Orkney Day 3: Some really cool stuff and lots of rain

Have you ever played Geoguessr? It’s a game using Google Street View, where you’re dropped into a random location and have to work out where it is. A few years ago, I found myself looking at this place

and I turned around to find a field bordered by stone walls and thought “I need to go here.” Here turned out to beĀ  Birsay on Orkney. It took a few years but here I am on Orkney (which is beautiful and wonderful and I love it) but getting to Birsay seemed a little less likely.

You see, Birsay is at the far east of Mainland (the big central island) and buses are like 4 hours apart, and the main people come for is the Brough. It’s a tidal island, so it can only be visited around low tide and when I checked the tides times for this week, it was about 3.30 pm on Monday and quickly getting later each day after, which meant if I was going to get there, it had to be on Monday except… Well, let’s go back to Monday morning.

The two big tourist attractions on Orkney are Skare Brae and Maeshowe, or the area around Maeshow really. When I arrived I booked a ticket to Maeshow on Monday morning, before I’d checked the tide times but on checking distances and buses, if I was careful, I could do this area and get to the only bus that would get me to Birsay on time.

So that’s Maeshowe behind the cows.

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A Visit to Lots of Times All At Once

Today we’re visiting a place that calls itself one of the most important prehistoric sites in Shetland. Right there, on the first line of the guidebook. But first a little deour.

Past a cow.

To look at a croft, a small tenant farm. There are two rooms on the left, and a barn and byre on the right. Grass roof.

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