Posted by Rainer Brockerhoff (away):
Posting from Stromness on the Western Mainland, Orkney Islands, waaay northwards in Scotland. At a public library, as usual.

The Loch Ness tour was quite worthwhile and afterwards we got on a train towards Thurso, the northernmost town on continental Scotland. As we arrived much later than I had figured – around 9 PM – we checked into a hostel and early the next morning caught a bus to the small harbor of Scrabster, and then the noon ferry to the Orkneys.

The weather is these parts seems to be extremely variable, it was miserably cold and rainy when we left the hostel, cleared up while we waited for the ferry, then hot and sunny over the 1:30 hours of the trip and for some time afterwards, now in the late afternoon it’s foggy and windy.

The ferry itself was surprisingly large and well-appointed, it seems on some days it’s used for a 3-day cruise among the islands. We tried to figure out a way to come back on an overnight trip; it would have been less expensive than booking into a B&B, but the schedules didn’t fit in.

Anyway, we’re now in an excellent B&B – Miller’s House just opposite the ferry terminal, highly recommended – and will probably stay for at least one more day, there’s much to see. Stromness itself is a very interesting small town, the layout and buildings are quite unusual and I’m already worried about running out of capacity on my camera. 😉

I’m starting to make some sense out of the various Scottish dialects and inflections we’re running into, but the Orkney dialect seems extreme even for that. On the cruise we met a fellow from Scotland who delivered an impromptu demonstration of at least twenty different dialects, we laughed so much that I forgot to record the audio on my camera – and I didn’t get another opportunity, unfortunately. Ah well…