Sunday, May 28, 2017

Scotland Day 8: Back on the Ferry

  Today we started with a more proper Scottish morning.  It was about 56°F and rainy.  Much better!  We were too early for the tour of Maeshowe Chambered Cairn so we took a quick stop at Loch of Harray.  There was a cute dog and a camper van.  Most of us were happy enough just looking at it from the parking area, but Jim ventured forth.  Can you find him in the picture?
   Turns out the first available time they had was at noon and we were hoping to get on the 10am one.  Since we are leaving later then we decided to go to another distillery since they only had two current expressions.  Though in true fashion for today, they didn’t open until 12:30pm.

   Orphir Round Church was another one of those things that we decided to go do since we had some time to kill.  The ferry’s earlier time was all booked, so we couldn’t move up our departure time.  We followed signs to the Earl’s Bu and Castle.
  It was everything promised.  There was a visible circle on the ground and some stones in a configuration that looked like it had once been a structure.  There were some lambs frolicking in the field nearby.

  Tomb of the Eagles was another fun trip back through time.  The first stop along the path was in the bronze age at a building that they feel was probably used as a community center and also used to make hot water.  There were a bunch of spots that were too small for beds, but looked like they would work for seating.

  The Tomb of Eagles was still very enclosed.  There was a tiny cart you laid on and pulled yourself in by rope.  It would have been nice if they had added a track or something because the little cart liked trying to run into a wall, not matter how hard you tried to aim down the middle.

  Scapa Distillery was a quick stop because while we didn’t want to get to the ferry too early, we also didn't have a lot of extra time.  Bill was happy because he was really hoping to get to one on the island.  He also got a bottle while we were there.  Below is a No Drinking and Driving sign we saw on our way in.

  While waiting for the ferry to load we had most of the windows closed and only the driver’s side fully open.  I saw something that looked like a small rock fly into the car but Jim didn’t seem to notice.  Upon further inspection it turned out that it was bird poop.  The bird had managed to hit him on his rain jacket about 8 inches inside the car without hitting any part of the car.  Nothing on the outside or on the seat belt.  There wasn’t even that much of a breeze.  That was one very talented bird.

  We got to be first on the boat this time!  The water was a bit rougher this time, so we got to see these more calm areas.  Once we got closer it almost looked like something bubbling up.  Bill thought it might be oil.
  We were also on the boat with impulsARTive.  Another website that needs to be translated unless you read German.  He was a really nice guy and had some good stories.  He had his website on his jacket and his UN vehicle.  If you go under “Active” you can see his travel log.

  We went to dinner at the Y Not restaurant.  Why? Because why not!  I got the Aloo Saag burger which was pretty much a giant falafel on a burger bun.  It was quite good.

  The lady who runs the Pentland Lodge House where we are staying really likes rocks and puts a particular rock from a variety of her favorite beaches in each room.  We have three stones of different sizes in our room.
  Pictured above are two stones I have collected from this trip.  The one on the left is from Arthur’s Seat, and the one on the right is from where we crossed to walk to the Brough of Birsay.  They are both smaller than my palm and fit nicely in my pockets.

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