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Hail and hearty and the tail of 2 chapels

The night lived up to expectations gale force winds and hail turned our sleeping accommodation into a torture chamber. Imagine being in a tin box in a wind tunnel with gravel being thrown at you all night. The only plus was that the hail was to big to penetrate the porous membrane that we are incased in.

The day when it eventually arrived was a mixture of gale force winds with bright sky’s alternating with driving rain.

We set off on an historic tour of Orkney starting with the Italian chapel built by Italian prisoners of war. The ones used to construct the Churchill barriers.

This is one of them situated by the chapel

The chapel was constructed out of 2 Nissan huts and designed painted and constructed by Italian POWs. Sadly it was completed as the war ended.


A promise was made by the local land owner that they would look after and maintain the chapel in perpetuity.

It was made using scrap metal and drift wood and all the walls were painted as they had no tiles.


A truly outstanding accomplishment and I am grateful that Rae insisted on going.


And finally the outside.


We then headed off towards the other end of the island and travelling back 5000 years to visit standing stones at least as old as stone henge.


A settlement close by.


To another henge.


All the while dodging and getting caught in downpours. The Orkney landscape is very agricultural and probably the least interesting and unspectacular we have seen in our travels north of the border. However the history and age of the ruins are well worth the journey.

On the way back to the ferry we stopped off at a burial cairn where numerous skeletons of both humans and dogs were discovered. There’s a box with a torch at the entrance and you are advised although a scrabble it is worth it. I crawled through mud and water barely fitting through the passageway before entering into not one but three chamber.


I was covered in mud and my knees are not up to this sort of endeavour any more sadly!


Gordon on the other hand was in his element. It was a strange experience sitting in the dark in a 5000 year old death house. Stranger still that it was in the middle of nowhere with no signs and no one telling you what to do. Apparently it was discovered by 2 Labradors in the 1960s.

Above the cairn were yet more stones.


A brief walk up the hill before we returned to Kirkwall to catch the ferry to Shetland.


When we arrived we received a message stating that our ferry is delayed due to weather by 2hours. So we will now be leaving at 2.am.

Unfortunately it’s a little chilly but hopefully we can get the gas heater working in the van🤞


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