Thursday, June 24, 2010

Orkney Magic

Four days off. For the non-retired, that's quite a treat. We had decided to spend the Summer Solstice on Orkney, so with another rental car we were off again. Our first night was at a B&B somewhere between Mey and Gills Bay. A wonderful place run by a couple from Edinburgh who had chucked it all and were running an eco friendly B&B in the middle of nowhere, Creag na Mara. We were hoping they would offer us permanent jobs, but no luck. Dinner that night at the Castle Hotel in Mey was made memorable by the wee man behind the bar. Lucky Charms, anyone?

All our B&Bs, by the way, did have us fill out papers and did have keys. Order was restored to my world.

The ferry crossing was smooth, but it was ice cold and windy outside. I had to buy a hat as soon as we got to Kirkwall. Anyone who knows me knows I don't do hats readily, but it was wet and cold and rainy. Despite this, my radar unerringly zoomed in on Sheila Fleet's shop. Three times total. In two days.

I have long wanted to go to Orkney with Stan. It's hard to put my finger on, and though I quite doubt I could live there long term, there is just something about it that draws me back and I wanted to share that with him. Whatever it is that I so love about Scotland, multiply that several times and you have the people and landscape in Orkney. We did the stone sites, which we had all to ourselves, the Pagans having done their thing long before at sunrise and the buses not having arrived yet. Without going all woohooey on you, there is something magical and mystical and utterly awesome about those stones. I guess to some they are just rocks, but not me. The rest of the island is just as amazing, iron age villages, the Italian Chapel, and the rolling hills melting into the shore. And, of course, the ever present sheep. And did I mention Sheila Fleet?

Back to Kirkwall to find bright sunshine and plenty of daylight left to sit outside with a pint and worry about getting sunburn at 7:00 in the evening. Cheers!

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