Pictures from Orkney

9 03 2011

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Flying in to Kirkwall

The Hotel lift was tiny

We stayed at the Stromness Hotel and I cannot recommend it enough!  A room for a family of four with breakfast included, and adding on our dinner totaled $163 USD.  You really feel you’ve stepped back into Victorian times here.

The quaint lane our hotel in Stromness was on

The Watchstone at the Stones of Stenness (it was about 5 am when we went to these stones and though the sund not yet risen, it was very visible - not so much on the camera though)

The Stones of Stenness (stain-ess) are separate from the Ring of Brodgar, and are a bit spread about.  This particular stone, the Watchstone, is at the edge of a body of water at the T-intersection of two roadways.  These stones are dated to about 3000 BCE and there is no confirmed purpose to the alignment of these stones – as with most stone circles in the UK.  It is sometimes referred to as the Temple of the Moon.

The Ring of Brodgar

Some of the stones at Brodgar have runes on them, but the snow made it difficult to locate them.

The Ring of Brodgar sits on a very small strip of land between two water bodies and is slightly up a small hill.  It is dated to about 2000 BCE and is sometimes referred to as the Temple of the Sun.  The centre of the circle is a large patch of heather, about 100 metres across.  There are runes on a few of the stones, unfortunately due to the snow, I could only find a few.  These stones are tall, but thin and layered like slate instead of thick and bulbous like other rings.

Another view

Waves breaking on the continental shelf (Skipi/Skiba Geo)

The Moine Thrust Belt cuts through part of the Highlands of mainland Scotland and then this edge of the islands, the above showing the movement of the tectonic plate as it shifted over time.

Holm Totem, near Churchill Barriers (thanks to Dave @ the Orkney BBC for identifying this)

This totem pole was built by the local Orcadians and there is a great story about it here.

Sunken ships at Churchill Barriers

Italian Prisoner of War Chapel

Inside the chapel

Bishops Palace (Kirkwall)

Earls Palace (Kirkwall)

The (back) side of a turret at the Earls Palace

St. Magnus Cathedral (Kirkwall)

At The Reel (Kirkwall), the toilets were up this flight of steps

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