Orkney Island was another big day on our tour of the Scottish Highlands. With just a day to explore as much of Orkney Island as possible, we decided the Maxi Day Tour with John O’Groats Ferry would be the way to go. We met our ferry at the striking John O’Groats village at “Land’s End” bright & early, ready for a long, full dayEy
Upon arrival Orkney, our coach picked us up and drove us across the Churchill Barriers, arriving for a quick stop in Kirkwall.
While in Kirkwall, we were incredibly lucky to catch an installation of the Weeping Window of Poppies at St. Magnus Cathedral…a breathtaking exhibit by Paul Cummins, featuring thousands of ceramic red poppies “weeping” out a window at the top of the cathedral, and cascading down the walls and onto the lawn. Each poppy is meant to honor the death of a member of the British and colonial armed forces during WW1.
We also had time to wander through the Earl’s Palace, and explore a few of the quaint shop-lined streets.
From Kromwall, our coach brought us on to Stromness for lunch, and more wandering.
Next stop: Skara Brae, a Neolithic village preserved under sand dunes until it was discovered just 100 years ago (other similar sites have been uncovered in other locations on the island since then as well).
And…as if to end the day with literal, stone, exclamation points, we moved on next to the Standing Stones of Stennes & Ring of Broadgar, two “stone henges” that sit on proud display in the middle of what are now modern day farm fields.
Exhausted & happy from a long day of learning & exploring, we had a quick stop at the Italian Chapel (built by Italian POW’s so they would have a place to worship), then hopped on the last ferry from Burwick, back to John O’ Groats.
See the rest of my highlights from this whirlwind adventure in the Highlands of Scotland:
Part 3 of 6: Isle of Staffa (& Puffins!)