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Saturday, 15 July 2017


I am so fascinated by Standing Stones and other ancient monuments. 
 About 20 years ago, Bryan and I took the girls to Britain to see as many castles and Standing Stones as we could, but the Orkneys were just too far away. 

So when I saw that this cruise went to the Orkneys, I was so excited even though I never thought we would actually get to see the stones . . . much less touch them!

Bryan’s Journal:

June 1, 2017: Kirkwall

The morning turned out to be quite cool; the sun was trying to burn through the clouds.

We were lucky enough to get a seat on a sort of ‘hop-on/hop-off’ bus that would take us into the countryside with its verdant rolling hills, fields separated by stone fences and very few trees.   

a brief stop in Stromness 

We passed by a number of small lakes -- lochs, on our way to . . .

 . . . the prehistoric houses of Skara Brae which will be featured in the next blog post.
     Our next main goal was The Ring of Brodgar, a mysterious monolithic circle.

Idiots have carved their names into the stones and some of them have been fenced off.    

Our bus also passed by a smaller but equally impressive group: the "Standing Stones of Stenness".   

Back in Kirkwall, Eleanor went shopping on Albert and Broad Streets; Bryan visited St. Magnus Cathedral, the grounds of the Bishop's Palace, and the Tankerness House Museum with its contemplative garden.  By 4 pm we were in the shuttle back to the ship. 


CLAPSHOT (4 to 6 servings)

            This is a recipe from the Orkney and Shetland Islands according to Lizzie Boyd’s  BRITISH COOKERY.    

1 lb mashed potatoes (or riced)
1 lb mashed turnips (not rutabagas; I puréed them in a food processor)
1 tbsp chopped chives
1 to 2 ounces butter
Salt and pepper

Mix it all together.  Reheat and serve.  It's very good.

                                           Isle of Arran at 6 a.m. about 20 years ago