Lake Sørvágsvatn in Faroe Islands

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Sørvágsvatn (or Leitisvatn) is the biggest lake of the Faroe Islands, situated on the island of Vágar. It covers an area of 3.4 square km, more than three times the size of the second biggest lake Fjallavatn, which also lies on the island of Vágar.

The picture you see below is actually an optical illusion. It appears as if the lake is significantly higher than the ocean. In real, the lake is only 30 meter above the sea level, but the cliff facing the camera is 100 meters high. The position of the camera and the angle of the shot makes it seem like the lake is about the same level as the cliff.

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Here is an aerial shot of Lake Sørvágsvatn that gives a better picture.

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The lake itself is nothing spectacular, other than being the biggest one on Faroe Islands. It’s over 6 km long. The headlands on either side of the Lake drop precipitously from heights of 252 and 376 m. into the North Atlantic. From this perspective, we also have a head-on view of the Bøsdalafossur waterfall, which is the Lake's outlet into the ocean. Distant north and east of the Lake provide vistas of rugged parts of the island of Streymoy.

Among the locals there is a fierce debate regarding the name of the lake. The inhabitants of Sørvágur take pride in the fact that the lake is named after their village. On the other hand, the inhabitants of Miðvágur want to name the lake Leitisvatn, since, on their side of the lake, the land alongside the body of water is called Leiti.

Today it may seem strange to call the lake Sørvágsvatn given the fact, that the village of Miðvágur is situated closer to the lake, than the village of Sørvágur. The explanation to this is that the village of Sørvágur was settled before Miðvágur.

The locals mostly refer to Sørvágsvatn/Leitisvatn simply by calling it 'the Lake' (Vatni). Among the inhabitants on the island everyone knows what 'the Lake' is, and it is mostly when people from other parts of the Faroes refer to the lake - either by calling it Sørvágsvatn or Leitisvatn—that the debate will occur.

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16 comments:

  1. Such a beautiful place. How to get there and is there any accommodation for tourists?

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    1. Take a ferry from Hirtshals, Denmark, to the capital, Tórshavn, or fly Atlantic Airways from Copenhagen, Denmark to the only airport on Vágar Island.. There are many accommodations for tourist on any budget scale. Faroese and Danish are the official languages, but English is widely spoken.

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  2. This article makes it sound as if this is nothing truly stunning and beautiful...I'm sorry but regardless of the angles and what not somewhere there is a spot on this island that I can stand and see it just like these pictures...in all it's glory...Gods beautiful & stunning art work. Just look at it.

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  3. God doesn't exist

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    1. If God doesn't exist, then who created everything?

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    2. I created it idiot. So now you know............ Just because you dont know who created it does not meat you attribute it to a figment of your imagination called GOD!

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    3. Why do you sing yourself as anonymous, do you not exist ?

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    4. Whether you call it God, Allah, Mother Nature or some other Higher Power something created this world like no-other planet in the known Universe. Some will try and convince you that it was all created from some BIG bang but that is about as stupid and explanation as anything on record, because you will never get such order as we have here on Earth from chaos. As an example, If you don't believe it, take a simple deck of cards and throw them up in the air as much as you want for as long as you want and they will never fall into any kind of order that can be used to play even a child's game, unless you think 52 pick-up is an actual game. If so that tells me you are pretty slow and just can't comprehend what life is really about. LOL!!!

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    5. Oh lord... your idea of "order" may be chaos to other forms of life. Don't be so arrogant to think we aren't just the result of billions of years of atoms colliding with each other.

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  4. OMG! Hate it when every comment on every little thing has to be about whether you believe OR not. It's a friggin picture of a beautiful place!!!!

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    1. I understand how you feel. I'm a believer myself and may have made a remark about how beautiful God's creation is as well. Inevitably some hater has to come along and try to start a fight instead of simply enjoying that others are also enjoying this incredibly beautiful place in their own way. So sad.

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  5. Shut the F $#@ up and look at the beautiful creation.

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    1. You mean act of nature right?

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