Blogs from Kirkwall, Orkney Islands, Scotland, United Kingdom, Europe


Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Orkney Islands » Kirkwall August 26th 2019

Orkney. Italian Chapel, St Margaret’s. 47miles. 650m ascent. Breakfast at Pomona again at 8am. Great food and good service. Off into the mist until 11.30 following the coast, although unfortunately we could hardly tell. We had lunch at the Fossil Heritage Centre, Museum and cafe at Burray which I can recommend. As the skies brightened the Italian Chapel came into view across the causeway where luckily there were not many people viewing it. The chapel was built in a Nissan hut from 1941 until 1945 by 500 Italian POW’s captured in N Africa. They lined the inside and covered it with tiles and decorated it to a very high standard with several classic murals. Some of these were then sent to Skipton in Yorkshire before eventual repatriation in Italy. Further south Past the Fossil Heritage Centre ... read more
St Magnus Cathedral
German Ship.

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Orkney Islands » Kirkwall July 19th 2019

Erster Stop des Tages war - nach einem kleinen Hafenspaziergang - das Stromness Museum. Neben ganz viel Marinegeschichte (u.a. die deutsche Kriegsmarine in Scapa Flow im Ersten Weltkrieg), Walfang und dem Entdecker Dr. John Rae von der Hudson Bay Company gab es auch zahlreiche ausgestopfte heimische Vogelarten zu bewundern. Besonders interessant fand ich die vielen Artefakte aus aller Welt (z.B. von den Inuit, Indianern, Chinesen, Inkas...), die von den Seefahrern Orkneys zurück nach Hause gebracht wurden. Wie absolut international Orkney damals war! Zweiter Stop des Tages war die Italienische Kapelle auf einer Insel hinter den Churchill Barriers. Die Barriers sind Zementblöcke, die im Zweiten Weltkrieg von italienischen Kriegsgefangenen gebaut wurden, um deutsche U-Boote abzuwehren. Die Italiener bekamen zwei Wellblechbaracken (Niss... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Orkney Islands » Kirkwall July 22nd 2018

Dag 5 Vandaag is er niet zo veel gebeurd. In de ochtend werden we door iemand van het hotel bij de ferry afgezet, vanwaar we weer teruggingen naar Tingwall, waar we de bus namen naar Kirkwall. Bij het hotel bleek helaas pas dat we om 14:30 pas konden inchecken, dus we moesten ons nog even buiten vermaken (het was 11:00). Gelukkig konden we wel de bagage achterlaten. Kirkwall is de enige stad hier van enige proportie, dus gelukkig hadden we wel wat te doen. We hebben een beetje rondgeslenterd en geluncht, en toevallig was er in het gemeentehuis een kleine hand craft fair waar we leuke schaapies hebben gekocht. Je kan aan het hotel zien dat het vroeger (100 jaar geleden) luxe is geweest, helaas hebben ze het sinds die tijd ook niet meer opgeknapt. De ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Orkney Islands » Kirkwall August 15th 2016

We had a fairly early start as we would be cramming a lot in today. Our first stop was, of course, Tesco so we could pick up some lunch and snacks for during the day. The lovely weather that we'd had yesterday seemed to be continuing, so our guide suggested that we buy some disposable BBQs and some food to cook on them. What a genius idea! It would make a nice change from having a bog standard sandwich or wrap. We bought some of those burger and bun sets that most supermarkets do. It totally reminded me of my childhood as I used to have them for my tea every so often. Then we were off to explore the Orkneys, yesterday's sneak preview had left me wanting more. Our first stop was the Standing Stones ... read more
Standing Stones of Stenness
Standing Stones of Stenness
Standing Stones of Stenness

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Orkney Islands » Kirkwall August 14th 2016

What a horrible early morning! We left at some ungodly hour (I forget the exact time, but it was around 7 am or before it). The hostel had made us breakfast boxes up, to be honest they were a bit shit and I wish I'd saved my cash. Luckily, our new guide knew the score and left us to sleep the ride away. We drove through Golspie continuing on our way north. We also drove past the shortest street in the world, Ebenezer Place in Wick, which is just 2.06 metres long. Our first legit stop was Duncansby Head, which is the most north-easterly point in the Scottish mainland. The weather was bit brisk when we got off the bus,which was probably a good thing as it would help chase the cobwebs away.We took a walk ... read more
Duncansby Head
Duncansby Head Stacks
Duncansby Head Stacks

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Orkney Islands » Kirkwall May 16th 2016

Kirkwall, Orkney Islands…. North of Scotland! 59 Degrees North Can you imagine, today we are at the far northern end of Scotland in the Orkney Islands. We are at the same latitude as Oslo, Norway, St. Petersburg, Russia, and Juneau, Alaska. As we come into the port at Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands, our first thought is how much the countryside looks like the Falkland Islands, except there is more elevation here….lots of green rolling hills, windswept and treeless. The port is along Scapa Flow an inlet from the North Sea which was home to the Royal Navy’s fleet during both World War I and II. Orkney became part of Scotland in 1468, although it was founded by Norwegians. We hopped aboard a bus and headed out on an hour’s trip across the rolling windswept hiss. ... read more
Highland Park Distillery
Italian Chapel
Inside the Italian Chapel

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Orkney Islands » Kirkwall August 20th 2015

Geo: 58.9804, -2.95626After a 90min ferry ride from Thurso, when we had a fine buffet breakfast, we arrived at Stromness in the Orkneys. We spent the day (a little windy and slightly overcast, but still a bottler) visiting various sites around the island. In the late afternoon we drove down to the very bottom of Orkney Island, driving over the four "Churchill Barriers" built in WWII to protect the British Fleet based in Scapa Flow from enemy maritime attack. The barriers also connect the closest southern islands to the "mainland".Mike and Rhona returned to Thurso about 4pm. We stayed on to catch the 23:45pm overnight ferry to Lerwick in the Shetland Islands.... read more
Excavations at the Ness of Brodgar
The Ring of Brodgar
Ring of Brodgar

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Orkney Islands » Kirkwall February 4th 2013

As I write this I'm watching the Superbowl in my hotel room. The score is 14-3...Go Ravens!!! Today we drove from Inverness to the far north of Scotland--John O' Groats to be exact. From nearby we caught the Ferry to the Orkney Islands. Now we are really north. The only place further north in the U.K. are the Shetland Islands. I believe that the Shetland Islands is where Scottish Santa Claus lives, or as he is know here--Haggie Claus. The Orkneys were not in the plan until yesterday evening. I have wanted to go to Cape Wrath--the NW corner of Scotland--for 25 years now. I made special arrangements for someone to drive us there but that fell through at the last minute because of an illness. That's OK. Now I have an excuse to return to ... read more
Dallas Dhu Distillery
Castle of Mey
John O' Groats

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Orkney Islands » Kirkwall July 6th 2010

Geo: 58.9804, -2.95626We then went to the town of Kirkwall for one hour to see the cathedral, shop, or grab a snack. I toured the cathedral and tried again to look for that allusive thistle paperweight.... read more
Kirkwall, Orkney Island, Scotland
Kirkwall, Orkney Island, Scotland
Kirkwall, Orkney Island, Scotland

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Orkney Islands » Kirkwall July 31st 1980

Geo: 58.9804, -2.95626We arose early and rushed through breakfast to make the boat to the Orkneys. Got the 10.30h ferry, with return tickets for 17.15h. The ferry eventually arrived at 11.00h. The ride to the Orkneys was calm and breezy. The sun was out.We took a bus 19 miles into Kirkwall, where we ate a hurried lunch. We then took a tour of the island by bus. Our first stop was an old burial ground and a souvenir shop (not of dead bodies). Next, we visited an old (2500 BCE) village. That was very cool. We gazed at the stone circle from the road. By this time, it was getting very windy.The return trip on the boat was much more rough and cold. At first, Mum and I went below to stay work. Soon, a lot ... read more

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