Sunday, 14 April 2013

Orkney Trip part 2...

Our first day with Fay and the clan dawned bright and sunny, and the dogs wasted no time in letting us know that they were ready and raring to go for a walk! We obviously didn't want to let them down, so headed off with Fay behind the wheel for some exploring at the Ring of Brodgar...


...this stone circle is reckoned to be about 4,500 years old, and is truly spectacular - it's surrounded by a large circular henge, or ditch, and is considered unusual due to its entirely circular shape. There used to be a lot more stones forming the ring - you can see in both the picture above, and this one...


...where there are gaps, and stones have broken off. The ring used to contain 60 stones, it's believed, but is now down to 27. As we walked around (Anti-clockwise, as per direction from Mr Flowers) it was obvious that there were several of the remaining stones with clefts, cracks and splits which will in time leave the ring with even fewer.

Another of Orkney's well known landmarks is the Brough of Birsay. For centuries this small tidal island was the centre of political and religious power in Orkney. The remains of the settlement are still visible quite clearly...


...and these have been dated from 800 - 1200AD. We arrived right on time to be able to cross the causeway - always something great fun about crossing a foot-causeway to get to an island!  The dogs had fun splashing around in the rockpools and Fay discovered a leaky wellie which is, as you'll appreciate, a disaster of epic proportions for one so married to her welliness as Fay!

When visiting a new place with a brewery, MrRH and I like to visit if we can, and Orkney has a very fine one indeed so our gallant hosts offered to take us there...after a quick browse in the shop lunch in the cafe at the visitors centre seemed like a good plan, and once that had been consumed The Flowers clan decided that they too fancied taking a tour, so we paid our money and went to find out some stuff about the brewery, and the beer...


Those are fermenting vessels, and in that one towards the back, with FV7 on the side, is my absolute favourite beer of all-time. Yum! Of course after every good brewery tour comes some sampling of the beers - we each got 3 little third-of-a-pint glasses with different beers in - and very good they were too. well, I thought so, MrEH definitely thought so as he got to drink the majority of Fay's- she's not a natural beer drinker that girl, although credit to her for trying repeatedly over the weekend to find one she liked!


As you can see, we didn't leave anything!

One final post to come on the trip - probably next week.

Robyn

6 comments:

dreamer said...

Beautiful photographs as always, I love the ones of the standing stones.

Robyn said...

Thanks Dreamer - it was such a stunning day to see them - we were really lucky with the weather!

Wendy said...

As I'd love to visit the Ring of Brodgar and the other ancient sights, I'm a little bit envious. Glad you had such good weather, too.

Robyn said...

I managed to make a "real life" pal envious over the weekend when I said we'd been Wendy - they are now planning a trip back for 2014! Seriously - you should go, it's a wonderful place!

Sara @ A Frugal Wife said...

Orkney is one of my favourite places, although I haven't visited for around 5 years now. (That will change when my children are a little older though!)

Skara Brae & the Ring of Brodgar are special personal favourites of mine.

Lovely photos! Orkney is a wonderful place to visit isn't it.

Robyn said...

It truly is - we certainly want to go back. I think my favourite places from our short visit were the Italian Chapel, and yes, Brodgar!