Tuesday, September 15, 2009

In the Shetlands.

We're now in a youth hostel in Stromness, back in Orkney, right by the waterfront. We're sitting in the common kitchen with a group of kids and a tour guide, trying to catch up with the international flavor here at nearly 10:00 pm. This is my first time ever in a hostel, no locks on the doors anywhere, a common kitchen with shared food (and shared bathrooms). Someone is now telling a story about a Bulgarian FLK (funny looking kid) who hated Jack Kerouac (ha!).

Actually the internet here is pretty good. We've been immersed in history and culture these last few days, with a 7 hour ferry ride back to Orkney thrown in. We went up to Shetland, spent two days there, with yesterday morning at the Crofthouse Museum, a reconstructed "black house" (from the smokey peat fires) from the 19th Century. On the way back from the Crofthouse Museum, we saw this amazing vista at an old Free Church. Who can imagine how beautiful it is here when the sun is out, these rolling hills so green and yet so close to the sea.

Back in Lerwick, we spent the rest of the day at the Lerwick museum, to see everything from a letter from 1399, complete with archaic script and small coin-shaped seals, to this old fishing station, still a key meeting point for sailors and fishermen.

Tomorrow we will tackle our biggest challenge -- driving a car on the wrong side of the road.

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