Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Ruby Princess, Lerwick, Shetland Islands, Scotland, Thursday, September 11, 2014

Coming in to the capital city and main port of the Shetland Islands, Lerwick.

We had to tender in to the port.  The seas are calm today.

I could tell we were back in Scotland without looking at any signs....everything is gray again!!!!  Imagine our surprise to spot this leisure vessel in port (but it is NOT a Scottish vessel)

We opted for a public bus ride to the nearby town of Scalloway.  On the way, we did catch a glimpse of the famed Shetland Ponies.   But, sadly, we were unable to get a picture.

The history of The Shetland Bus was new to us....we have learned a lot about the operations during WWII on this journey.  This was especially fascinating....and heroic....and speaks volumes about the character of this nordic people.

A replica of one of The Shetland Buses

The map indicates the routes and the stops these courageous sailors made.  The operation was so secretive that not even neighboring Lerwick knew it existed until after the war!!!!!

The Scalloway Castle was built in 1600 by Patrick Stewart during his brief reign as the ruler of the Shetlands.  He was a cruel dictator and hated by the people.  When his home fell in to ruins, no one has ever wanted to restore it.

Down the street is a memorial.....

this replica of The Shetland Buses sits atop the memorial

and the names of the remarkably few who died are listed...."They gave their all for Norway".

Our return bus is picking us at the Scalloway Town Hall

Back in Lerwick, we walk to THEIR town hall because a crew member told us that they have good wifi here....and the door is open....and it is free.

They were right!!!  We sat in the Council Chambers for 2 hours, blogging.  Two tour groups came through and we just kept on blogging, picking up a bit of history here and there.  We learned that Scotland has almost as many layers of bureaucrats as we do!!  

There is no doubt how the Shetland Islanders will vote next week!

Sailing away.....

We are very close to the Land of the Midnight Sun.