Published: August 4th 2009August 4th 2009
Today we were in Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands which are part of Scotland. There are 70 islands but only 20 of them are inhabited. 15,000 people live on the “Mainland” with another 5000 on the other islands. We were supposed to tender into the port but it was too windy so we docked instead. Since the tour times were based on tendering they made announcements with the new tour times. We had gone up to the Lido to get breakfast just before 7 since we had to be in the lounge at 8:10 but that was changed to 8:50. Dennis was scheduled for the WWII & Scapa Underwater Adventure by Remote control Camera (Erin had canceled after finding out it wasn’t going to be accessible enough for her). However, they had to cancel the tour because of the winds so they took the shuttle into town.
Mom and I had the Skara Brae & Skaill House tour. The drive thru the area was very beautiful with rolling hills and lots of cattle farms (a few sheep thrown in here and there). Our guide was an older English gentleman named Roger who had been a school teacher and moved here
when he was about 60. He was very good and we had a great tour. Our first stop was at a small stone circle where a few of the stones were still standing. There was a bay across the street with some seals on the rocks. We then drove by a site where they’re still excavating what appears to be a wide wall that they think is the width of the peninsula and is thought to separate the Live from the Dead areas. These ruins are 5000 years old. We then stopped at Ring of Brodgar which is a World Heritage site originally composed of 60 stones 27 of which are still standing. We kept running into our tablemates from Canada who had rented a car with another couple but stopping at the same places.
Our main stop was at Skara Brae which is a stone village from 5000 years ago that was uncovered by a storm in the late 1800s. It was very windy so Mom and I headed back to the visitor center/gift shop instead of heading to Skaill House. Of course it ended up costing me money as I purchased some earrings and a necklace from
a local artist. We then drove by Scapa Bay and around the town of Kirkwall before heading back to the ship.
We headed up to the Lido for lunch and later headed to Bingo and Mass before getting ready for our last formal night. Erin finally won a Bingo game! Not sure I mentioned that the priest fell on his excursion in Reykjavik. They were able to find a dr in Torshavn yesterday so it’s now in a cast and he’ll need surgery when he gets back to Oklahoma.
Dinner was very good. Mom and I really enjoyed the Beef Tenderloin and those with the lobster tails enjoyed them too. Erin had ….. chicken (imagine that!). Most of us had pre-ordered dessert last night (Mud Pie) when Erin was making her selections. We didn’t do so well in the casino (I lost on the first machine but made a bit on the pokier one) then Mom and I headed to the show. Vladimir Zaitsev played mostly classical pieces on the piano but also did an arrangement from West Side Story and a medley of Beatles. He was very good and had some good jokes along the way too.
Well tomorrow is our last port. Can’t believe the trip is almost over.
There are more photos below