Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Orkney Islands

On Saturday night I arrived in the Orkney Islands. It was too late to see anything as the ferry pulled in, it docked about 11pm. I was exhausted, after traveling for about 24 hours, and just wanted to find my hostel and get to bed. Along the way I met some great people, and still am meeting great people. Meeting all kinds of people with all kinds of backgrounds is perhaps one of my favorite things of traveling.

Sunday morning really started my adventure here, and I learned that the Orkney Islands are a great place. Nearly everything was shut down because it was Sunday in Kirkwall, the small town I ended up staying in. Pubs and grocery stores were open, but not much else. Not that it mattered, not much in the mood for shopping anyway. I spent the entire day wandering around with the person I shared my hostel room with - an awesome girl from New Zealand. Though the one thing she wanted to do was missed, we still found plenty of fun in this small town.

Monday I started the day by getting up early and catching a bus to Scara Brae, a Neolithic site believed to be about 5,000 years old. Below is a picture of the ruins:

Mostly they are roped off, to keep people from walking through them so they'll last longer. They were buried under sand and discovered in about 1850 after a large storm blew away sand that was covering them.

From Scara Brae I started a 12.5 mile hike along the coast back to the next largest town, called Stromness. The scariest part for me was the cows. Early on in the hike I had to cross a pasture full of the things. It wouldn't have been too bad except as I approached, they all stood up and started watching me. Talk about creepy.

Along the way I came across more ruins, which could be walked around. It was another hut, but the roof has caved in along with most of the back end of the rock wall. Still neat to see though. All day long there was no rain. Odd, considering that all day yesterday there was plenty, along with wind. Locals have told me that I got lucky to have such a nice day for the walk, especially this late in September.

Today is my last day, tonight I head back to the mainland. It will be another night spent sleeping on the mode of transportation, but catching up on sleep hasn't been much of a problem yet.

I'll add more pictures next time, having computer problems and don't feel much like figuring them out right now.

1 comment:

alw_ays said...

You make this all sound so easy, I am beginning to feel jealous. Amazing picture; looking forward to more.