The Orkney Diaries


Oh my goodness me, there is an awful lot of Scotland north of Perth. In fact there is a lot of Scotland north of Inverness. Inverness provided a welcome wee stop.
Arrived at the ferry terminal in good time, only to be informed the boat was running an hour late! Plenty of time for very welcome cheese and ham toasties.
Arrived at the cottage, yippee. It is as good as we remember.Unpacked, fed & watered and off to bed.


After an all too short sleep we were up and about cooking breakfast and getting ready to go to the beach. A tour of mainland Orkney led us to Skara Brae and Skail Bay. An hours splashing about in the water was enough, it was cold!
A brief stop in Tesco Kirkwall for essential supplies, and lunch, before going to Sandi Sands! Home so Daddy could watch the motor racing while Mummy & Euan played crazy golf!
Pudding was plan B because plan A had gone fousty - the pigs benifited and seemed grateful.


After a slower start followed by bannana pancakes, red berries and salted caramel sauce for breakfast, we headed off to Kirkwall on the bus. We had a good wander around St Magnus Cathedral followed by the Earls palace & Bishops palace.
Lunch at "Archive coffee" was exceptionally good, Honey glazed Smoked salmon, Hummus & pitta bread and an Orkney Platter was swiftly consumed. Pudding was an Orkney ice cream, eaten sitting in the sun outside the cathedral.
We then got the bus back to the cottage and because it was such a lovely sunny day we decided to go for a swim. Well Daddy and Euan went for a swim while Mummy went for a run!
Dinner was steak, new potatoes and broccoli,very scrummy, and we discovered the pigs didn't like broccoli, sensible pigs!


A quick breakfast of toast, scrummy cheese and chutney cob bread, before heading out to Skara Brae. We also visited Ring of Brodgar, Ness of Brodgar and Standing stones of Stenness - a very archaelogical day out.
On the way home we went to the Orkney Fish Shop for some prawns and crab meat. Dinner was seafood linguine, Euan was not too keen but we thought it was very tasty.
After dinner we did some washing, fed the pigs and then walked down to the Sands hotel, with a view to maybe eating out there.


Daddy was up sharp this morning to bake some bread and to make bacon and cheese muffins for breakfast. We then loaded the car up and popped down to one of the Churchill barriers for a swim, paddle etc. Daddy paddled his windsurf board out to the blockship, then dropped into the water for a closer look. Wendy and Euan splashed about in the kayak.
Following a lunch of sandwiches, with the fresh bread and remaining muffins, we set off for the Tomb of the Eagles. An interesting afternoon out. We looked at the site of the gun batteries that defended Scapa Flow on the way back.
We spent so long looking round at stuff we had to stop and have dinner in the Murray Arms Hotel, in St Margaret's Hope before coming back to the cottage.


No new photos today because Daddy went windsurfing while Mummy and Euan took the bus to Stromness. They had a good day out. Meanwhile back at the beach things didn't go so well for Daddy. Forecast was for 20mph winds from about midday onwards. So after waiting for the torrential rain shower to clear, Daddy went down the beach about 11. Slowly rigged up and carried kit to water. At 2pm when the sun came out he gave up waiting for the wind. He then ran away to Tesco to buy more beer, whilst there he met Mummy and Euan, so gave them a lift home.
Once home Daddy sorted his wet kit whilst being nibbled by midges because it was so calm!
Dinner was a chorizo, prawn, potato and cod hotpot, expertly prepared by Mummy - It was great, a bigger hit than the seafood linguine according to Euan.


The wind arrived but from the North. This means it is offshore and since I don't fancy windsurfing to mainland Scotland I decided to give it a miss. Instead I took Euan for a swim at the Pickaquoy leisure centre. It was fun, he fired the giant water pistol at me, made me swim through the showers and dragged me backwards through the fountain!
Meanwhile Wendy had a peaceful wander round Kirkwall before joining us for lunch.
I dropped them at the Italian chapel before coming back to the cottage to start sorting out the loading of the car


Oh boo hoo, our holiday is over.......A slighty more bouncy ferry crossing than the way up but a clearer run down the road. We did stop briefly at John O'Groats and got a picture of Euan at the signpost.
We stopped for dinner at McKays fish bar in Pitlochry, and very good it was too.
Home at 7pm, car unloaded and settled down for a beer by 8pm.

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