We spent Saturday in the Orkney Islands - my favorite day so far! We took a 1 hour ferry ride to another world. The Orkadians do not want to be called Scots. The islands were part of Norway from the 10th through the 15th centuries and the locals still identify with their Norwegian ancestors. This is lush and fertile farm country. In addition to the 20,000 inhabitants, you'll find 80,000 cows and more than 100,000 sheep
Our first stop was a small chapel built by Italian prisoners of war during WWII. The soldiers were interned in this remote northern climate and longed for their mediterranean home. Given two small quonset huts and rudimentary materials they fashioned a beautiful chapel. I could feel their reverence and love as we entered the small building.
These islands contain some of the best preserved and oldest evidence of human habitation. We visited the Ring of Brodgar, built 2500-2000 BC. Originally 60 stones in a ring much larger than Stonehenge, 27 remain standing. Next we stopped to view Skara Brae, a Neolithic village built at the same time as the Great Pyramid in Egypt. This is Europe's best preserved prehistoric village. These ruins survived 5000 years hidden under dunes until and 1850 storm exposed the structures underneath.
Yes, the photos are noticeably "flat" reflecting the overcast skies. It's cold and windy here. Temperatures in the 50's are a bit shocking after leaving 115 degree weather in Phoenix less than a week ago.
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