Since we bought the campervan we’ve spent precious little time in cities or towns for the simple reason that parking a larger vehicle is challenging in this land of narrow lanes and small car parks. Before we enter a town I scour Google maps to find a likely place to park where there are either designated places for motorhomes or where we can reverse at the back of the lot and overhang to a grass strip or walkway. It’s possible to incur a fine for taking up two spaces, and at 20’ we’re just that little bit longer than a normal car space.
We wanted to explore Lerwick, the capital of Shetland, and couldn’t find any nearby overnight parkups but I did find a large municipal lot on the waterfront where we can spend the day for £4, then drive somewhere else for the night.
Lerwick is a compact town, all stone and tides and flowers, with a selection of cozy cafes, shops, and narrow alleys to explore.
We found the perfect throw pillow to remind us of our time at Sumburgh Head.
On our way to the museum we stopped to chat with the owners of an unusual motorsailor we’d noticed earlier. They are Americans and just arrived from the Faroe Islands. We were excited to indulge in some sailor talk after so long and agreed to meet later for more, depending on our parking situation.
At the museum we watched as a young crew readied a replica boat for its maiden voyage.
The name of this traditional fishing boat reminded us we have unfinished business in Shetland. The island of Muckle Roe awaits.
We’re surprised at the number of cruising sailboats crowding the small harbor, with boats two, three, and even four deep in some places. Most are from Norway, Sweden, and the Netherlands. There are also near daily cruise ships, tour boats, and classic training ships to watch coming and going. Add in the constant ferries from near and far and you’ve got a busy port. We love it.
Toward the end of the day I spied a parking official on the wharf and asked for clarification on the rules. He looked at Escape Velocity and assured me we could absolutely spend the night, and so we had a fun evening on the harbor front, and the next day we met up with our new cruising friends, Judy and Victor, for brunch. It’s always a joy to immediately bond with people you meet by chance in unusual places. We promised to return to Lerwick and meet again before long.
Now it’s off to Muckle Roe for the escapees. Adventure awaits.