The small town of Scalloway is the former capital of Shetland and we bypassed it a few times for the reason we wrote about before — lack of convenient or adequate parking. Jack was keen to see the castle so we squeezed ourselves into the compact museum car park and toured the museum, walked around the castle (closed, of course) and did a quick wander through the village.
The museum is mostly about Scalloway’s seafaring history with a particular emphasis on the World War II operation called the Shetland Bus which established a link between Shetland and German-occupied Norway to transport agents back and forth and supply the Norwegian resistance with weapons and supplies, using fishing boats at first, then later more purpose built boats.
Ever since the Viking times there’ve been close connections between Shetland and Norway and many of the tourists we encounter in Shetland are Norwegian.
Jack explored the perimeter of the castle, one of only two in Shetland. Both were designed and built in the late 16th century by Andrew Crawford with similar elements in the corner turrets. You might remember we stayed overnight in the shadow of the other one, Muness Castle, on the isle of Unst.
The rest of Scalloway was quiet and mostly devoid of the shops and cafes that keep us interested.
We did find an intriguing plaque that reads, in part:
“GERMAN THEORIES CONTROVERTED. GERMANS Are Not The Favoured of Heaven.”
This, of course, sent me to Google. The plaque is about earth tides which I’d never heard of, and the plaque was created in 1910 by a stone mason and amateur scientist named William Johnson who apparently had a bone to pick.
If you want a quickie explanation try the link above. For a deep dive down the rabbit hole of William Johnson and his theories, this one is the way to go.