"" Writer's Wanderings: More Scottish Islands - Kirkwall

Friday, October 25, 2019

More Scottish Islands - Kirkwall

After visiting the Shetlands, our cruise heads south to the Orkney Islands. We will stop at Kirkwall. This looks like a port we might be exploring on our own unless there is an excursion that piques our interest from the cruise ship offerings.

A Cruise Critic list of excursion suggestions sounds interesting. Among the spots to visit are two places over 5,000 years old. One is a village, Skara Brae, that was discovered when a howling storm blew away the dunes that were covering it. Another is Maes Howe which is a 5,000 year old chambered tomb.

Another place that is mentioned sounds almost like a Stonehenge. It's called Ring of Brodgar, a ring of stones. Twenty-seven of the original stones are still standing.

There is St. Magnus Cathedral, Highland Park (a distillery) and the Italian Chapel built from Quonset huts, barbed wire, concrete and other odds and ends by Italian prisoners during WWII.

Near the St. Magnus Cathedral is the Bishop's Palace. which dates back to the 1200s. Apparently before becoming a part of Scotland, Kirkwall and the Orkney Islands were a part of Norway. Those Vikings really got around.

I'm thinking by this time we might be ready for a walking tour rather than a bus tour. It sounds like there could be quite a crowd at some of the more popular sites and I think we might be bus weary. There are some tours that can be booked online that sound good for touring the old town.

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