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


Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Orkney Islands » Stromness July 16th 2019

Heute ging es los mit Castle Fraser (hat nichts mit Outlander zu tun, das sind andere Frasers). Wir hatten eine äußerst interessante einstündige Führung. Dabei haben wir unter anderem von der zu Marketing Zwecken erfundenen Geisterlegende gehört und gelernt, dass die Frasers aus der Erdbeeranbauregion Frankreichs stammen (la fraise = Erdbeere) und ihren Namen daher ableiten. Nach dem Mittagessen sind wir nach Aberdeen gefahren und haben auf der Fähre nach Kirkwall (Orkney) eingecheckt. Die Fahrt dauert sechs Stunden. Basislager der nächsten Tage ist Stromness. ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Orkney Islands » Stromness May 28th 2018

We took the morning ferry to Stromness in the Orkney Islands, an island archipelago consisting of about 70 islands about an hour and a half ride north off the coast. My mother is really into genealogy and she has been able to trace our ancestors dating from Orkney during the 1700-1800’s. She had DNA testing done which shows Danish and Norwegian reference populations, making perfect sense when you look at a map or are familiar with Viking/Scottish history. The Orkney Islands have been inhabited for about 8500 years making it an archaeological treasure trove earning it the name “Egypt of the North,” however most of it’s sites are twice as old as the pyramids (without any of the irritating souvenir merchants and camel touts ruining your enjoyment). Orkney has over 160 archaeological sites ranging from standing ... read more
St Magnus Cathedral
Standing Stones of Stenness
Ring of Brodgar

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Orkney Islands » Stromness August 31st 2017

Arose relatively early to the dreaded sound of rain in Thurso, which (thankfully) dissipated. Loaded bike and headed to ferry terminal 20 minutes away. Bike chain was acting up, ... stiff link, I think. Pleasant 90 minute passage to Stromness, for my 65km bike traverse to Burwick, which was the ferry terminal back to John O'Groat (start point for my N/S bike adventure). A rugged and picturesque coast line observed along the way. Note: German would be a good second language when traveling in Scotland. Also, all you can eat breakfast was a good deal on the ferry. Disembarked in Stromness, a quick tour of town (tight streets, hillside location) and off I go. Numerous hills along the way, but the route was not onerous (discounting weight of cycle bags). Generally, a sunny/cloudy mix, with rain ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Orkney Islands » Stromness June 4th 2013

Some would say it's a little late in the game; others might think that it's about time. Whatever. This is us. Use the information however you wish but at your own peril. We four have been friends for quite a while. Four days ago Kit and Kathy celebrated their 33rd wedding anniversary - a wedding that Karen and I attended. We babysat Yellow Island for them for two weeks back in the early days when they were the caretakers of that special place. Our two properties at Three Meadows are just a short walk away from each other. And two years ago we traveled to China together. So, you can see we have some history of friendship and could expect that we would get along well for our trip to England and Scotland. But, could we ... read more
Pathfinder and sweep
Greeters at the Crask Inn
The good looking (and stylish) members of our group

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Orkney Islands » Stromness June 4th 2013

In the Orkney Islands off of the northern Scottish Coast they use "Mainland" to designate the principal island of the archipelago. We have just finished a wonderful six-day R&R in Stromness, Mainland, Orkney. This was meant to be a rest, for sure, from our End-to-End push, but it also provided good times, adventure, fellowship, and wonder. We even did a little bit of cycling. This use of "mainland" is only one of many differences that the Orcadian way of speaking has from ours. The language is influenced by the many years that the islands were ruled by the Norwegians. For one thousand years Orcadians spoke Norn, a variant of Old Norse. Today they speak their own brand of Scottish English, with a large number of words derived from those old Viking days. They use "peedie," for ... read more
View of Stromness from the bedroom window in our cottage
Standing stones at Ring of Brodgar
Skara Brae neolithic village site

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Orkney Islands » Stromness May 30th 2013

The northern coast apperars as we leave the idyllic Strath Naver valley. As we approach the end of the ride, Scotland continues to throw its weather at us. Wind is the dominating force everywhere and may be our strongest memory of Scotland. Wind turning huge wind generators lined on hills. Wind churning the waves to froth on the shore. Wind blowing handfuls of wool from sheep as they graze undisturbed in their pastures. Wind in our faces as we push the pedals to make it down a hill. Huge gusts of side wind that turn a down hill run into a test of skill. Wind driving sleet and rain into our faces. Wind that sucks the breath from our bodies and throws it back in our faces. And sometimes even wind at our backs sending us ... read more
Contemplating the coastal route ahead
"Old Man of Hoy" from the evening ferry to Stromness, Orkney Islands
River entering the sea to the north

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