In three days the ferry will take us back to mainland Scotland and we suspect there are many things Orkney has not yet revealed. We start with the Orkney Museum in Kirkwall. We’ve walked past its beautiful arched doorway dozens of times but bad timing or a busy schedule made us say, ”maybe later.” Today will be later.
The museum tells the story of Orkney from the Neolithic period through the present. We’d already learned much of the history from other museums and visitors centers we toured, so most interesting to us here are the Kirkwall-specific exhibits and Orkney art and craft through the ages.
This practical chair features a drawer on each side of the base, one side for a bible, the other for whiskey, which I think we can agree is the best way to study religion.
There are plenty of examples of the designs and writings of the Picts and the Vikings.
Marce’s favorite exhibit was learning to spell her name like a Viking might, to which she applied her considerable talents and energy.
There’s one Kirkwall parkup we haven’t tried yet, Scapa Beach, adjacent to a section of the St. Magnus trail. We followed the grassy track up to a sweeping overlook toward the Scapa Distillery. There’s that religion-whiskey intersection again. I think we’re finally starting to understand the essence of Scotland.
We agreed that for our last tango in Orkney we’d return to our favorite parkup behind the golf course along Hoy Sound.
It was a beautiful place to celebrate our 32nd anniversary.
On an evening walk we discovered that the old ruin near our parkup used to be a lifeboat station until they realized they could only launch the rescue boat during high tide. Oops. The station was relocated.
Tomorrow we’ll board the ferry to Scrabster and leave the northern isles of Scotland. It’s been a beautiful journey, enlightening, often surprising, the people warm and welcoming. We always found everything we needed or wanted, from camper supplies to gourmet cheeses. And the scenery never failed to take our breath away.
The next morning we said goodbye to Orkney, and as we rounded the tip of Hoy, we waved a final farewell to the Old Man.