William has just come back from Germany with an old schoolfriend who wanted to see Orkney. This of course means a welcome return of tourist activities. It's so good to be forced to go out and about. We revisited some distant parts (all of 30kms!) and this time also found a new and lovely place – by at long last not ignoring the signpost to St Michael's Church in Harray and actually driving up to it. The result was well, well worth it. Photos follow.
Although the day had not looked too promising when we set off from the Hope, it rapidly turned spectacular with oh-so-brilliant sun shining from a now low angle in the sky, making the lighting perfect for photography.
On this day, we made for Birsay, arriving just a few minutes before the tide was out far enough for the path the tidal island of the Brough of Birsay to be no longer be under water.
The 'queue' waiting for the tide to drop far enough
We wandered on the wonderful rock formations while we were waiting...
...and looked into rockpools.
Once over on the Brough, we walked around the Viking village
While the boys went for a long walk around the Brough, I decided to be lazy and see more of the beach. Some of the stones are extraordinary
The water in the rockpools was crystalline:
All the stones in the photo below are underwater (except for a bit of the large yellow stone top-centre):
It's always nice to find something new. Having never bothered (or been too tired) to turn off at the sign to St Michael's Kirk in Harray, this time we did. And, by golly, it was worth it! What a location. The church building itself was nothing special, just the usual shape and size of kirks in Orkney, as you will see if you follow the link above. On the other hand, the cemetery and the views were fantastic.
Note the Commonwealth War Grave in the picture above : Private W.G. Dudgeon of the Seaforth Highlanders. I wonder if he died of wounds since the date of his death is 8th February 1919.
There is a nice thought (and one I have not seen before) cut into the base pediment of this memorial – "Sharers in Victory".