Day 08 – Stones and Ruins

(I know.  Its taken me a bit to get this written.  I've been swamped :P)

Our first full day in Orkney.  Breakfast in the morning was wonderful!  We headed out to a little overcast and some sprinkles.

Our first stop of the trip was the Stones of Stenness.   They are truly amazing to see in person, that I can't even describe (photos in album here).  Not far away is Barnhouse Village, a neolithic village.  As we walked over, the rain started coming down more.  And more.  We were only able to get a few pictures there, as the rain was coming down and giving us an absolutely horrendous drenching.

We ran back to the car and warmed up for a few minutes.  The next site up the road (quite literally) was the Ring of Brodgar.  Luckily by the time we got there, the rain had slacked off, so the wind was able to dry us some.

It is just huge!  I simply can not describe just how huge it is.  I didn't even take pictures, it was so mind-boggling.  I'll upload and update this with some of Kay's photos of it.

Originally, I had thought I'd do my dedicant oath here, at the Ring of Brodgar.  But after I saw the Stenness stones, those called so much stronger.  So that is planned for tomorrow.

Thinking of trying to at least see across to the Brough of Birsay (this can only be reached at low tide - otherwise the causeway to it is under water).  On our way there, we found a location that was offering fireside storytelling.  Kay is a sucker for storytelling, so we pulled in to check it out.  No one was around, so we turned the car around and the storyteller himself walked out.  He said that his event was only at night, and that tonight was already fully booked.  We apologized for bothering him, and he immediately suggested that we go straight away to Skara Brae, as we would hit it before the tour buses got there.  So, of to Skara Brae we went.

How can anyone describe seeing buildings and homes that were lived in before the pyramids were build?   Wandering around the site (obviously, one can not walk IN the site) was just amazing.  I think that may be the catch-phrase for Orkney  - "amazing".   The wind from the ocean blew so hard that on occasion it felt like it might blow us off our feet!

We also needed to do some laundry today, so after Skara Brae, we headed off to Kirkwall where we were told there was a laundromat.  Indeed there was.  While laundry was running, we browsed through the shops along the street. Once done, it was time for food and we hit our first Indian place on the trip.  Unfortunately, it wasn't great.

While browsing the stores, I found a ring that had my Norse side screaming.  I now wear this as a sign of my dedication to them.  The runes on it while not the Eldar, are the runes used inside Maeshowe, a chambered tomb.

Back to the B&B to chat over what we did, and download our cameras.  We've another full day tomorrow :)