A Tale of Rocks (not really)

This is the beach at Harodswick (Unst, Sheltand), where I was told was a good place to see seals. The seals around Tasmania/Australia are fur seals. They’re in the same family as sea lions. (They have that upright/triangular shape.) The seals up here are “true seals”. (They’re more log-shaped). And I wanted to see one!

So I sat down and waited. No seals, but a lot of rocks.

That rock out there in the middle of the water disappeared after a few seconds, then reappeared again and sat there, waving rocky bits around. Yeah, it’s not a rock.

So, I sat for a while taking photos of the rock. (I’d bought a new zoom lens for my camera. This means it can see things better than I can.) Then I thought I’d try walking down the road, closer to the beach you can see in the photos. in the hope I might get close enough to see something other than a black rock.

Read more

Some Towns of Unst

The largest settlement is on Unst (the northernmost island of Shetland) is Baltasound. It used to be a major herring port. Then the island’s population could reach something like 10,000 people. Now the population of the is 600.

That’s Baltasound Hotel, a semi-circle of wooden cabins facing the main building. (Warm, quiet and quite comfortable cabins, they are.)

The “shopping centre”

Read more

A Morning on Unst

Muness Castle (it’s actually a tower house but it is fortified, possibly to protect him form the locals). Construction started in 1598 for a guy who was half-brother to Robert Stewart, Earl of Orkney, whose son had Scalloway Castle built. (I mention them because they’ll probably come up again.)

The bottom level has a wine cellar, storage rooms & kitchen. The first floor has the great hall (shown here). Although less tony then, and more plastered or timber. The private rooms/chambers are in the turrets, and there was another floor above.

Read more

Clickimin Broch, Shetland

I found another, more intact broch. Clickimin Broch is on the edge of Lerwick, with service station in front and a supermarket across the road, and houses around. Not some remote corner. It was built about 2400-2100 year ago, so about mid-Iron Age. They don’t know who built it or what it was used for or how it originally looked, but it’s very cool.

The broch is on a promontory that was once an island with a causeway.

There’s the causeway.

Read more


The island at the back is Bressay.

You get there on the ferry. It leaves about every hour and the trip takes less than half that time.

Read more

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.

Read more