Wednesday, April 13, 2016

An Orkney Adventure, Day Two

Well now.  We know that the smoke alarms work!!

Tina and Paul, whose farm we are staying on, have chickens.  The chickens are laying!  So they left us half a dozen eggs in our kitchen.  When we were at the supermarket, I bought the makings of a proper breakfast.  I set to making it this morning and within seconds the smoke alarms had gone off.  On and on and on they went.  We opened all the windows.  We opened the door. I already had the extractor fan on.  I think we had almost finished eating breakfast before they stopped.

There is almost no danger of us dying through smoke inhalation while we are sleeping. The racket was enough to wake the dead!!!

The eggs are very delicious though :-)

Right then.  We are here because I want to go and see Skara Brae.  Yesterday was a beautiful, sunny day.  It was forecast to be the best of the three days that we are here, so it seemed best that we go then.

We decided to do a roundabout route, so we could see as much of the island as possible.  I hadn't actually intended to go into Stromness, still less to drive along its tiny, cobbled main "street" - but my navigator had other ideas - or perhaps just missed the turn that would have by-passed Stromness.  The guide book says that it is worth a visit.  It says nothing about not trying to drive along the main street!!!!

Once we had escaped, I turned on the sat nav and asked it to take me to Skara Brae which it did, without further incident :-D

The settlement didn't used to be so close to the sea, and they think it was very much bigger. It was, of course, very sensible not to build your village right next to the sea, but the (new) bay that it now sits beside makes it a very beautiful location indeed.

While we were there we visited Skaill House, a seventeenth century mansion. It was mostly kitted out in Victorian style and was very splendid.  But I much preferred my potter around Skara Brase

We drove up to Birsay, intending to have lunch in a cafe there which has had good reviews.  Alas, it is not open on Tuesdays.  We did find a ruined castle to explore.  But no lunch

So we kept driving around the island and eventually went back to the cottage for a late lunch.  Then we went to look at The Gloup, which Paul (one of the farm hosts) had suggested we might find interesting.  Gloup is, apparently a Norse word meaning chasm and locally means a blow hole.  We didn't know that when we went to find it.  It started out looking like this

Just a stream. Not very exciting
Then it abruptly turned into this

Much more exciting
The seabirds love it!

Not quite such beautiful day today, but the sun is shining fitfully and it isn't raining.  Don't suppose we should spend absolutely all day sitting about doing nothing!
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