wellinghall: (Goldie)
Three good things for Tuesday:
- I'm not as tired as I was yesterday evening
- The John Rae society have bought the Hall of Clestrain
- I have a new David Langford ebook to read.
wellinghall: (Goldie)
[livejournal.com profile] bunn wanted a photograph of a small airport. This is the only digital one I have; an eight-seater Britten-Norman Islander at Westray airport, in Orkney. This is the only sort of plane that uses the airport. Note the sophisticated luggage-handling system.

wellinghall: (Goldie)
On Wednesday, we had to leave Orkney *sniff*. But not before a tour of the dig at the Ness of Brodgar and a look at St Magnus cathedral (and a twentieth anniversary dinner at Helgi's).


More pictures behind the cut )
wellinghall: (Goldie)
I left my write-up of Scottish holiday at the end of the first week; so, belatedly, to the second.

On the Saturday morning, we packed up and left our flat in Skaill House, and headed a few miles north to Marwick, where we walked up to the Kitchener monument and the new HMS Hampshire memorial wall. There were also some surprisingly cute rabbits, and lots of birds.


Lots more photos behind the cut )
wellinghall: (Goldie)
Arctic tern (Sterna paradisaea)
Atlantic puffin (Fratercula arctica)
Barn swallow (Hirundo rustica)
Black guillemot (Cepphus grylle)
Black-headed gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)

Lots more behind the cut )
wellinghall: (Goldie)
What happened on Wednesday? Oh yes - we took the passenger ferry to Hoy, and walked up to the Dwarfie Stane.


We didn't see the Sea Eagles that are nesting near there, but we did see stonechats (like this one), young meadow pipits, and (not so) common redpolls.


More photos behind the cut )
wellinghall: (Goldie)
So we went to Scotland.

On our first day, we went to London, and took [livejournal.com profile] adaese's mother out to dinner for her birthday; then we caught the sleeper* to Aberdeen. I only took one decent photo that day, and I deleted it by accident :-(

The second day was spent in Aberdeen. First, we had a wander round on our own. Either the good people of the city, or their monumental masons, didn't know when to stop.


Then we met Jason, Becky and Loki, who took us to Aberdeen's winter gardens. These were very colourful (and, as importantly, out of the rain).


More photos behind the cut )
wellinghall: (Orkney)


Now that's my kind of city.
wellinghall: (Orkney)


Castle of Burrian, Westray, last week.

Orkney view

Jul. 4th, 2016 08:51 am
wellinghall: (Orkney)


This is the view from our bedroom window this morning. Eynhallow is in the middle, with Rousay behind; and, on the horizon, Westray.
wellinghall: (Orkney)


It is ten o'clock, and the sun is finally thinking about setting.
wellinghall: (Orkney)


This is the rare - the very rare - Scottish primrose, primula scotica, that adaese found yesterday.
wellinghall: (Orkney)
By popular demand (well, sort of ... )

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Read more... )
wellinghall: (Orkney)
Sanday had birds! Like these great northern divers (quality of photo excused by the fact that this was the first time either of us had seen them).
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Read more... )

And that's the lot. (Although I do have more photos - please say if you want to see them!)
wellinghall: (Orkney)
On Wednesday morning, we went to the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site. This is the Ring of Brodgar through the mist.
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Read more... )

There will be more!
wellinghall: (Orkney)
As you may have gathered, we spent most of the last two weeks in Orkney. As usual, I took lots of photos, and here are the edited highlights of the first few days.

Our first full day was spent in Kirkwall, and one of the first places we visited was St Magnus cathedral. This is the view from the west end.
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Further photos will follow!
wellinghall: (Orkney)
I am often asked ... two or three people have asked me ... someone mentioned it once ... how to get to Orkney.

You need to start from mainland Scotland*. There are then four airports and four ferry ports you can use, making seven** altogether. The airports are Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness; the ferry ports are Aberdeen, Gills Bay, John O'Groats*** and Scrabster.

This means that, unless you are one of the 1% of my FList who live in Scotland, you first need to get to Scotland. If you want to take the car over, that means driving up, either to Aberdeen or to the north coast. But if, like me, you would rather gnaw your own leg off than drive all that way, you will need to find some other way.

This could be bus, train or plane. Bus will take forever. Train will be quicker, and can be fun, but I wouldn't advise going north of Aberdeen that way, otherwise it too will take forever. The flights from mainland Scotland to Orkney are all operated by Flybe for Loganair, under a codeshare-type arrangement with BA. So if you can fly up to Scotland with Flybe or BA, the ticketing should be easier. But whichever way you go, you can expect the flights to be expensive (or, more likely, very expensive).

The ferry from Scrabster takes you to Stromness, Orkney's second town; from Gills Bay to St Margaret's Hope, the largest village in the south isles; from John O'Groats to Burray, and a bus to Kirkwall; from Aberdeen to Hatston ferry terminal, a mile and a half out of Kirkwall, late at night, but with a bus into the centre. Kirkwall airport is a few miles the other side of Kirkwall, with busses and taxis into town.

Next - possibly - what to do while you're there.

*Or Shetland. Or, in the summer, Bergen.

**Yes, that does add up.

***Foot passengers only; also connects with a bus service from Inverness, and with a bus service to Kirkwall at the other end.

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