Scotland 6: Day 22

03.20.18 | Thurso Hostel | 20:20

As I entered the hostel kitchen this morning, there was five guys sitting around eating breakfast in silence. Since I don’t do silence very well, I was the first one to speak up, “Where are you guys from?”. I got the chat going, as I tend to do. When I spoke with Samson, a guy who is originally from Uganda, he told me that he could tell I was from America before I told him. I asked if it was because of my accent. He said, “No, Americans will talk to anyone and they don’t know how to sit quietly.”

All the guys stated laughing, myself included. And what can I say? It’s true! I’d rather chat and make a friend than the alternative… although I’m not really sure what the alternative would be- since I’m always talking to strangers.

I left after three bowls of cereal (they are small bowls, so please don’t think I’m an over-eater). I was walking through town and thinking that I really wanted to get my hair died again. The “steel blue” that they gave me in Glasgow was now just looking white. I wanted something brighter and more toxic. So I was thrilled when I found an open salon with an available chair. So now I’m a redhead. The best part is the fact that she only charged me about $14!

I walked to the beach, since it was turning out to be a perfect spring day. It was a bit windy, yes, but the sun was out and it felt so good! After about an hour of walking around, I decided that I did still need my other coat layer and scarf after all. I walked back to the hostel to grab them.

On my way back to the beach I decided to stop and find some early lunch. I found a great little cafe/ sandwich shop. It was lovely! Their version of a club sandwich, which was close to the American version, only they added barbecue sauce. It was quite delicious!

The rest of the afternoon was spent on the beach again. I would explore the shore, watch all the dog-walkers play, and I even got some reading in. I’m reading this book called “60 Degrees North” that I bought in a gift shop in Lerwick. So far the book seems to be quite fascinating. It’s a true story about this guy who is from Shetland and he travels all around the world to see what the other places that lie at 60 degrees north have in common with Shetland. It’s a lot better than it sounds.

I found a small steak/seafood restaurant right on the beach. I ordered a swordfish steak. So good! It had little pieces of chorizo sausage and the green purée that they used to decorate the plate was pretty awesome! I wish I would have taken a picture of the front of the restaurant because it was incredible! I will definitely be back on future visits to Thurso.

Scotland 6: Day 18

03.16.18 | Sumburgh Airport (LSI) | 12:33

When I was chatting with the desk clerk last night, he told me that the bus service in Lerwick wasn’t very reliable. For this reason, I have decided that the best thing to do today would be to leave early for the Sumburgh Airport. I figured if I was going to wait around, I may as well be in place for my flight that happens this afternoon.

First, however I stopped again at the Peerie Cafe on the harbor in Lerwick. I got another great breakfast and had time to chat with the baristas for a moment. They have a gift shop next door, so I decided to go buy a t-shirt to remember. I can justify this purchase, because I didn’t buy a shirt at the C2C concert in Glasgow, earlier this month… speaking of which, C2C tickets for 2019 went on sale this morning! I’m sorely tempted to buy some.

The Sumburgh Airport is small but lovely. They seem to know what they are doing. Do to all the metal zippers and buttons on my trousers (yes, I call them pants, but have been corrected too many times while in the U.K., so they’re trousers for the time being) I got a very thorough rub down. It was awkward, confusing, and perhaps slightly arousing (kidding). I will say this: The security personnel at LSI are very thorough. As part of my recover, I sat down and ordered a hot chocolate.

I’m sad to be leaving Shetland so soon, especially because my cousin Cathy tells me that this is where her ancestors on her father’s side come from. I wish I would have taken the time to do a walk-through the local cemetery. I do remember walking through when I was here years before, but now that I know my cousins possibly came from here, it’s all the more reason to do it again. I resolved to walk through the next time I’m here… this was a good enough visit, that I’m considering spending at least a week.


A few minute ago, the fire alarm went off. They told us we had to leave the terminal and my first thought was that I was worried that we’d have to go out of security and through that whole ordeal once again. Luckily, they had a special place out near the tarmac where we didn’t have to go back through security. We stood out in the cold for about ten minutes and then were allowed to come back into the the [heated] departures area. I didn’t see any fire or even smoke, so I wonder what actually set off the alarm.

19:11 | Kirkwall Hotel

My flight was excellent! Since it was only about 40 minutes in the air, with only one flight attendant, there was no service, nor did the captain even turn off the seatbelt light. Come to think of it, the plane had no lavatory. I shot this short, one-minute video. Not too exciting, but my first time using iMovie on the iPad. Enjoy!

Kirkwall is extremely cold! They are calling this storm system “The Beast from the East”, and it has definitely been a ‘beast’! When I got to he hotel, I just wanted to curl up under the covers, but made myself go downstairs and get some dinner. After dinner, I decided to call it an early night. There will be plenty to see and do tomorrow.

Scotland 6: Day 17

03.15.18 | Lerwick Hostel | 10:24

This morning I woke up with “Giants In The Sky” in my head. This is a song from he musical, Into The Woods. I don’t know why this planted itself into my head, but I laid there in bed and decided that I needed to hear the movie soundtrack. Then as I listened to this song, I actually go teary-eyed. I can’t explain why this happened, though music has often drawn me to tears in the past, but never this song before now.

I think Calli ditched me. Last night, before we went to our dorm rooms, she asked me if I wanted to go on some big ole four-mile hike with her. I told her that would be lovely, and she told me that we would leave at 08:00. So before I fell asleep, I set my alarm.

When I woke, it was only 06:00, but I’m normally an early-riser, so I didn’t think much. At about 07:00, I came into the lobby to sit for awhile, and use the Wi-Fi, since the connection in my dorm room is spotty. 08:00 rolled around and Calli never showed. So I made some herbal tea and sipped, waiting patiently. She never showed up. So, I decided to put on my shoes and head into town to find some breakfast. I purposefully ate fast, because I didn’t want Calli to wonder where I was, or if I was still interested in the hike.

Lerwick is very windy and cold this morning. There is some kind of storm blowing in, and my trip to breakfast was a lot of holding on to my hat, so that I didn’t lose it. I walked out onto one of the docks and took a few pictures and shot a quick video. I love this so much! It’s already haunting me! If I was a better writer, I would make this the location of a story.

I come back and took a shower, but still no Calli. So she is either still asleep (but we went to bed before 21:00), or she woke up early and ditched me. I am not going to jump to any conclusions, but that it what it’s looking like. She is actually the one who invited me on her adventure today. No worries, though. I think I’ll throw on my coat and hike farther up the coastline.


My attempt to hike farther didn’t really work out. The wind just got worse, and the rain was colder. I stayed inside and watched a movie instead. This has be a little bit worried because I’m supposed to fly out tomorrow afternoon, and I don’t know the size of the plane I’ll be on, and if this wind could delay or cancel a flight. If so, I may end up stuck on Shetland for a bit. I know the harsh winds have also suspended the ferry service, so I could very well be stuck on the island. I’ll definitely be crossing my fingers that it’s safe to fly!

Well, I spoke with Calli tonight and it was all a misunderstanding. I heard she wanted to leave at 08:00, but what she said, or meant, was that she was going to wake up at 08:00 and leave here at 09:00. I probably just missed her by a few minutes when I got back from breakfast.

Part of me is glad that I didn’t end up going with her, however. She told me that the wind and the rain was so miserable and she actually lost the trail for part of the time. She said that there were parts where it was steep enough and so windy that she had to literally crawl to get to the top. That sounds a bit miserable, but also adventurous. You know I would have been there recording her crawling up that hill, so maybe it’s best that I wasn’t able to go with her. Haha

I’m getting things packed because it’s time for me to go to my next destination, that is, if I can get the flight out tomorrow! It sounds worse than it is, though. This wouldn’t be the worst place to be stuck- especially when there is so much more of the island that I need to explore still. Otherwise, it will have to happen on another visit.

Scotland 6: Day 16

03.14.18 | Lerwick, Scotland | 17:12

Lerwick is a great little city! One that I’m happy to be visiting for a second time. I walked to the hostel, and after waiting a few minutes, a girl called Calli joined me. We sat for awhile and had a wee chat. Calli is originally from Ft. Worth, Texas, but is currently studying in Germany. She had spring break and decided to come for a visit to Scotland. We decided to walk into town together explore a little bit. We ended up being out and about for what was probably a couple hours. I tried to get an “Ussie”, which is how I describe a selfie with more than one person, but Calli has turned out to be one of those people who doesn’t like to have her picture taken. For now, until she lets down her guard, you’re going to have to take my word that she really exists.

This place is so incredibly beautiful! Next we went to a local museum which taught us all about the history of these islands. Fun fact: Did you know that the only reason that Shetland is part of the U.K. is because someone was going to marry an English princess and the king and queen had no dowery, and so they said to the groom… here, have some islands.

Next, we walked over to check out Clickimin Broch, which is the remains of what they think may have been a smaller castle/settlement. It’s old enough that they don’t really know for sure what it was. It was so fascinating to walk around, and even crawl into one of the chambers.


Dinner was at the Queen Hotel. There’s not a whole lot of restaurants in this small city, but the male was some kind of stuffed chicken with buttery mash and vegetables. It was probably the best meal I’ve had thus far on my journey. Just incredible!

Scotland 4: Day 16

4.12.11 | Aberdeen > Lerwick | 06:12

Just before bed last night I was able to meet my other roommates. One’s name is
Duncan, he’s probably in his mid 50’s or so. Duncan is traveling to
some of the northern islands for work. He works in the hotel industry. The 4th roommate is a guy called Calum. Calum attends a university in Scotland (not sure
which one though) and even though he grew up around Glasgow, his
parents and sister live on Shetland now, so he goes back and forth
whenever he can. He dreams of being a swim coach in the U.S. someday.
He’s tall and skinny, just like a swimmer should be.

Thankfully, I didn’t get sick on my first cruise ever. I was a bit
worried because Terry told me that one of his friends who worked for
30+ years on ships in the South Pacific had never once got seasick
until he sailed across the North Sea. The current is quite different here,
I’m told, especially where the Atlantic touches the North Sea. Anyway-
other than lack of sleep, I’m surviving. I did get a wee bit, but
between Terry and Duncan’s loud snoring and the fact that the cabin
moved all night, I probably only got a few hours worth.


Early Morning on the North Sea

Lerwick Hostel | 15:54

This is by far the nicest of the hostels I have stayed at so far. The
staff here is very friendly, too. I found out as I was about to leave
the ferry that my roommate Terry was staying at the same hostel.
We walked about a mile, maybe a little less, with our packs. We got
to the hostel about 45 minutes before the desk clerk showed up to check
us in. Thankfully, there was a covered area they had built onto the
side of the hostel so we could wait out of the rain. The weather in
Scotland is crazy!

The desk clerk checked us in at about 09:00 and after a quick tour of
the place, I took a two-hour nap. Making up for lack of sleep on the
ferry- it didn’t take me long to be out cold. When I woke up, I headed
into town to find someplace to eat. I had in mind an inexpensive chippy
somewhere but ended up at the first restaurant I came to. I had a

After lunch, I wandered for a bit and stopped in the local tourist
information place. I looked for things to do around Lerwick, and other
than a few things to walk around and see locally, and a pub that has
live music, I may be out of luck here. Not that nature walks aren’t
great, but sometimes it’s nice to go find a place to chat with people
at night.

The lady at the tourist place gave me a local map and explained how I
find the local cemetery so that I could take a look. It was a very
beautiful walk. On the way, it started raining for all of 10 minutes,
then cleared up. It is very, very windy in Lerwick today. My walk was
right by the water, and I had to keep my hand on my head the entire
time so that my hat wouldn’t blow off into the deep.

Word of caution: If you ever visit Shetland in April, bring a bit more than a
windbreaker jacket. You’re going to get some rain and it’s going to
be cold. This is by far the coldest wind I’ve ever felt. I had to keep moving so I wouldn’t freeze to death.

After a bit, the wind died down a little and I found a nice, grassy
spot next to the water and kicked back. If the wind had stopped, I
could have easily fallen asleep there, especially since my body was
trying to digest a big ole hamburger. I got some beautiful pictures on
my walk!


Back to Scotland 4: Day 3 | Forward to Scotland 4: Day 17