Scotland 2015: Day 11

This detour north to Orkney and Shetland is completely willful. I just needed to see the islands. I dreamed that I would get to see some of the Northern Lights, but it was the wrong time of year and the odds wouldn’t be in my favor.  After these pit-stops I will get back to the mainland and start hunting down the prints again  Orkney is kind of an epic day.  I am here for one day and ONLY one day. The ferry takes me there in the morning and tonight I catch the ferry north to Shetland.  Again a tight schedule because they only run some of these ferries every other day and I don’t want to get stuck and throw everything off.
Maybe breakfast IS the most important meal of the day? Fried eggs and bacon!
That is a field of buttercups!
The walkway to Skara Brae had different moments  in time to keep your mind occupied and get you in the mood to go back 5,000 years.
Very impressive – also very cold. If fully excavated the walls would be much taller. They had an enclosed reproduction which helped explain as well. Prehistoric #5 – Skara Brae.
Immense!!! Prehistoric #6 – Ring of Brodgar. This one is purely a giant ring. They don’t let you walk into the center part. It is a different type of greenery. Still just an enormous monument to see and experience.
You can only reach the Brough of Birsay across a tidal causeway.
The tide was coming in soon!
I had to hustle over – take my photos. And when I was done hustle back!
Ruin of a 12th century church – Church #7 – Brough of Birsay.
Ruins of Norse/Viking homes! On a side now “How to Train Your Dragon” was on TV last night in Gaelic! Historic #6

Castle #27 – Earl’s Palace, Birsay.
I think my gps is trying to kill me! This doesn’t even look like a real road! Single lane – no turnaround – dirt – huge holes and mud puddles – barely survived!
It’s like a mini Machu Pichu! Iron Age! Amazing! Because of the central tower, I am filing this as Castle #28 – Broch of Gurness.
St. Magnus Cathedral – Church #8
Memento Mori – “Remember that you have to die”. Commonly seen on tombstones: Skull, Hourglass, Scrolls.
Great ruin! Castle #29 – Bishop’s Palace, Kirkwall.
Castle #30 – Earl’s Palace, Kirkwall.

Church #9 – Chapel on Lamb Holm – The Italian Chapel. 
You really should read the story on this one!
This was on the main road! Comforting…
Went to see the Tomb of The Eagles. It’s privately owned and kind of a strange operation. They make you (really required you) to go through a 35minute orientation before they let you go for the 1.5 mile walk to see their two sites… This is a real skull…

The first site at Liddle’s Farm is a Bronze Age Site – Prehistoric #7. It sucks. I mean I know it is historic but it doesn’t look well cared for and its just… there. Luckily, I really came to see the Tomb of the Eagles.
After a long long walk you arrive at the tomb. It isn’t an easy walk. It was cold and windy and a very long hike.
The only access is a small opening…
…and a skateboard which you lay on and pull yourself into this tiny little tomb.
I was alone – I mean alone – no one was there – I went in – on my belly…
I took my photos.
There was an opening and a flashlight…
I beamed the flash light and through the bars there were skulls! Real or fake I don’t know – I don’t care – I got out fast! Back on my belly and grabbed the rope and I was out… I’m gonna have nightmares – really… Prehistoric #8 – The Tomb of the Eagles. And now I have to do the long walk back. Except this time it is colder, wetter, and darker.
And then they locked me in! Well they closed the gate – I had to let myself out! I mean I was really alone!
To end my day and what a day – I saw 12 places! Fish soup.
Steak and ale pie.
Custard and cake!! Off to Shetland on the night ferry. Hellava day….
Scotland 2015 Totals
Days: 11
Prints: 4
Castles: 30
Churches: 9
Historic: 6
Nature: 8
Prehistoric: 8
Map Day 11: Orkney to Orkney (to Shetland)