02 July 2014

Orkney Islands Trip

Good morning from Kirkwall! I just woke up after a much needed sleep. And discovered that my last post from London in January never posted, so its published now...which makes it look like I just arrived from London. Which is somewhat true. 

I almost didn't go on this trip, since my Papa passed away Sunday night. Nana was so insistent on me going so here I am. My heart is still back in Massachusetts with my family right now. <3

And for a little bit, I thought the universe was telling me not to go on the trip. I arrived at Logan 3 hours before my flight, only to get up to the bag drop and learn that my flight that was to leave at 10:45pm is now tentatively scheduled for 12:30am because of mechanical issues, and I wouldn't make my connecion in London. After much discussion, the very nice lady learned that there were two open seats left on an earlier flight, and then it felt like the Amazing Race, hoping no one else would grab the seat! I was fasttracked through security because this flight was leaving in an hour! Thank goodness for my early arrival to the airport. 
After an uneventful flight, we landed in my favorite UK city, London. Unfortunately it was a short layover, so I only got to see Heathrow Airport, but that was enough because I found a Pret! (my favorite sandwich shop). My life would've been complete had a Primark also been in the airport, but no such luck.
The next flight was to Aberdeen, with a bit of a longer layover, and the chance to start hearing the delightful Scottish accent! Plus some pretty clouds on the flight up:

And finally onboard the last flight of a very long day, to Kirkwall, capital of the Orkney Islands. If you ever get a chance to fly with Flybe airlines, I highly recommend it. I flew with them last year, and forgot how nice they are! On a 45 minute flight they had a drink service plus a choice of three snacks - I took the package of gingersnap cookies. You definitely wouldn't get that in the US, or not at least without paying for it. 

Arriving at the airport, I went to go wait for the bus into town, and it gave me a chance to look around some. The Orkney Islands have very strong ties to the Nordic countries, being settled by Vikings way back when. I have no idea if this says airport or Kirkwall, but its runes!
The landscape is very much like that on Harris and Lewis - no trees, rather flat, and ocean everywhere! I wish I had pictures of when we were coming in to land, lots of islands and it was so pretty...unfortunately my window seat had a lovely view of the propeller, so no good pictures. 

The hostel is right on the water - you just walk across the street and it is the harbor. Once I dropped my things in my room, I went out to explore the town and find something to eat. 
This is the hostel, right on the corner! And a very close walk to everything, including the bus station. A view from my window last night:
And then I collapsed into bed and slept for twelve hours, which was so nice. The bed was pretty comfy too!

Today's plans are to visit a chapel, and a cute village. Right now its a bit overcast, but as long as it doesn't rain until after the exploring, it will be great!


  1. Looks really nice! Love the water!! Very hot and humid here. I bet you're more comfortable.
    Love ya Mom and Dad :)

  2. Love your post and the pictures. Please be safe and have fun. We love you.