Sunday, 30 December 2007

Shetland Sojourn III

Our last day in the islands. We pack, feed ourselves and the gull, tidy up and haul all the gear into the car, bidding a fond farewell to our temporary home.

North-east this time, to Vidlin, Delting and Lunning, the Whalsay ferry terminal (no otters this time – but no ferry around) and an almost Scandinavian landscape of painted wooden houses and boats on the firths. The weather has improved, which bodes well for our trip back to Aberdeen tonight.

Shetland sheep come in a variety of colours….

Heading down the coast we stop to check out the seals on the rocks north of Gletness, and spot something else in the water – another otter! It catches an eel, and hauls out onto the rocks to eat it, but the distance- and the activity of the otter – make the photos awkward. We miss the otter, but do manage to catch a few seals, basking like sausages on the smallest of rocks.

We have lunch (very nice, highly recommended if you are ever there!) back at the Shetland Museum, with no need of lamp-posts this time. It’s a beautiful place, very new, nicely laid out, and covering all aspects of the islands’ history.

There are some weird art installations, too. The one on the left is Mum….

Time for a bit of shopping in the Lerwick rush hour – warm woolly Shetland knit hats from Jamieson’s, and some bits from the Shetland Soap Company.

There is just time to take a few twilight pictures before we are due to check in at the ferry terminal. Clickimin Broch lies close to the heart of town, an ancient tower-dwelling in the heart of modern housing, beside the leisure centre and within sight of the supermarket.

The ferry to Bressay runs back and forth all day, taking commuters to and from homes on the neighbouring island and Lerwick. It’s time for us to catch our own ferry.

Well, I say ‘time’ but after check in we have to wait almost an hour while the heavy goods containers are loaded (I have to wonder why they don’t get these aboard in advance of the passenger load!) and we eventually find ourselves driving aboard down a narrow canyon between container wagons. It feels rather risky, a view that isn’t helped as the ‘Norröna’ ferry (Bergen to Tórshavn) limps into Lerwick, having managed to hole itself on a stabliser, the hold cargo shifting so that a container fell onto some cars, (flat!)and a total of 80 cars damaged….

Fortunately, we have no such drama, and spend a comfortable night. We arrive back in Aberdeen at about 7.00 am, the lights of the city coming up rapidly along to starboard. It’s still too early, so we take a short trip up to Torry Battery to watch the dawn come up, before finally heading down to Tracey’s for breakfast, and to sort out all the heap of gear in the car.


Tats said...

Lots of disparate thoughts occur.

That gull must be missing you.

Vidlin, Delting and Lunning - it's like a poem.

Lucky you on the otter viewing.

Basking Sausages - didn't we see some of those when we were on Leader?!

Your Mum would make a great, and not especially wierd art installation.

Glad you weren't on the Norrona.

It was nice to see you for breakfast - makes a body get up in the morning.

mad said...

...and thank you for getting up and doing the breakfast!!!! :smooch:

Anonymous said...

Wow! I'm glad you didn't have the "drama" of the Norrona either.
What is the oval thingie behind your Mom? Does it have writing on it?

Thanks for sharing your journey.

Mackie said...

adventures up to the very end! and breakfast at Tats' - not bad either. :-)

i love the basking sausages, too :-D

looks like it was a good trip, with all kinds of good times.

Sue said...

A lovely final instalment of the trip!

Girl from Mars said...

Your photos and narrative make me want to see this part of the world, Mad!