Lerwick, Shetland Islands

This is the first time I have been to this port.  I took a small group tour that was privately arranged.  We were met at the pier by Gordon of Shetland Tours. After a brief drive around the old part of Lerwick, we headed south passing the Clickimin Broch then south through communities with the colourful names of Gulberwick, Quarff, Fladdabister and Cunningsburgh, stopping at various vantage points and to see a house built on an original Viking longhouse (photo), the ubiquitous sheep and some Shetland ponies (photos).  We continued south and then crossed over to the west coast at Bigton and St Ninians Isle with its sand/seashell tombola (a type of causeway that joins the island to the mainland – see photo). Along the coast road, we saw some seals on the beach below (photo). We then headed to Sumburgh Head to see the sea-bird colonies and lighthouse, now a museum (photo) and the iconic puffins (photos). There were hundreds of nesting pairs of the colourful birds on the cliffs below the lighthouse.  I attach photos from the areas we visited at the Jarlshof Prehistoric site. Side by side exist the ruins of a stone age hut about 4000 years old, a bronze age Smithy, an Iron age Broch and wheel houses (round houses), several Viking long houses, a medieval farmhouse and an 18th century lord’s house. In the small museum, we were able to see a video which depicted what each area might have looked like when it was occupied. I was impressed with the architectural structure of the Broch and wheel houses considering they were built between 400 BCE and 100 CE. From there we went to the Croft House Museum to see how Shetlanders lived in the 1800’s (photos of the house and shed made with a boat).  At lunch at the Spiggie Hotel we had an excellent traditional Shetland lunch of soup and bannocks, a type of scone fresh out of the oven.  Both were welcome on this very cold and  windy day. We returned to Limerick by another route which gave us a distant view of the ruins of Scalloway Castle (photo). Our travels were interrupted in both directions by a major road detour caused by a fatal accident. In the Shetlands, accident investigation teams must be brought in by air from Inverness, Scotland and they did not arrive until 24 hours after the accident. In the meantime, the vehicles had to remain at the scene blocking the main highway. It was a practical example of the difficulties that can arise when living in such a remote location.  Our next port tomorrow is Torshavn, The Faroe Islands.

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One Response to Lerwick, Shetland Islands

  1. daviddapaget says:

    Super, and “other worldly”…

    David

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