Sunday, 29 April 2012

Out and about in Weisdale

Wow, we've had another amazing day up here! After some house keeping this morning we went out a bit more local. I was wanting to pop into The Bonhoga Gallery up in Weisdale as there is currently Shetland Open Landscape Awards exhibition on display there. This year the theme of landscape can be explored and displayed by pretty much any medium. There are some great pieces of work in there from photos and paintings to textiles and digital media. It's well worth a visit before 10th June; I know I'll be back for another look. I nearly put a photo of mine in it, but decided not to in the end, may be next year if the topic is suitable.

After a look round we went for a stroll down the burn towards the main road. Beren enjoyed throwing stones, grass and sticks in along the way and we did a bit too.


At the southern end just before the main road is Weisdale Kirk. A lovely kirk in a lovely setting with a gem of a garden hidden away on the banks of the burn. I nice place to rest on a day like today.



There were plenty of flowers on show, but these willow catkins caught my eye. Back home the long ones we called lambs tails and you can imagine why.


 Accompanying us on our walk, and also the trip to Skerries, was favour of the moment, Hunny Bunny. As you can see he's actually a giraffe, has a tinkly bell in one hand and a squeak in the other. He spent a lot of time yesterday with his head stuck in the car window, today is a much nicer day for him. He even get's to sit on blue blankie, a real honour!


After returning to Bonhoga we drove round the valley along the voe side to Cott. There's the remains of a settlement there, Sound, with a idyllic grave yard and wonderful old harbour. 


Here's the view looking down to it and across to Kalliness...



A helicopter was sat in someone's park a couple of fields over. Once upon a time there was a row boat ferry across from Sound to Kalliness, seems things have moved on!


As we were going back up to the car it was just leaving too. Don't think he saw my thumb stuck out expectantly...



The harbour at Sound...


The water was lovely, tempting, almost.


The water was pretty clear and the sand was covered by the trails of these not so little snails, along with plenty of cockles hidden in the bed.




Remains of the odd more prickly customer were spread about too...




It's a great place down there and I guess not a bad place to be buried.


Amongst the remains of the houses we found this. I'm not sure exactly what it was used for or how long ago,   or why it was in the seemingly random place we found it. I hope no one was making off with it and decided it was too heavy or something, it'd be nice in a garden, but better staying here.


One of the houses had a plaque on it. The old Haa House and birthplace of John Clunies Ross. A sea captain who moved out to The Cocos Islands in the Indian Ocean, set up a coconut plantation and apparently declared himself King!


 Funny to think that some one went from this little settlement to be 'King' of his own domain half way around the world and a world away from Shetland!




Saturday, 28 April 2012

Out Skerries by ferry...


I made a gamble and booked myself on to the ferry to The Skerries yesterday in the hope that the forecast of a wonderful weekend would hold true. Judging by the colour of my head it did!

Beren and I had a big boy little boy day out today. I was a bit wary of taking him to The Skerries with me as it's a 90 minute trip in a little ferry, The Filla, and it can get pretty rough out there, but he was keen to go, so off we went this morning, loaded up with tasty treats for the day.

The ferry left Vidlin in sun shine heading out along Lunna Ness and into the open sea. Here we are just leaving Shetland behind...



The weather changed on the way over with showers and even hail. I was beginning to wonder what sort of a day I'd have on a wet and windy island with a 4 year old as we approached them...


The crossing over was pretty tame until we actually got to Outer Skerries and began skirting the north coast of the island to go in through the north-east mouth. There was a northerly swell and it had been doing it's thing since we passed the lonely muckle skerry.

Here we are passing the north mouth I think...



And then the Lamba stacks...



Once lined up for the north-east mouth it felt like full steam a head as we seemed to race in between Bruray and Grunay islands with a following sea. I loved it, but this is a good day; God only know's how much fun it must be on a bad day!



Soon we were off the boat and up near the airfield on Bruray on our way out to the Lamba stacks.

Here's one landing just now...


Heaving this place, just like terminal 5 at Heathrow! Bet you wouldn't be able to or want to rent a holiday cottage like the one on the right here at any other 'airport'...


Just past the end of the runway is Lang Ayre, a beach that looks out into the north east mouth we just came through. In the distance is the lighthouse on Bound Skerry. Unsurprisingly the place is full of skerries!


At Lamba stack we had a nice show of the force of the sea as we ate our picnic...


And my own little force of nature enjoyed the lovely day...


Lamba Stack and lighthouse beyond...


 Flat Lamba, Lamba stack and the lighthouse. Flat Lamba has a great tunnel through it that you can just make out...


Just then a bloody big ship appeared. One I've seen before in Scalloway, but I can't remember it's name, odd looking beast though... (thanks to MikeP I now know)


There's practically no standing water of any significance out here, or burns either. But there is a weird system of guttering that winds round Bruray Ward collecting water off the hillside and feeding it into a small reservoir...




The summit of Bruray Ward, erm.... 53m, not quite a munro then!


Looking out the south mouth, which I believe the ferry from Lerwick comes through...


 After our tour of Bruray we nipped over the little bridge to Housay...


It was becoming a very hot day by my baldy head standards.


Looking back to the bridge from Housay, Bruray on the right...



And out through the ferry route of the north east mouth...


The uninhabited Isle of Grunay...



We headed up the hill on the east end of Housay to and old watch house...


What a setting, just a pity the house is totally ruined along with the wind turbine...


You can just make out Noss  and Bressay in the distance on the left..


I don't think Clare would let us move in. Beren and I reckoned it wouldn't need too much...


A pane or two of glass...



And a tweak or two to the turbine...


While we were up there planning our remodelling of the des-res we spied the ferry on it's return from Shetland and headed back to the car. We had a quick zip round to the church with it's old cannon and watched a crow, and couple of gulls feast on a very dead seal. Speaking of which we saw a few bonxies, gannets, shags, black guillemots and robins too. No otters or whales though.

Back down in the harbour all was still and sparkling...



Here she comes, our taxi home...


A quick reverse on and off we go for a roller coaster ride down the coast...





 Bye bye Skerries, we'll be back. You're gorgeous you are!


Now which Sunday tea tomorrow, I think Eshaness might be calling...