I have never been to the Orkney Islands but have long held an ambition to go there. I had a friend in school from there who could mesmerize everyone with her lilting accent, and my great-uncle's family was from there. It's one of those spots many Scots want to go to. Maybe it's the ancient remoteness, a hankering for times past. Maybe it's the wish to explore a wilderness of great beauty.
My husband's paternal grandparents were both from Norway so it would be a great place to take him and my children since the land was in Norwegian hands from 875 to 1472.
When we studied Neolithic history in high school the Orkney Islands always seemed to hold a sense of mystery and ancient drama. Talk of the standing stones, the brochs, the folklore, and Skara Brae would leave some of us in awe. It's only about 10 miles from Caithness to the Orkney Islands but as a youngster it might as well have been a million miles away.
The photograph shows the remains of the Kirk of St. Nicholas in Orphir courtesy of http://www.orkneyjar.com/