Margaret and I decided at the very beginning of the year that we were going to go to the Shetland Islands together. While most people were planning trips to the major European cities, Margaret and I were busy talking about hiking around Britain's most remote islands, taking in the impressive scenery, and hopefully seeing Shetland ponies, puffins, seals, and maybe even otters. We discussed various times when we could get up there and decided June would be best. The winter weather didn't sound very inviting, and most things (including some ferries) were closed or at least had significantly reduced hours in winter. By June, it was pretty warm and things were open, but the major tourist season (relatively speaking) wasn't at its peak yet. After a day in Aberdeen, we got a Northlink Ferry up to Lerwick, the main town in Shetland with around 7,500 inhabitants). We stayed at a hostel in there (taking day trips from the 'city') - the hostel was actually rated the best hostel in Europe - very hospitable and friendly.
|Near Lerwick harbour.|
|Our Northlink ferry.|
|One of the main streets in Lerwick. The store at the left,|
Jamieson's, is where I ended up buying a Fair Isle sweater
on the last day of the trip.
|A stone at the top of the hill.|
|me, the loch, the broch, part of Lerwick, and part of Bressay|
|walking through the bog - footprints|
|The Clickimin Broch|
|On the way to visit the broch we stopped to pet some horses.|
|Licks from the horse for Margaret!|
|Walking around the broch - given|
Margaret's face, I think she wasn't too
pleased about having to crouch through
|From inside the broch.|
|Little rooms off the center with windows.|
|From the top of the broch.|
|Did I climb up a staircase that|
was blocked off? Woops!
|The next day we got the ferry from Lerwick across to Bressay.|
You only pay on the way out of Lerwick and the guy just
didn't ask us for payment - free ferry ride! It took about 7 minutes .
|There's a red telephone booth on Bressay!|
|Margaret and I referred to this as the town center. This is the|
grocery store, the gas station, and the post office. All in one.
|Looking over to Noss from Bressay.|
|Ruins in Bressay. Noss in the background.|
|The 'ferry' over to Noss is actually just an inflatable motorboat.|
The guy just goes back and forth whenever he sees people
waiting on either side. £3, or £1.50 for students!
|There were lambs EVERYWHERE, much to my delight.|
|The coast of Noss (and Bressay). Noss has gentle (though rocky)|
beaches on its western side and 500 ft cliffs on its eastern side.
|Beach! The hills in the back are on Bressay.|
|There were a bunch of curious lambs on Noss.|
|Lots of holes where various animals live/breed.|
|The cliffs were covered in nesting birds.|
|The coast is rugged and oddly carved, with pieces jutting out|
into the North Sea.
|So many seagulls.|
|There are puffins in there.|
|:-( There were a bunch of rabbit skeletons,|
too. Big, evil, nasty birds.
|This cliff was completely covered in birds.|
|From the top of the hill on Noss, looking over Bressay, back|
to Lerwick and mainland Shetland.
|Me at the 'summit' of Noss, where we|
breaked for lunch.
|That's no ordinary rabbit!|
|I like the bottom bird's expression.|
|Some people, for scale.|
|The coastline of Noss.|
|Like mother, like daughter.|
|Mama with one scared lamb, one curious lamb (with very|
|The port to get the ferry back from Bressay to Lerwick.|
|Britain's most decorated bus stop - it's changed every so often|
with various themes.
|We stopped at a field with ponies, one of whom came over to|
say hello/ask for food.
|This (in the mist) is Britain's most northerly lighthouse.|
|This is Britain's most northerly beach.|
|Beach, again. We also stopped at Britain's most northerly|
post office, where Margaret and I both sent postcards - the
postmark is a puffin!
|From where I was sitting.|
|The other guy steering the ferry to the dock.|
|The screen showing where we were along the course.|
Margaret and I decided this ferry ride was the highlight of
|Sunset over Lerwick.|
|Our last day in Shetland, we took the bus down to the south|
mainland. We saw some more ponies, and then went for a hike
along the coast.
|This is where our hike started. We saw this and thought: Uh-oh.|
What do you do when you encounter a bull?? But fortunately,
there was no bull in sight.
|Flowers! From the coast you could see out to Fair Isle - an|
1.5 hour "stomach-churning" (as we saw it described) ferry
ride away - since it was a (relatively speaking) clear day.
|Coastline of Shetland.|
|Most delightful about Sumburgh Head (the southern tip of|
the mainland) was the abundance of puffins.
|They look very silly when they fly. Their bodies are really|
short and fat.
|Along the coast.|
|I thought this "Warning Drop" sign was pretty good...|
|...until I saw this one.|
|Mainland Shetland's most southerly lighthouse.|