Diary entries for a visit to Orkney
Flew over Kirkwall, lovely clear day so could see the North Isles no problem. Landed at Kirkwall airport straight off the plane collected my luggage within just a few minutes, picked up my hire car and off l went to my self catering cottage.
Staying in Finstown at Jane Glue's accommodation (Judith's twin sister). Saw a grey seal in the bay through the big glass windows, great sunset too, having breakfast on the decking in the morning with more seal watching.
Went to see St Magnus Cathedral in the centre of Kirkwall today - amazing inside, bought an Orkney ice cream from Judith Glue's shop opposite and sat on the Kirk Green enjoying the sun, people-watching and listening to some young girls playing the fiddle and harp - seems to be a lot of talented musicians in Orkney. Later on went back to her Real Food Cafe for an evening dinner - simply cooked local food made in an open kitchen at the back of the shop - fantastic meal with an amazing wine list! Nice shops in the town but this one was really special - a real emporium of the best from Orkney and the Highlands and Islands. Spent a fortune and got a free box of Orkney fudge when l joined the mail list l can even order online Orkney food hampers at Xmas to remind me of my visit.
Headed off down to Visit Orkney where l picked up tourist information on the best neolithic sites to visit tomorrow then walked through windy narrow streets towards St Magnus Cathedral on Broad Street in the centre of town.Went into Judith Glues Shop and Real Food Cafe and ate fantastic local Orkney Produce, logged onto Tripadvisor afterwards as just had to put on a good review and saw that it is number three on tripadvisor - so good choice!
Looked at Jane Glues latest exhibition of her Orkney watercolours at Shorelines Gallery just next to my accommodation in Finstown. l wish l could paint like this the colours are very Orkney. Had tea at home then drove to the Broch of Gurness in Evie and went for a walk along the sands before bed.
Got woken up early this morning by the birds outside the window beautiful day again, studied the information l picked up at the local tourist board and drove to The Ring of Brodgar - no admission fee just simply walked round the site. Next went to Skara Brae - a real stone age village that was found uncovered after a beach storm - just fantastic- one of the wonders of the world. Orkney is a World Heritage site so all neolithic sites are protected by Unesco.
Booked dinner at the Real Food Cafe as they do different specials on their menu in the evenings and are open til 10pm - was not disappointed Wow!! the Orkney Beef Steak and Dark Island Ale Pie with all the trimmings was mouth watering and there was a great wine list at very reasonable prices, families are very welcome and l could see they often play live music in the evenings too! Finished off with Orkney Fudge cheesecake and fresh coffee.
Had to leave today said my last goodbyes to the seals and the puffins. But couldn't resist dropping into Judith's shop in Kirkwall again on the way to the airport just to pick up a few last minute gifts - will definitely be back again next year though! But if l cant make it to Orkney again l could always visit her other shop in Inverness!