They call Singapore a “little red dot,” a reference to how it looks on some maps as being no bigger than a pinhead south of Malaysia. There’s an archipelago, however, whose locator dot nearly obliterates the islands from the map; halfway longitudinally between Norway and Iceland, north even of the Shetland Islands, are the Faroe Islands. More or less centered around 62° N latitude, this remote cluster of dots is supposed to be a hidden treasure in the North Atlantic. Eager to explore destinations laughably impractical from the US while I’m still in Europe (n.B.: Singapore, of course, is not at all laughably impractical), I set out northbound from Munich the day after I arrived back from my work trip to China.
I was fortunate to travel most of the weekends that I was in Stuttgart in 2011. In particular, much of my travel then (as even now, in hindsight) was focused on hiking locations, and there ended up being fewer actual visits to cities than what completed lists of suggested locations from friends would have shown. One such location was Barcelona: several friends described it as being their favorite city in their time abroad, but with mountains calling I never made it there. I finally was able to visit some friends who chose it as a temporary reprieve from the Illinois winter. Initially uneasy that I would give up on an already dry and warm winter, in hindsight I’m glad the trip worked out, because the city is a bright, lively destination. No wonder the locals stay out as long as they do!