August 2, 2014 Lerwick, Shetland Islands
Partly Cloudy, 57 degrees sunset 9:33pm
Wow, The Shetland Islands are amazing. Nothing I can say or the pictures you see can express the wonderful day we had there. Lerwick is the northernmost city in the Shetland Islands. It is the capital and primary port. It has a unique culture being located between Scandinavia and Scotland and has the best of both worlds. There are 22,000 people here and about 50,000 sheep.
We did a tour today and here is the description for Shetland Ponies and Scalloway Castle
A panoramic drive through Lerwick, the only town in Shetland. Next to Scalloway Castle where there is a museum, castle and village, then on to visit the Gott ponies owned and bred by David Roberson.
We were to dock today but all of the berth space is taken up by floating hotel barges or old cruise ships which are used to house the workers who are working on new terminals and offshore oil production, so we tendered in. It was a very short tender ride.
Our guide spoke perfect English with a wonderful accent. The tour through town was information and beautiful. The country side here is amazing. Words do not do it justice. I would love to come back and spend some time here. The golf courses here are something to see. They are green and plush with some interest rough. They are big and all walked no carts.
The Scalloway Castle was built in 1600 by the tyrant Earl Patrick Stewart. It is still standing though I doubt the Queen ever stays here. It has dirt floors and large stone stair cases going up 3 floors. The kitchen, great hall, jail and bedrooms are still intact. We then wandered down into town which was not much. There was a tavern, Chinese restaurant and a grocery store. We ran into one couple here who took the local bus here and had their GPS. We walked down to the water and made friends with a cat. The water seen from this area is the North Sea. On the way back to town we had a beautiful scenic overlook which is the Atlantic.
After leaving Scalloway, we drove down a road that was one lane with pull offs since it accommodated two way traffic. It was all through the farmlands. This is where we stopped to see the Shetland Ponies. They have about 30 of them total and brought 5 of them out for us to see. You could not get in the fenced area with them but they would come to fence to be scratched and petted. They were very pretty and sweet. They even had a miniature one. One of them was a 3 time award winner and I think she knew it. Dad tried to figure out how to get one home but first he needs to buy 10 acres for them to roam.
Back on the bus we headed for our final panoramic shot on the Atlantic side. The pictures can never do it justice. Taking pictures with the crisp fresh air and the sheep bleating in Scotland is an experience.
Once back in Lerwick, we went into town. It was about 12:30 and right across from port is a wonderful fish and chips joint. Three tables outside, room for about 8 people to order food inside and as you order the fish and chips the haddock is battered and dropped into the grease. The fish and chips are served in a Styrofoam boat, salted and doused in vinegar (upon request and yes you want it that way), wrapped in about 4 thick sheets of paper and handed to you. They are delicious hot bundles at this point. We opened them up and dug in. It was so hot it burned your fingers and your mouth. As Grandma Ingle used to say if the fish doesn’t burn your mouth, it’s not good. WOW, that was the way fish and chips should be. They did have Haggis but we stuck to fish and chips.
We wandered through Lerwick looking for some cross stitch patterns for mom but did not find any. We never actually found a souvenir shop. We did get some hot chocolate and beer and use the internet. After that we headed back to the ship. It was about 3:00 pm. We took books and Sudoku’s and headed to the lido pool. If you didn’t guess it, we napped at the pool til the horn work us up at 4:30pm. It was time to go. The sail away from Lerwick was gorgeous.
It is smart casual dress but a formal meal tonight. The menu has shrimp cocktail, lobster and veal. I am still looking for my chocolate chip soufflé for dessert again.
No show for us tonight. It is some clarinetist. I really wish they would use the cast. They are so good. Entertainment like food is subjective but this one had not met the mark for me.
We are rockin a bit tonight. Good night from the swaying MS Veendam.