The Shetland Islands, Heading North





A few photos from Lerwick on the central island before heading out on the ferries. The stained glass was actually in the Lerwick Town Hall…These are three of more than twenty panes, installed over 100 years ago. Imagine discussing a zoning regulation with eight of these  surrounding you !!



No part of the British Isles seems complete without castle ruins, and the Shetlands are no exception.


And the same can be said about old forts, protecting the nearby water passages from pirates or foreign powers.


OK, on to the event described by today’s title… We decided to take a journey to the end of the British Isles. This involved driving north, getting on a car ferry, driving across this second island to another ferry, and continuing on to the northern most part of this last island, Unst. As we traveled north, the people became fewer and the sheep became more numerous. The first island had 900 people and probably 5000 sheep. It was also interesting to notice that the further north, the fewer sheep were constrained by wire. Many were escape artists, but I think we also reached a part of the world that has open range. Unst had a human population of 700, but the sheep probably increased to 6000. 

55B14CED-14B8-44DB-B0C0-24E57080D91F.jpegThis photo is a typical home in Unst. While this one kept Shetlands, I’ll bet the average real estate classified goes something like this:  For sale…Quaint cottage, built in 1922, two bedrooms, two baths, updated insulation, new satellite tv system…and five acres included for sheep grazing…Fencing in good condition, but still need to mark and color the little beasties…Will listen to all decent offers…not interested in sheep as currency.

8EB5F2B3-C785-495C-9515-39ED9628E411.jpegAlong the way, we stopped at the most northern coffee house in the British Isles for tea, coffee, and in my case, hot chocolate. Mark Twain once said that the coldest winter he ever spent was a summer in San Francisco. Well, I’ll bet Twain never made it to Unst !!



We finally made it to the north end of the island. The beaches were rocky and spectacularly beautiful. A little lingering and picture taking, like they do on Everest, and off we went on our decent…driving across two islands and getting on two more car ferries. Our adventure concluded…tomorrow we get back to our more educational endeavors on the south side of the Shetlands.




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