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Who lives there?
I want to go.
Tell me some good shit about it.
it takes ages to get there unless you fly. it's expensive to get there. petrol is also expensive. in the summer, days last for ever, and in the winter, nights last forever. the accent sounds a bit scottish/norweigan. umm... there's only 25,000 people there or something.
he took the job cos they told him he would be working in Aberdeen! He liked it though.
I've not been yet, but I've spent a bit of time in Orkney, which is similar in some ways (though Shetland is much hillier). It can be the most amazing place or the most depressing place...
Mind you, Shetland is a whole lot further again beyond the arse-end of nowhere than Orkney.
If I got the chance I would go! My wife doesn't seem so keen though...
Realised I've just rambled for ages there without saying much.
if given the choice though, i'd rather go to the faroe islands.
is there a specific reason why you want to go?
Here's a lovely quote from a Colin Thubron book:
"Sometimes a journey arises out of hope and instinct, the heady conviction, as your finger travels along the map: Yes, here and here ...and here. These are the nerve-ends of the world...
A hundred reasons clamour for your going. You go to touch on the human identities, to people an empty map. You have a notion that this is the world's heart. You go to encounter the protean shapes of faith. You go because you are still young and crave excitement, the crunch of your boots in the dust: you go because you are old and need to understand something before it's too late. You go to see what will happen."
My sister-in-law does a lot of her post-grad there.
basically like a long and particularly unamusing episode of Father Ted
the roads are flat and often straight, so you can totally go crazy with the accelerator, there's some beautiful scenery.
However, it's fucking expensive to fly there. My fiance used to work up there twice a year, so his company flew me up one time, which is how i avoided the £300 return cost.
it is vastly more interesting and beautiful. It's by far my favourite place in the UK. I love how many islands it is, and they are all distinctly Orcadian.
Arriving into Stromness (hamnavoe)<3 It's not just a quaint little harbour town with little windy streets and stuff, it has a kind of creepy and melancholy atmosphere, like this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJQGM3MfqmI&feature=related
It's great for cycling around, and you can rent bikes dead cheap and they even lend you wateproof stuff. There's this really thrilling bit where there's like a little road between two lochs on a slope, and you can see a massive ring of standing stones (Brogdar)
You should go in April before it's too touristy. There are loads of palces to stay, but don't stay in the capital Kirkwall, it's not quite as nice. Browns in Stromness was £14 a night pp,and we got a whole fully equipped holiday house to ourselves, with food and ensuite bathrooms and dvds and stuff.
The prehistoric sights are incredible and all really well preserved. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maeshowe
built in the days when Orkney did have trees, as they had to roll stones for miles on logs. It's designed so that every year on the Winer solstice the sun still shines through the little entrance into the centre of inside the tomb, and it has cool viking graffiti that says stuff like "Me and Thor double teamed Helga here phwoar"
Great cathedral. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Magnus_Cathedral It's one of those really old stoney, non-ornate ones that I imagine Valhalla would look like, like Durham cathedral.
The man in the wireless museum is great and will talk to you for hours about Orkney.
Papa Westray (Papay) is the most beautiful place I've ever seen. Oldest house in Europe etc. You can also get the worlds shorted scheduled flight and a certificate :D
The people are lovely as well, and will give you lifts.
This is another gem: http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/eastmainland/italianchapel/
A nissen hut made into an ornate Italian chapel.
Highland Park gives a good distillery tour.
Birdwatching is also pretty great.
I must stop. Seriously. Best holiday ever.
^^link may not be suitable to vegetarians
it's described as real mental in my favourite novel too so i'm a bit biased
for a week or so when i was 11 and when we came back we had to do a 'presentation' for the teachers, pupils and some parents. there was a picture of a shag (this thing http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shag_%28bird%29) but the girl doing that part of the presentation was too embarrassed to say the word 'shag' in front of grown-ups, she stuttered and said "and this is a.... um... black seagull."
[Rather than it being the viking festival] there was an altogether more sedate food and craft festival on.
Against all norms, it was hella hella hot.
I maybe might want to live there.
The whole ferry thing is part of the attraction.
We stayed in a small hamlet in a rickety wooden Norwegian mansion (that was in the process of being done-up) - it's bar was a hangout for the three local goths. :-)
Looooooooooong light summer nights.
It's another world.
Wish we coulda been there for longer.
Watch Simon King's Shetland Diaries if you haven't already.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00qnw1f/Simon_Kings_Shetland_Diaries_Episode_1/ from BBC Two, 8:00pm Thursday - Last week was #1 and I reckon there are 2 more.