2015 July Orkney

GSB_Scotland_DSCF2885_150717_OrkneyJust spent two fantastic days in the main island in the Orkneys where we were spoiled by my second cousin, Marilyn. Its about a one hour ferry ride over from Gills Bay on the mainland to St. Margaret’s Hope on the main island and then a half hour drive to the largest town called Kirkwall.  The drive in from St. Margaret’s Hope takes you around the eastern edge of Scapa Flow, which was once the base for the British “Home Fleet”. After a German U-boat sank the Ark Royal one month after WWII started, Churchill ordered that the defences for Scapa Flow be improved and Italian POWs were commissioned to build “Churchill barriers” to block the eastern approaches. There is a LOT to see and do in the Orkneys and our short visit only whetted our appetite to go back and see more – it has an amazing history with pre-historic settlements (e.g.at Scara Brae that date back over 5,000 years – before the Pyramids of Giza), Viking settlements, an amazing cathedral in Kirkwall approx 1,000 years old (St. Magnus), beautiful scenery and wildlife etc. etc. You could easily spend several weeks here exploring.  A few shots of our stay can be seen here.