From to Kirkwall to Lerwick, June 19 to 22.
Our last full day in the Orkney Islands was good riding and visiting historic sites. Settlements in the Orkneys date back to 3500 BC. We did a loop of the main island that took us to the Ring of Brodgar, an old circle of stones, like Stonehenge, but smaller stones, and to Skara Brae, the remains of a very old settlement.
The next day we kicked around town, went to a great play in the evening and boarded the 11:45pm overnight ferry to the Shetland Islands. We chatted with the Swiss cyclists we keep running into and slept well in our cozy cabin.
We arrived in Lerwick to wet, cloudy and windy weather. After leaving our bags at the B & B, we set off for a ride south. About an hour later we abandoned that idea: too wet, cold, windy and foggy. We could not see anything and in the hills the fog was dense and we feared for our safety on the highway. Back to a comfy cafe and walking around town. Dinner at a faded local hotel was straight out of the comedy series Fawlty Towers. The staff was young and untrained; mistakes and poor service were the order of the day. To top it off, a group of eight French hikers arrived. Their meal must have confirmed everything they had heard about dining in the UK.
Today the wind was howling again, but it wasn’t raining. We took the bus to Sumburgh at the shouthmost end of the Shetlands and walked the two kilometers or so to Sumburgh Head to see the bird sanctuary and lighthouse. We saw puffins for the first time and all sorts of other nesting sea birds.
Tomorrow we have part of the day here in Lerwick before we take the overnight ferry to Aberdeen. Thursday we fly to Norway.
Photos, starting in the Orkney Islands, then the Shetland Islands: