interesting, giving it a twist and surprising you, in a good way ! 😊
Art is a universal means of expression. The need to express creative ideas is as old as mankind. There is little evidence as to what exactly triggers creativity; is it the everyday impressions of nature, ocean, weather, light, colours, horizon, and mountains, that embrace us? Or is it simply the urge of the individual to excel? Who can tell but I find it delightful that our lives can be touched unexpectedly by some form of art every day!
I hope you enjoyed reading this Blog, Caroline@nonnitravel.is