Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Scots Corner - Orkney Islands

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/


PurestGreen said...

I haven't been to Orkney yet either and I really want to go. Hopefully my love and I can do a bit of island hoping starting in the spring.

Also if you ever get a chance to go to Norway, do. And make sure you get to Lofoten, above the arctic circle. Go onto flickr and punch in Reine. So, so beautiful.

Carol said...

Some of my husband's ancestry is from the Lofoten area. Gorgous scenery.

Plain Ol' Vanilla said...

Hello Scot in TN,

I found your blog by googling Orkney Quilter. My grandparents are from the Orkneys, immigrating to the U.S. pre/post WW I respectively. My dream trip is to go there to see my great-grandparents' farm.
I'm also a quilter, as was my grandma and my mom.