31 August 2014

Islands of -ithics

So, the Orkneys are basically big windy cattle and sheep farms on islands, but seething with 5000 year old monuments and ruins.

Getting there involved driving onto a ferry - a first for me, and one of those things that could do with a little handy 'this is how it works' dot point list on the back of your ticket.  While it is remarkably straightforward, it would be even easier if we'd known little things beforehand, like when you're allowed to get out of your car.

We had beautiful weather for our first full day there.  I must admit that Skara Brae reminded me strongly of a mini-golf course.  Though being wedged between two groups from cruise ships probably helped that impression along.

We went on from there to the Ring of Brodgar, and really enjoyed that, both for the relative solitude, and for the lovely circuit walk through fields and along the edge of the nearest loch.

My favourite walk, however, was next day, when we went to visit the Tomb of the Eagles.  Getting into the Tomb was a little...challenging.

The fun part was the cliff walk back, since the sunny weather of the previous day had been replaced by a blasting gale.  But the direction of the wind was 'in' not 'over the cliff you go', and was really spectacular - we were at the same height that the local sea birds were hovering, which is always incredible to watch.

There is a ton of stuff to see on the Orkneys - I wish we'd scheduled more time there.

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