Shoreline Orkney

Shoreline Orkney

We were welcomed ashore by a kilted piper. We had booked a tour around the island and once again we had a charming guide. Marita told us that she was a German who had come to the Orkneys on a study course more than twenty years previously and had loved it so much that she had been there ever since!

Farmhouse

Farmhouse

I had expected it to be mountains and rocks so was pleasantly surprised by the gentle slopes and very green fertile looking countryside. There are few trees as it is so windy and has severe gales at times.

Everything gave the impression of careful husbanding of their resources with fields of healthy looking sheep and cattle.

There are many smaller islands around the main island, I believe there are over seventy islands in the Orkneys.

Marita had as one of her jobs been a collector of folk tales and entertained us with stories of the Seal folk and the Fin people.

We drove along the shores of Scapa Flow and saw the Kitchener memorial where Lord Kitchener was drowned in WW1 when “The Hampshire” was lost, and the memorial marking the sinking of “Royal Oak” in WW2. I had wondered how Marita would cope with that, being German, but she handled it very well. I remembered a friend from my childhood whose father was lost on “Royal Oak” a week before Billy was born, and he always referred to him as “my picture daddy”.

Driving inland we saw the Ring of Brognar and Standing Stones of Stennes, signs of an ancient civilisation said to predate Stonehenge.

Standing Stones Notice

Standing Stones Notice

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Standing Stones of Stennes

Standing Stones of Stennes

We were impressed by the friendliness of the people and gentle beauty of these islands and would be interested to see how different it would be in a raging gale.

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