Saturday, May 27, 2017

Scotland Day 7: Walking to an Island

   Got up and had a nice shower before a buffet style breakfast.  Our first stop was the Stones of Stenness.  Oddly enough, there were a few sheep munching the grass around them or leaning on them.  There were more babies in the next field over.

  We took a quick walk to an area that had the ruins of a neolithic village.  There was not much left of the Barnhouse Village, though it was interesting to see the general layouts of the insides.

 A quick drive down the road lead us to the Ring of Brodgar which was a circle of stones on a hill.  It is a current archeological dig, so that is why there was a fence around it.  Most of the stones were still standing but a few have become more fragile over time and have broken.  We left just in time because as we were headed down, a whole tour bus was headed up.  A bit harder to take nice pictures with 20 strangers wandering around on a hill trying to do the same thing.
  Heather had a picture in mind that she wanted to take.  It would have been at these stones at either sun rise or sun set.  The only draw back was that the sun rose at 3am and didn't set again until about 10:30pm.  She might have been willing to do it if we had been staying another night and could stay up late then sleep in.

  Skara Brae was our next stop.  We just had to take a quick walk back in time so we could visit this little settlement.  The problem seemed to be that we didn’t walk far enough back because the place was in ruins and there was no one home.  Well, that isn’t right.  I saw a bunny in one of the houses.  I didn’t have enough zoom to get a picture of him in the doorway, but it was really cute.  The houses looked like they had all been connected.

  We then walked up the path to Skaill House.  It was really interesting that photography was allowed inside.  The house is the manor home of a Scottish Lord.

  Yesnaby place was nothing but amazing views.  There was also a group getting ready to go either snorkeling or scuba diving.  The walk was about four miles and took a bit because everything was just so pretty and I had to take a million pictures.  This is another spot that I would not mind going back to.  Castle Rock was really interesting because when you first came up on it all you saw was a tall rock.  As you kept walking around you saw the hole in it near the base.
   We needed to keep an eye on time so we could get everything done we wanted to before it all closed for the day, so lunch was MREs in the car.  It was a bit too windy to eat them outside, but the view was nice.  I had the cheese tortellini, it was the first I’ve had in awhile.

  Orkney Wine Company and the Italian Church were down the same small road.  We stopped in and I got some special yarn.  The sheep eat seaweed and are on a small island.  Heather and I also tried some brandies and liquors and each got a few.  I also got more yarn gifts for people, the price wasn’t too bad and comes with a fun story.

  It was a small, but interesting church.  The walls were just flat but were painted to look like nice stone work and bricks.  It looked very expensive on the inside.  The walls are delicate but have semi-recently received a touch-up since it had been built back in World War II.

  There was some time to kill before low tide so we took a drive all the way out to Broch of Gurness.  On the way there we passed under something that looked like a giant hedge with an arch cut out for the cars to go under it.
   The actual broch is really interesting.  It seems that when one was doing well they would build up and their neighbors were close enough that they could show off.  The view also wasn’t too bad.  The center structure was a big meeting hall, and the smaller ones houses.

  The reason we had to wait to get to Brough of Birsay was because it is on a island.  An island that you can walk to.  It is a bit of a long walk, but cool  They have a path that leads to the smooth rocks that are normally underwater.  The lighthouse itself was alright.  I was hoping for something taller, but it doesn’t need to be since the island was a tall hill.
  The sign said that there were no dogs allowed past a certain point on the island because there were sheep grazing.  Though it wasn’t a tiny island, it was big enough that you couldn’t really hide sheep on it.  We saw signs of sheep, but not recent ones.
  There is also a sign that tells you to call the emergency number and ask for the coast guard if you get stuck on the island.  Heather and I think it would be a good idea to open a tea room/lodge for the island.  Anyone who gets tired can stop in for tea, or someone can stay the night if they get stuck and don’t feel the need to hurry back until low tide again.

  It was getting late enough that we were all hungry and other things in the area were closing.  We had dinner at the Indian place again because the place that had fajitas needed reservations.  The Saag Balti was really good.

  After that I wanted to get more of that Volvic Juiced.  It was so nice.  A lot like if you were eating an orange.  You get the fresh orange flavor, but it is light and not overpoweringly sweet.  I have also heard talk of a Pimm’s Cup.  The Tesco Bill and I walked to had some in a can.  I decided to give it a try.  It is Pimm’s No.1 Spirit Drink mixed with lemonade.  The closest thing I can compare it to is if you took a spiced rum and mixed it with lightly carbonated lemon soda.  I like it.
  We still have two more things to get done on the island before we catch the ferry back, so it will be another early morning.  Hopefully it won’t be as sunny and my sunburn won’t get any worse.  People have actually been apologizing about how sunny and warm it has been.

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