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Published: June 22nd 2017
Geo: 60.1556, -1.15004
Today we mostly drove about the southern part of the Island. After a leisurely breakfast and chat with Beth and Ian, we headed off to a lookout that Beth said provided great views. Pity, the day was clear but low cloud came in as we arrived at the lookout and we only had a glimpse of the vistas.
We were impressed by the Jarlshof archaeological site at the southern tip of Shetland. Over 4,000 years of occupation, from 5,000 year old round houses, to newer wheelhouses, a Broch, Viking settlements and then a 16thC Scottish manor, all built on the same site. It wasn't obvious to me but Shetland was at a maritime cross-roads centuries ago. It was a two-day boat journey to Norway, to the Faroe Islands and to the Scottish mainland. Quite a reasonable voyage for the Vikings and other ancient sea-faring peoples.
The Shetland and Orkney Islands used to be part of Norway. In 1469 the King of Norway (and Denmark) pledged both island groups as security for his daughter's marriage dowry to James III of Scotland. The dowry was never paid (apparently the Scots subsequently refused to accept it) and thus the Islands came under Scottish rule.
Aerial view of Jarlshof
The post-Ice Age increase in sea levels has meant that this site, and many others, are now in danger of being washed into the sea.
Scottish lairds were granted title to lands and the islanders found themselves with new masters.
We caught the ferry to Aberdeen at 6:45pm, and had dinner on board. I think I've had enough of fish and chips for a while.
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