Arriving in Orkney by ferry is a great experience. We’ve got a day on the Mainland before heading to Westray on yet another ferry.
Meandering the streets of Kirkwall is always a pleasure. There’s the Big Tree on Albert Street to admire:
It’s a Sycamore propped up by an iron support. It looks more like a devil’s hoof from pavement level.
There’s some ancient technology here. Who could have imagined that you would be able to carry both of these around with you in your pocket?
Have you ever tried to explain what these are to a young person? I recommend you try it.
Kirkwall has a fabulous bookshop and there’s time to browse and buy Raymond Besant’s book Naturally Orkney. It’s the sort of bookshop that will wrap your book neatly in paper or put it in a candy-striped paper bag. Classy.
The craft skills and ingenuity of the people here have been honed by ages of self-reliance. I always enjoy seeing the rope-work on these repurposed car tyres. Orkney’s too beautiful to be a dumping ground and making use of available resources is something of a fine art here.
This planter would brighten any day; even an Orkney one: