Shetland Islands form a remote archipelago on the north of Scotland. There are not many places more ‘exotic’ in Scotland and the idea of seeing them has been tempting us for a long time. When one day my father mentioned that he had always wanted to visit them, the deal was sealed :).
They lie 2oo km from the northernmost point of mainland, but from Edinburgh it was 500 km long journey.
Interestingly, Shetland islands belong to the UK only since 15th century. Before then it was part of Norway and one can still see scandinavian influence in the local culture and typical architecture. The population of the islands are 23,000 inhabitants.
It was quite an interesting journey to get there. There are several ways how to get there – you can either take a boat from Aberdeen or Orkney island or fly. Both are equally interesting, but for us the flight was cheaper and quicker option. If you buy in advance, the air tickets starts at 150 eur for the return ticket. The fight takes about 1:15 from Edinburgh and 55 minutes from Aberdeen and is operated by very nice small 30 seater planes. We flew from Edinburgh and our return flight was to Aberdeen.
For my parents is was even longer journey. They travelled from Slovakia to Prague, then flew to Edinburgh just to fly again to Sumburgh airport on Shetlands. There we had a car booked and drove another 30 km to the capital city – Lerwick.
The rewards for such a journey were however unexpected and amazing from the start. Right near the airport at the Sumburgh Head we were welcomed by a rare sight – Puffins.
Puffins must be the cutest birds on the Earth. They resemble penguins, are small as pidgeons and have a hard time when flying on their precariously small wings.
By rare I mean that they spend more then 10 months of a year out on the open ocean and come to land only to breed and stay about 8 weeks. So they are indeed much better in swimming then flying.
Another bird colony:
Next, we were off to see some amazing and very old historical site: Jarlshof
It’s massive, it’s amazing and it’s 4500 years old.
Another mindblowing ancient structures are called Brochs. These are complex stonehouses, where a wider community would live. They were also protecting people and animals and served as a fortress. They are about 2000 year old and can mostly be found in the north of Scotland and on the islands. The structures had been quite high and have double walls which would serve as a staircase, support the whole structure and make it more stable.
..to be continued..