We are drawn to parkups on a cliff overlooking a fine sea view. Preferably free. Marce sussed one out near some ruins that wasn’t too far away and had no problem with overnight parking. I slipped Escape Velocity into first gear and we were off even though both parkups in Kirkwall sported good views and are an easy walk into a charming village shopping district.
We were met with the usual single lane stop-and-go madness that we’ve become so accustomed to. Pulling into the gravel parking lot we quickly realized that no serious attempt had been made to level the place so we immediately commenced doing the Marce shuffle. What is the Marce Shuffle you ask? First practiced while dropping EV’s anchor in any harbor only to be assured that 25’ over to the right would be much better. Repeat several times until tempers fray. Usually mine.
Repeatedly leveling a three and a half ton camper van with two little plastic ramps is as crude a way to adjust the attitude of your home as you’ll ever find. Turns out we’re pretty good at it but the real trick is to read the lay of land, or parking lot, aye and there’s the rub. Much discussion ensues. Twentyfive feet over there would’ve been perfect, can’t you see how it levels off over there?
The view is beautiful but the ruins are hidden behind a wall and they want to be payed to be seen.
And while embarrassingly, rule #2 definitely applies, we had seen some magnificent sites recently and from the looks of the ruins beyond the wall it seemed well, just your average orderly pile of stones.
The following morning during breakfast Marce looked up and said, “Hey, aren’t we members in good standing of that Historic Scotland thing?” Step right up the ticket lady said, “No payment required for you.”
Let this be a lesson for all you thrillseekers. Rule #2 is insidious, and it’s so easy to fall prey. Turns out the Iron Age village of Broch of Gurness is very interesting, quite well preserved, and beautifully sited at the end of a grassy peninsula.
This is thought to be the first use of built in furniture and dressers with shelves, kind of like Barney Rubble meets Frank Lloyd Wright.
You’d have to call this a short drop
As it turns out the Gurness Village was a fascinating ruin and was similar to several brochs on either side of the Eynhallow sound. It’s certainly more domestic than defensive.