The Orkneys, part II – Skara Brae

I had long wanted to visit the site of Skara Brae, not just because it’s an extremely unusual site, since most stone age villages are not so well preserved. But also because of a more personal connection: there are a number of researchers that believe the people of Skara Brae may well have eventually claimed the family name of Scarborough.

I am an absolute nut regarding genealogy. My grandmother’s family name was Scarborough. Enough said.

Skara Brae 1

Skara Brae 1

Skara Brae 2

Skara Brae 2

Skara Brae 3

Skara Brae 3

Skara Brae 4

Skara Brae 4

I was totally blown away by how well preserved a large number of rooms were, and I deeply appreciated how close we were allowed to walk up to the individual areas, and yet still prevented from causing any damage or ruins to the site, itself.

Skara Brae 5

Skara Brae 5

Skara Brae 6

Skara Brae 6

Skara Brae 7

Skara Brae 7

Skara Brae 8

Skara Brae 8

It’s a harsh, harsh land with the seascape in every direction, strong, fierce, and bitter cold winds blowing even in September. It’s no surprise that the Orcadians (the people of Orkney) identify more readily with the Scandinavians than with their closer neighbors, the Scots.

The flag of Orkney

The flag of Orkney

They survive, endure, and go on, just as the people of Skara Brae did all those years ago.

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The Orkneys, part I

We have been looking forward to visiting the Orkneys since our very first trip to Scotland.

It’s a matter of balancing money, time, and the distance to drive away up to the tippy-top of the Highlands, the furthest North of the whole of mainland Great Britain: John O’Groats.

Signpost at John O'Groats

Signpost at John O’Groats

The ferry wasn’t that large, and the trek wasn’t that far.

Ferry to the Orkneys

Ferry to the Orkneys

Lobster traps on Orkney

Lobster traps on Orkney

Beach at Skara Brae

To be honest, there were two places in particular we wanted to hit: the stone age settlement of Skara Brae (uncovered unexpectedly during a storm) and the Ring of Brodgar (or the Standing Stones of Stenness.)

Well, and try the two Orkney scotches: the Highland Park, and the Scapa.

We hit it all.

Second post will cover Skara Brae, and third post will have pictures of the Ring of Brodgar.

Please Stand By….

So.

We all get busy in our lives. Things happen we fully expected would happen. Things happen we didn’t expect to happen. And things don’t happen that we really thought would happen.

I dunno. I have no idea what happened, really. 2015 took off with a bang, and somehow I was left standing on the curb wondering where the time went. I mean, it’s July. Really? July?! My last post was in February! And I was playing catch-up even back then!

Actually, I do know what happened. At least in part. I rediscovered books. No, no seriously. That’s really what happened. I found out about Kindle Unlimited, and…my world shrunk to the size of an I-pad. Yup. That’s what happened. See, when I was a kid, I read all the time. All. The. Time. And sometimes I was reading up to four books at once. Well, not literally the same moment. I don’t have enough hands. But you know what I mean. But when I grew up, my reading fell further and further back, and eventually…I wasn’t reading at all. Not magazines. Not ketchup bottles. Nothing. So to suddenly locate a way to read on the go…life changing.

But when I’m reading…the world falls away. I don’t post blogs. I don’t tweet. I almost (almost) don’t check Facebook. (Let’s get real. Skip Facebooking? Ridiculous.) I don’t work on projects I would like to, or write anything, or even take care of stuff that seriously needs attention. So, it’s time to refocus.

At this point, I could still start churning out posts and reach my original goal of a post every four days. No, really. I could. But I don’t know if I want to. I plan to post the rest of the posts from the Scotland trip LAST FALL. Sheesh. I also plan to write a few posts of our trip to New England this summer. I really need to update some of my genealogy family posts, since our trips in 2013, 2014, and 2015 have resulted in the unearthing of some really cool stuff, along with learning the names of many more ancestors.

So, how often will I post going forward? No idea. But I’m getting back on the horse, and that’s what counts, right? Thanks for the read. Enjoy the ride.