Sunday, 24 January 2016

Fire & Ice

The tension is mounting, as the count down begins to Up Helly Aa on Tuesday 26 January 2016. This is the biggest of the processions in Shetland. Scalloway Fire festival took place on Friday 8 January, the first of ten across Shetland.

                                                                                                                    Last year

Over the year work has taken place to build a new galley, the design kept top secret, only known to a few.  We know someone who was specially invited to look at the new Galley last Wednesday, but then was sworn to secrecy not being able to reveal any details until the night.

In addition the Guizer Jarl squad have been busy growing beards, the bigger the better. Costumes, shields, helmets and spears have also been made in the special design and will have cost a fortune.

This great event always takes place, no weather condition has yet led to a postponement, so rain, snow or Hurricane will not stop the procession or galley burning.

Last year the weather was perfect but this year they are already predicting rain. In recent years the only cancellation was back in 1965 when Winston Churchill died, prior to that 1940 - 1948 WW2.

For those travelling to Shetland especially for the event,  they will have to have booked  accommodation well up front, as many people from all over the world arrive to see this unique event. With cancelled ferries during to extreme winds and last week days of cancelled flights due to the snow, it can prove difficult to get to Shetland especially for last minute travelers.

The day for the Guizer squad starts around 6.30 with breakfast at Isleburgh and doesn't finish until 8 am the following morning with the survivors breakfast. With around 800+ Vikings processing, that's a lot of breakfasts to cook !

If you cannot make it to Shetland then watch it here on

                                                                                                  Scalloway Castle

Its been a period of very cold weather this week in Shetland, lots of ice with virtually all locks frozen and even parts of the sea. Getting around has been difficult and mid week the road up from Scalloway was nearly impassable around 10 pm.

The landscape looks so different under a white covering of snow and I was able to get over to Scalloway to photograph the castle, looking odd now, as the accommodation barge Bibby and the cruise liner Gemini had left due to the decline in the oil industry.

                                                                                                   Rainbow over Cunningsburgh

1 comment: