Sunday, July 08, 2007

Orkney 2007 - Day 3

Wednesday 27th June - Earl's Palace, Brough Head, Kitchener memorial and Skara Brae

We started today by heading out to Birsay, the area at the north western tip of the mainland, but on the way we stopped for photo opportunities at one of the Churchill Barriers.  The road to Birsay then included fabulous scenery looking out to Eynhallow and Rousay.  Our first stop was Earl's Palace, which had been started in 1569 by Robert Stewart, the illegitimate son of King James V of Scotland, who had been given the Earldom of Orkney; his rule was fierce and he was eventually jailed for it in Edinburgh in 1575, but them seemingly returned and carried on the same (read more here).

After the palace, we headed out onto Brough Head, a small but beautiful outcrop linked to the mainland by a causeway that can only be walked along two hours either side of high tide!  Here there were the remains of an old settlement and a beautiful lighthouse, but the main feature was the tremendous scenery out over a perfectly flat sea; the cliffs were wonderful, with many birds soaring about them, including a few puffins!  

After lunch we checked out the Kitchener war memorial, which was accompanied by even more impressive cliffs than Brough Head, but no puffins.  Once that was done, we hit the archeological front in a big way with Orkney's most significant site, the well-preserved neolithic village at Skara Brae.  It was quite interesting to imagine an entire community living and working in these buildings some 5000 years ago.  It is unclear why the village was abandoned, but it could have been the encroaching seafront, which today is right alongside the site.  My only criticism was that by the time we got there the little hut to hire your putter and ball from was closed...

While we were in this region, it was to the pleasent little town of Stromness and The Ferry Inn for a quick draught pint of Dark Island, an Orkney beer that I drink back in Aberdeen for a nice way to end the day.

Photo of people reading Churchill Barriers history, wow!

Our main area for the day, note Twatt at the bottom right:

The Earl's Palace after a particularly heavy night:

Looking to Hoy from the Brough Head causeway:

The lighthouse at Brough Head and a rather shy Sonia:


Looking south from Brough Head:

Kitchener memorial, and impressive cliffs:

Looking north:

Looking to rain over Hoy from Choin:

The particularly tricky hole 4...

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Blogger Lisa Rullsenberg said...

That's what happens when you keep pointing cameras at people...

tum te tum....

not as I EVER do that...

13 July 2007 at 17:12  

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