Day 3; Evening
Our day was far from over. When we reached Aberdeen, we boarded a Northlink Ferry for the 6 hour trip to the Orkneys.
The ship was huge! And perfect for surging across the unpredictable North Sea. We'd been warned the seas could provide a bit of a rough ride, but we were blessed with a smooth crossing. Other than the rumble of the engines beneath our feet and the gentle roll (which wasn't really noticeable until you decided to take a stroll), it was hard to remember you were aboard a ship.
Except for the views.
Thankfully--as I'm not the best sailor in rough seas--the crossing was completely uneventful. We ate supper, read, and were entertained by some wonderful musicians in our lounge area. Even an unexpected song from a man not in our group with a lovely voice. I don't recall what he sang, only that it was beautiful.
We arrived in Kirkwall around 11:30pm. It wasn't quite dark yet. We were far enough north that the sun was gone for only a few hours a day. I know for certain the sun was up before 4am, which is when it poked its brilliant rays between the (almost) closed curtains in my room the next morning!
Our hotel in Stromness, a short ride away, was waiting up for us. Bless the night porters for carrying our bags up the many stairs to our rooms. There was a lift, but it was quite small, and there were 40 weary people heading for their rooms. I managed to peg a room on the very top floor--third floor in the UK as they count the ground floor as zero, but fourth floor to my tired legs.
We were able to sleep in a bit the next morning, and even visited some wonderful shops before our bus left to take us on our next adventure.
The staff at the Stromness Hotel treated us royally. Always cheerful, helpful, and willing to take a moment to chat or answer questions, they presented us with amazing meals, plenty of hot tea, and one of the best breakfast buffets on the tour. Though, to be honest, the food everywhere was fabulous.
They even lugged our suitcases back downstairs when it was time to leave. For which I am again grateful.
Tomorrow: Day 1 on Orkney
6/22/2019 06:21:22 am
I have the computer on this morning so I took the opportunity to see everything I've missed all week (and for the preceding weeks, too! Boo-hoo….) One of the things I love about the buildings in the British Isles is that while the color of the buildings may reflect the color of either the local stone or the whitewashed facades, color abounds. The door and window facings seem to cheer up the place vibrantly--as does the window boxes full of colorful flowers and the marvelous gardens behind their homes. LOVE it. Thanks for sharing, Cathy
6/23/2019 05:56:56 pm
They were just beginning to put out flower baskets around town. The last visit to Scotland was in August and the towns were a riot of color with flowers hanging in baskets and in pots everywhere. One man and his truck trundled about town watering the plants every day. I love that so many people there share a love of flowers and gardening. Even the tiny houses along the streets have beautiful front gardens.
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This is where I talk about things in my life outside of writing. Mostly gardening and dogs.
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