Ainslie's Travel Adventures

Ainslie Waldron

Veteran Home Exchanger | Travel Author | [hidden email]

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Aug 11th

Orkney Adventures

After driving to the northern most tip of the Scottish mainland at John O Groats, we took a ferry to The Orkney islands which are situated to the north.  The smooth ferry crossing arrived at St Margaret’s Hope on Orkney and we the short distance to our newest home exchange, an ex WWII radar bunker, now converted with a very comfortable and cosy modern house on top with all mod cons. It’s a lot of fun exploring the various old rooms downstairs in the house, the original WWII doors are still there. This is our base for the next ten days and we have been making the most of every day.  There is so much to see and do on these islands which have amazing history from Neolithic times, through to Viking invasions and then the scene of great sea battles during both World Wars.  We overlook the historic Skapa Flow, a natural 100squ mile harbor where the German Navy scuttled its fleet of 70 ships in WW1.  We drove over the Churchill barriers, built by Italian prisoners of war in WWII to connect some of the tiny islands and to stop enemy submarines sneaking in to torpedo the British Naval ships.

There is an abundance of natural birdlife on the islands attracting many visitors. We also have ponies and chickens in our garden (which consists of three fields as well as home made dry stane dyke walls). I have even managed a few geocaches during our gallivanting around.

Ten days is hardly enough to explore these wonderful islands, we find new places to visit daily. I have learned never to try to have a fancy hairdo here.  The strong winds ensure that hair is blown to bits in the first two minutes each day!


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