Scotland Tour – Day 8

The weather was amazing for our last day on the island. We went to the beach at Weddell Sound near Churchill Barrier Number 3 for a walk.

Then we returned to the Italian Chapel to have a look inside. The POWs built it using two Nissan huts, as a place to worship while they built the barriers.

Domenico Chiocchetti, one of the prisoners, was a talented artist.
Inside the chapel

We left our lovely fisherman’s cottage and drove to Kirkwall to have dinner at the Kirkwall Hotel prior to boarding the ferry to Lerwick, on the Shetlands.

Kirkwall harbour, across from the hotel.

Off to the ferry now.

We left the Orkneys at midnight.

The MV Hrossey
Hatston Pier
Our cabin



Scotland Tour – Day 7

We explored the north and west of Mainland today. Our first stop was at Gurness Beach, a beautiful beach littered with shells. I found a sea urchin

Next we stopped at the Point of Buckquoy. We would have walked across the causeway to the Brough of Birsay but the tide was coming in and covering the path.

These three left it a bit late to return from the Brough.
The remains of Earl Robert’s palace, built in 1574.
We walked round the Ring of Brodgar, standing stones thought to have been there for 4000 years.

Tomorrow we leave the Orkneys and take the ferry to the Shetlands at 11.45pm.

Take care


Scotland Tour – Day 6

We explored the South East of Orkney crossing several causeways. These were called ‘Churchill’s Barriers’. In WW2 ships were sunk to stop German U-Boats getting into Scapa Flow. Unfortunately, in 1939, one got through and sunk the ‘Royal Oak’ killing 834 men. Churchill ordered the construction of the barriers, which was carried out by Italian prisoners of war.

The Italian POWs also built a church.
One of the scuttled ships we saw.
From South Ronaldsay we could see Dunnet Head on mainland Scotland,
and Hoy, the second largest island in the Orkneys.
We walked out to Mull Head, at Deerness
and saw the ‘Gloup’, a collapsed sea cave.
At Kirkwall we saw St Magnus Cathedral,
the Bishop’s Palace,
the Earl’s Palace,
and Kirkwall harbour.

We ended our busy day at the Murray Arms Hotel, in St Margaret’s Hope, with a seafood platter. The hotel has their own boats and the seafood is caught fresh, daily.

We will explore more of the island tomorrow.


Scotland Tour – Day 5

We left Wick and drove to Scrabster to get the ferry to Stromness on the Orkney mainland.

Looking across to the ferry terminal from Thurso.
Waiting in line.
Driving onto the boat.
Leaving Scrabster.

The journey took one and a half hours. The weather was perfect. It was quiet on the ferry with less than half the usual number of vehicles.

We passed the ‘Old Man of Hoy’, a sea stack.
Approaching Stromness.
Leaving the boat.
Looking down on the boat as we leave Stromness.
We had a beautiful drive along the coast road to our holiday cottage at St Mary’s.
Glenduron Holiday Cottage
The view from the front of the cottage.
There is a small jetty and slipway.
We watched a yacht set off from the jetty.

The cottage looks out onto Scapa Flow, a body of water sheltered by the mainland and other, smaller islands. In 1919 the captured German fleet of 74 ships was scuttled by their crew to prevent the vessels falling into British hands.

The Vikings anchored their longships in Scapa Flow more than 1000 years ago. It is one of the world’s great natural harbours.

Tomorrow we will visit some of the smaller islands via causeways built by Italian prisoners of war.

More tomorrow