Orkney - standing stones, Italian chapel
We stopped for quite a while at the Ring of Brodgar. This had a real
sense of power and was almost spooky, even with thirty tourists wandering
all over it. At the smaller Ring of Stenness we stopped just long enough
to get out of the bus and take photographs.
On the way back we stopped for an hour and a half in Kirkwall.
We started with a video on St Magnus in the exhibition centre.
That was ok, but the archaeological museum was much more interesting.
Arranged chronologically, this winds from room to room — only at the
end there's no exit, so you have to retrace your footsteps! There's also
a nice bookshop, where I was tempted by a history of Orkney and Camilla
bought a book of Orkney folk tales.
Heading back across the Churchill barriers, we stopped at "the Italian
chapel" at Lambholm, built by Italian prisoners-of-war during WWII,
using whatever materials they could get their hands on. I hadn't expected this to be that
exciting, but it's a genuinely lovely building and the story of how it
was built is moving.
On the way back we took photos from the bus. The return ferry trip was
a little rougher but not a problem — and we saw hundreds of seals all
Orkney hadn't been in our plans at all until
just two days earlier, when we saw a brochure advertising day tours for
just 34 pounds. But it turned out to be one of the highlights of our
time in Scotland, though the one day tour was frustratingly limited:
we could happily have spent a week in Orkney.
Next: Duncansby, Dunrobin, Loch Ness
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