Ullapool, Kirkwall and Lerwick, Scotland

“The only time my prayers are never answered is on the golf course.” ~ Billy Graham

We’re in Scotland and it rains, rains, rains.  The many shore excursions are catching up with us and not letting us catch up with ourselves! John went to Ullapool without me and took some cute photos. We both went to Kirkwall, then John canceled the Invergordon trek after going to Edinburgh without me and took no photos as we had been there just 10 yrs ago when we both could get around better and faster, and even then it wasn’t that fast! Right K and Wade?

So you’ll see a couple on board pictures of entertainment all over, and of course more food!!  The landscape photographic back drops to the Highland dancers were absolutely beautiful. The pictures here don’t do them justice.

The Orkney Islands (Kirkwall) and the Shetland Islands (Lerwick) were given as a dowry from a Danish Princess for her wedding to a Scottish Prince. But they kept their Norse heritage and history and don’t wear kilts or play bagpipes. Kirkwall played an important part in WW1 and with so many sunken German ships in the harbor of Scapa Flow, it has become a mecca for diving enthusiasts. The 5000 year old Ring of Brogdar is the finest known circular stone ring from he early Bronze Age.

John had a Lamb dish and I had Sea Scallops and yes, that is Escargot on my bread.  Profiteroles for dessert, but when I make them, they’re just cream puffs;-)  and I had Cherries Jubilee.  I’m really NOT going to photograph all our meals! Some of the girls wanted to see the food…  Some great pipers played for us as the ship was leaving the dock.  I still don’t know how to take a selfie!

Lerwick, Capital of the Shetland Islands

“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure.”  ~  Jawaharlal Nehru

The Shetland archipelago comprises about 300 islands, of which 16 are inhabited.

Lerwick is the capital of the Shetland Isles and is part of Scotland. A beautiful quiet small city with a population of 7,500, which doubles in size when just 2 cruise ships pull into port. Herring, which is their major export and commercial business today, employs a great deal of that population. There is 0 unemployment! Though it is part of Scotland, they don’t wear kilts or play bagpipes. Their Norse heritage and history is more prevalent and celebrated.

  Inscription still visable on Scalloway Castle: “Patrick Stewart Earl of Orkney and Shetland. That house whose foundation is on a rock will stand but if on sand it will fall. AD 1600”   The foundation stood the test of time but not the roof…

They still celebrate Up Helly Aa.

It takes place in Lerwick, on the last Tuesday in January every year, which is an annual community celebration of their Viking Heritage and involves a series of marches and visitations, culminating in a torch-lit procession and the burning of a galley.