This page is being written whilst waiting in the ferry queue for the Orkney to Shetland ferry that leaves at 23:00 (but is late due to fog). We arrived on Orkney from the Scottish mainland at 14:00 yesterday. The cost of getting Mog (height 3.6 metres, length 6 metres, weight 7,400kg) and two people to Shetland was £150 ($240USA).

The highlights of Orkney were Skara Brae, the Stones of Stenness and the Italian Chapel.

Skara Brae.Skara Brae (a UNESCO world heritage site) is a 5000 year old, semi-subterranean village. Each house was built to a standard pattern and many of them still have their stone "furniture" in place.

Because the wood and earth roofs decayed long ago each house is now viewed as a stone lined pit.

The village was discovered in 1850 when a storm stripped the grass from a high dune known as the Skara Brae.

Stones of Stenness.The Stones of Stenness and the Ring of Brogar are two henges on Orkney within two kilometres of each other.

Stenness originally had twelve stones up to 5.7 metres tall arranged in an ellipse. Only four remain upright today. The stones, when erected 4500 years ago, were surrounded by a ditch six metres wide and 2.3 metres deep.

The Italian Chapel (inset is exterior view).The Italian Chapel dates back only 50 years and was built by Italian prisoners of war during the second world war using scrap material.

The Chapel was created by Domenico Chioochetti who stayed on in Orkney to finish his creation after the end of the war. The chapel is now maintained by the Orkney Islanders.

Stephen Stewart.

Home - This page last changed on 2003-06-01.