Friday, 29 July 2016

Interesting visitors

Normally Shetland roads are fairly quiet but earlier in the week I had to go into a layby as two helicopters came down the main road. Not that either could fly down , they were on heavy transporters going from Sumburgh to Lerwick and then Scotland via the ferry.

These Super Puma helicopters have been grounded as 13 people had been killed off the coast of Norway in June following a crash.

We have visited the harbour in Lerwick on a number of occasions recently( must be coming a Shetlander as they regularly check out the ships and boats)

This week the `Ernka' a former Shetland bus boat made a three day appearance in Lerwick. This 107 year old fishing vessel carried 60 Norwegian Refugees to Shetland in 1942.

In 1940 the German Kriegsmarine requisitioned the Alesund built boat but was stolen by the refugees and then sailed across the sea to land at Lerwick, this was the largest number to come over on one boat.

The Ernka made another three trips to Nazi occupied Norway before being retired as it had become too recognisable due to its steel hull. The owners father was part of the Shetland bus making 43 trips on the sub-chaser `Vigra'

A number of old Norwegian sailing ships also visited Shetland including the interesting `Framstig', which was built in 1914 and later ran a ground and was left to rot

Four people discovered the boat in the 1970's and started what was a 5 year project to restore the boat to sailing condition.

Once completed they set sail for a 2.5 year trip around the world and from there it has been travelling between Norway, Shetland, Orkney, Faroe and Greenland

A shinning light

Other visitors included Oil related vessels, Shetland tug and seabird tours as well as a Norwegian fishing boat Haugefisk which was built in Norway in 1978

                                                                                                          Time for a rest

Visiting the harbour is always interesting as you never know what is likely to turn up, its also great to see where the boats come from.

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Sunday, 24 July 2016

reasons to stay

At this time of year Shetland gets a lot of visitors and I always enjoy taking to them about why they come to these remote islands rather then having a hotter cheaper alternative abroad.

A lot of people that make their own way here seem to have been drawn to Shetland because of two TV programmes the BBC1 Shetland Drama and Island Parish, they have done a good job in attracting first time tourists. Others come because of the wildlife or the archaeology wonder but for what ever reason they are instantly under the Shetland spell, it could easily be the Trows working their magic.

It was the same for us, visiting the islands back in 1987 we had only been in Shetland for a few days and we talked about a quick return for another  holiday and as you do, said we would like to live here one day.

Well both have come true for us, yes it is expensive to get to Shetland but it is worth every penny. People have moved here without ever coming to see it first, its just an amazing place to be. One thing you notice first is the wide open vistas, large cloud filled skies, ever changing and a quality of light that I haven't seen anywhere before

Shetland reveals its secrets slowly, there are many hidden jems, so much to explore. We only visited the Burn of Lunket the other week, its a great place, different from other burns in Shetland as it is wide and has a super waterfall. There is a small carpark and a good path which runs up beside the waterfall

The waterfall is only a short drive from Aith.

The same day we headed further north to Lower Voe, its a quiet but interesting place to visit

The Bod only had three people staying in it but for £10 per night for a bed is certainly a good way of seeing Shetland as Bod's are situated throughout the islands.

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Saturday, 16 July 2016


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Not many people would believe that Shetland was the second sunniest place in the UK during June. With 226.2 hours it was only just beaten by Valley in North Wales by 4 hours. This is a lot better than last year when it was wet and cold.

In Speyside there was plenty of signs of whisky making, besides the distilleries we had passed on the way down we also came across this store of empty wooden barrels soon to be introduced to the whisky.

Not every car or van can make it around all the areas in Scotland.

Our second week in Sheffield was wet - very wet, with one day in particular very bad with flooding on the east side. This proved to be a problem as we went for a meal but found roads flooded and closed. On one road a car was left in a pond which had formed in a dip, leaving the driver in around 4 feet of water.

It was good to meet up with family and friends and we spent all the week visiting, sometimes two or three people a day.

The above waited too long before making a decision on whether to move to Shetland, so glad we moved here just over 2 years ago.

                             Illegal immigrant will try anything to get into the country, this one failed

                 In Sheffield you still have to wait along time to get work, no matter how keen you are ! Shetland however have the lowest unemployment in the UK

I did have one day to look around so while Diane went shopping with Wendy I went round some old industrial sites in the east end. The steel industry which once was so important to Sheffield has almost disappeared. The large area that Forgemasters covered was now left empty, waiting for redevelopment, only a few insects remain (below)

The journey back to Shetland was uneventful and we made the journey from Sheffield - Aberdeen with an hour to spare. On the way we received some good news that the floor had been re-boarded and cushion floor laid and the new heating system was completely installed.

                            Thanks to Beryl for helping out, feeding our cat and cleaning up.

Still getting a number of Cruise liners into Lerwick and a fishing (above/ Below) boat, the Carolien from Holland spent all of 10 mins at Breiwick before heading out quickly

It was good to find out that the campaign to save the Northern based emergency tug Herakles has been successful, at least for another 5 years. Also in the news was that the crime drama Shetland  will return for a fourth series, 5.8 million people watched the BBC1 drama last time, this is excellent news for the tourist industry.