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Road Trip Part 3: Orkney & The Outer Hebrides

Greetings from Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis, Scotland! Lewis and its connected island, Harris, make up the main isles of the Outer Hebrides. During the past week we have traveled by car and ferry to visit here, after stopping in Orkney. We also traveled on the mainland for a couple of days for more scenery and to check out the tiny settlement where Robin's grandmother grew up (Modsary). That part of northern Scotland is sparsely settled and a great place to "get away from it all."

We have yet to see much of the sun on our road trip; I guess it's time to accept that it rains nearly every day in Scotland. I just hope I am someplace scenic on the next nice day, so I can get a few photos in the sunshine! Meanwhile, here are some of the sights we've enjoyed on these beautiful islands....



Continuing our quest to view ancient stone circles and ruins from civilizations 5,000 years ago, we visited several of these monuments on Orkney and Lewis. But beware of cruise ships and tour buses! We enjoyed the gorgeous Ring of Brodgar on Orkney in the company of a hundred other visitors (though still able to get a good photo in the nick of time!). It reminded us of our determination to wake up early and enjoy these places before the crowds arrived. Indeed, we had the Calanais Standing Stones on Lewis all to ourselves at 7 AM on a drizzly Sunday morning. Here you can walk up and touch the monoliths, which were somehow transported and erected by Stone Age people, without much in the way of tools, all those centuries ago.


A few other scenes from our travels:



Today will be our fifth and final night on the Isle of Lewis. We've had a restful time here in another very nice house rented through AirBnB. We're past the midway point of our trip now and our remaining stops will be busy ones, so it's been nice to enjoy the quiet town of Stornoway, dodge the rain for some interesting walks, and sample the island's eateries. We went on a walk known for golden eagle sightings; no luck with that, but we really enjoyed the hike up to the Harris Eagle Observatory in its dramatic valley.



And yes that supermarket photo represents us taking advantage of the nice kitchen, and making some meals at our rental home. We also enjoyed sampling the island food and drink establishments this past week. The soup photo below is "cullen skink," a famous and tasty Scottish fish chowder.



Don't you love that they gave us little scissors for the ketchup packets in the fish dinner photo?


Tomorrow we depart on our penultimate ferry trip for the Isle of Skye. I'm excited to return, although we've been warned to expect hordes of tourists now that it's (purportedly) summer. (Sorry for all you folks back home suffering from the heat wave! I'm sure you're tired of me complaining about the cold and rain.) You can get to Skye by bridge from the mainland, so we will no longer be in the most remote parts of Scotland. Nonetheless we look forward to revisiting some of our favorite places there.


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5 commenti


Ospite
21 giu

So loved the Callanish Standing Stones; could have stayed there for hours, breathing in the ancient stories they could tell! Glad you got all the way out to Orkney; never made it that far. Thanks for sharing! Cheryl

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kgilman11
21 giu
Risposta a

Thank you Cheryl, for inspiring me to go there! I have loved all these ancient sites. -- Kim

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Ospite
20 giu

It is breathtakingly beautiful there. I'm inspired to make a trip

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Miranda Gerber
Miranda Gerber
20 giu

Glad you weren’t transported back in time when you touched those stones!! (Outlander….)

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kgilman11
21 giu
Risposta a

Me too!

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