Norway (Day 14, Part 1)

July 1

Lerwick, Shetland Islands, Scotland

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[After two weeks in Norway, it was time to visit the United Kingdom to see if we could straighten out the Brexit mess . . . ]

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[Our first sighting of civilization in the United Kingdom . . . ]

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[Shetland, also called the Shetland Islands and formerly Zetland, is a subarctic archipelago in the Northern Isles of Scotland, situated in the Northern Atlantic, between Great Britain, the Faroe Islands, and Norway.  The islands lie some 80 km (50 mi) to the northeast of Orkney, 170 km (110 mi) from the Scottish mainland and 300 km (190 mi) west of Norway.  The total area is 1,466 km2 (566 sq mi), and the population totalled 23,210 in 2011.  The islands comprise the Shetland constituency of the Scottish Parliament.  The local authority, Shetland Islands Council, is one of the 32 council areas of Scotland. The islands’ administrative centre and only burgh is Lerwick, which has been the capital of Shetland since taking over from Scalloway in 1708.  The largest island, known as “Mainland”, has an area of 967 km2 (373 sq mi), making it the third-largestScottish Island and the fifth-largest of the Bristish Isles.  There are an additional 15 inhabited islands.  The archipelago has an oceanic climate, a complex geology, a rugged coastline and many low, rolling hills.  Humans have lived in Shetland since the Mesolithic period. The early hostoric period was dominated by Scandinavian influences, especially from Norway.  The islands became part of Scotland in the 15th century.  Fishing continues to be an important aspect of the economy up to the present day.  The discovery of North Sea oil in the 1970s significantly boosted Shetland’s economy, employment and public sector revenues (Wikipedia).]

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[And the Shetlanders are coming out to greet us . . . ]

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[Those are the Shetlands in the upper right.  The next cluster to the SW before hitting the Scottish mainland are the Orkney Islands, our next stop . . . ]

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[The Shetlands . . . ]

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[Our destination was Lerwick . . . ]

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[Looks like a fine crop of something golden or yellowish – possible guess would be bere (a six-row barley)?]

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[We’re ashore now.  The ferries between the Shetlands and Orkney . . . ]

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[The Toll Clock Shopping Center (I don’t know how I knew that?) . . . ]

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[Brage Viking supply ships are capable of operations in harsh environment offshore regions, as well as Arctic/Sub-Arctic operations . . . ]

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[Lerwick is the main town and port of the Shetland Islands.  Shetland’s only burgh, Lerwick had a population of about 7,000 residents in 2010.  It is both the most northerly and easterly town in Scotland.  One of the UK’s coastal weather stations is situated there.  Evidence of human settlement in the Lerwick area dates back 3,000 years, centred on the Broch of Clickimin, which was constructed in the first century BCE. The first settlement to be known as Lerwick was founded in the 17th century as a herring and white fish seaport to trade with the Dutch fishing fleet.  Significant buildings in Lerwick include Fort Charlotte, Lerwick Town Hall, the Bod of Gremista, Shetland Museum and Archives and Clickimin Broch.  Because of the historic nature of the area, some scenes from BBC’s Shetland were filmed in Lerwick (Wikipedia).]

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[On our bus tour, first sighting of the town hall . . . ]

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[Lerwick Town Hall is located in central Lerwick.  It was completed in 1884 during a period of expansion in Lerwick due to the wealth the herring industry brought.  It is protected as a Category A listed building.  It was situated at the highest point of Lerwick available facing west to the new town with its back to the old town, lanes and harbour (Wikipedia).]

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[Old town . . . ]

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[To the hinterlands (Mainland), traveling straight across to the west coast from Lerwick . . . ]

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[To the scenic overlook of Scalloway and Scalloway Castle . . . ]

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[Our tour guide (the redhead) will be featured more in Part 2 . . . ]

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[Everything you ever wanted to know about Scalloway . . . ]

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[The Super captures a master craftsman at work . . . ]

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[My parting shot here . . . ]

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[A rather balmy 53 degrees . . . ]

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[Horsies!!]

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[But the wind and moisture gave the 53 degrees a bit of a chill . . . ]

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[“Shetland ponies date back to the Bronze Age,” said Carol Fuller, owner of Carol’s Ponies.  “At one time, there were more than 10,000 Shetland ponies here. Then there were 5,000. Now there are only about 1,000 in Shetland.”  Carol has 20 mares, six stallions and two geldings, including an adorable nine-week-old baby who didn’t stray far from his mother. A Shetland pony gestation period is 11 months (https://allthingscruise.com/viking-sky-cruise-12-shetland-ponies-are-small-but-strong-and-sturdy/).]

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[Pound-for-pound, the strongest of the horse family.  These little tanks can pull twice their body weight . . . ]

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[A nostril shot?]

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[No, horsie, it’s not an edible . . . ]

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[The Super is a girl.  Girls like horsies.  Shetland ponies are litte horsies.  Ergo, the Super likes Shetland ponies.  The following are all her up close and personal pony shots . . . ]

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[Heading back to town . . . ]

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[Tingwall Kirk cemetery . . . ]

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[Your basic Shetland landscape . . . ]

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[The Vikings are coming?]

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[Model train yard . . . ]

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[The ubiquitous treeless Shetland landscape, a result of clearing wood for fuel and sheep grazing.  We’ll continue in Lerwick in Part 2 . . . ]

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I have a difficult time doing an Irish accent; even now, it kind of fades slowly into Scottish.  ~  Robin Williams

Up Next:  Part 2?

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