23 Mar Shetland 2010
I LOVE Shetland. It became home when my parents moved up there nine years ago. I lived on the islands as well for a while in between uni, and I find it difficult to describe just how much it gets under your skin. People tend to have very strong reactions, either loving it or loathing it. (I can’t for the life of me understand the latter!) Although I’ve not been back for nearly two years now, a good chunk of my heart has been left up there and I definitely still consider it home.
I was going to describe the place in all its fascinating detail, but firstly, I’m not sure I can do it justice and secondly, I’ll be making another trip up there again soon, so for now I’ll let these pictures do the talking. They are from a visit in summer 2010* and only hint at the enormous contrasts to be found on these astounding islands.
(*I’m sorting through a backlog, alright? Better late than never … )
We begin our journey, setting sail from Aberdeen…
Oops, sorry, I wasn’t going to interrupt the flow, but this is a Bonxie, says my dad. Or, what’s more widely known as a Great Skua, says my dad. And apparently it was quite a feat that we could just walk right past him without him flinching, says my dad. It might have even been a she, guarding a nest. (Dad may have said that as well but, hey, it’s been two years – I can’t remember the exact conversation!)
These two shots above were taken within 10 minutes walk of each other. You see what I mean about contrasts?!
Hopefully this has whetted your appetite for a trip north, which I strongly encourage you to make. Photographs (with their edges and inherent ‘rectangle-ness’) are really no adequate substitute for being in Shetland, where the joy is in the expanse and openness. I remember being completely astounded when I first arrived on the islands, at the feeling of walking into postcard – it just surrounds you on every side! Check out www.shetland.org for all the information you need to plan your visit.