Ahoy ya scurvy bilge-rats, I’m back from swashing me buckle and bracing the main sail! It was certainly an experience and I think I’m going to have to split this into a few posts! So much happened!
Eva and I left Dundee on Tuesday afternoon and arrived in Kirkwall, on the Orkney Islands at around 11.30pm on Tuesday night. Our fellow pirates, Andy (the skipper), his girlfriend Emma, Jamie and Mairead met us at the harbour. As its close to the summer solstice, it was still bright so we headed for the ring of Brodgar. This was a complete circle of 60 standing stones, 4 to 5 metres high, arranged on a sloping hillside outside of Kirkwall. We were there at midnight and I suggested we get a sacrifical goat and get in touch with some pagan gods but no-one was interested. SO we headed back to the boat!
The Caol Ila, was moored in the harbour in Kirkwall and after a few night caps we bunked down for the night. Had a great sleep. The boat was very comfortable and for someone who hasn’t been on a boat like this before contained everything. Brilliant design. The little stove that rocks with the motion of the boat and keeps the pots on, the auto-pilot (nicknamed George) and even the toilet were feats of engineering!!
The following morning and afternoon we explored Kirkwall. We visited the cathedral dedicated to St. Magnus, had lunch in The Reel and went for a tour of Maeshowe. Maeshowe is a burial chamber contained in a small mound directly across the loch from the Ring of Brodgar. We had a very lively guide who gave a great account of the structure and the people who used it and lived nearby.
No matter where you are in Scotland a distillery is never far away. So Andy, Emma and myself headed to the Highland Park Distillery for a tour and a whiskey tasting. We got to sample the 15, 18, 25 and 30 year old malts. Personally, I’d go for the 18 year old, but if you have the money to splash out go for the 30 year old. Pure nectar and this is coming from someone who isn’t too keen on whiskey.
As far as the job is going, I’ve gotten emails from two of the secretarys in the new department. One described the apartment that will be available, but its a three bedrooom place and might be a little out of my price range. The other email was to ask for my various details and stuff for the Swiss employment agency. The cogs are turning!! I’ll be back with the rest of the trip tomorrow,