We have just had a fantastic week with our family all the way from Germany.

Lots of chat, good food and a great time.

We spent one of the days having a bit of a food and craft tour with some beach walks to help digest all the goodies we had consumed.

Kirkcafe, Celina Rupps, Deerness Distillery, Polly Kettle

The car is now full of shopping and sand, a great combination.

On Tuesday we decided to have a day out in Rousay (Egypt of the North). It’s many a year since we have been there and David & Ulrike had never been. With an excellent forecast, we were all packed up ready to go. One of the down sides is that Rousay is small and there is nothing open on a Tuesday. There is a pub and a little shop, but not that day. Brud made sandwiches and cinnamon buns and filled his cool box with those, baby tomatoes and fruit and I stocked our cool box up with drinks including a bottle of alcohol free wine and gin. With a selection of tab nabs and a flask of coffee we were all set.

Little ferry trip – 20 mins approx.

There are 2 choices when you come off the ferry and that is to turn right or turn left. After a look round the fantastic heritage centre at the pier we turned right. This took us along the east side with views over to Egilsay. We stoped at the new Eleanor Barr’s ‘Heart of Rousay’ Boardwalk, opened in May. It was beautiful and the views were incredible with a special vista over to the magnificent St Magnus church.

We looked at the rough hawn slab of Portland stone by Ian Hamilton Finlay, Gods of the Earth/Gods of the sea installed in 2005, commissioned by the Pier Arts centre and the surface design was executed by stoncarver Nicholas Sloan. A beautiful work of art.

We continued on to Sourin where there is an old Mill and parked up at Saviskaill Bay for lunch.

The sun shone, the seals came in to see us, but the breeze was a bit on the cooler side.

Refreshed, full and happy we continued on our way. Now this is a gentle sight seeing tour, the whole road all the way round is only 13 miles so relaxation, taking in the stunning scenery and never hitting more than about 20miles/hr was the order of the day.

Swinging sound onto the west of the island, overlooking the mainland, you came across all the archaeology.

We parked and headed down the 3 steep fields that took us to the shore.

1st Mid Howe Broch (Iron age)

Incredible place.

2nd Midhowe


Then we continued along the shore to visit the dig at Swandro passing a Viking farmstead and the dig at Skaill Farmstead. a multi-period settlement site where we got an interesting talk about what they were doing and seeing. We decided to head back to the car then as time was ticking on. Our day was done, we all had a touch of sun/wind burn and were very happy little souls. We would need to return to this lovely little island one day to continue exploring all it has to offer.

We visited Stromness – it happens to be shopping week.

There had been a pavement drawing competition at the Pier Arts centre and there seemed to be some kind of crabbing competition on the old pier. Great fun

We visited the Barony Mill,

Brud got his new handles fitted to his portafilters and tampers Michael had turned,

We took a fascinating, if not a little cold and wet, tour at The Ness of Brodgar,

Visited The Ship of Fools gallery where we have started to exhibit.

Had a visit from the Firth SWI to our gallery.

And Monty had a birthday. Happy 2nd birthday little man.

So our family are on their way back to Germany and we have settled back into our ‘normal’ routine. What a week and seemed to be about 5 minutes long.

Hope you have enjoyed this little whistle stop tour with us.