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Early morning Kirkwall

I had to take the car to Kirkwall last Friday in order to have some Orkney-proofing carried out: fit mudflats and put copper-grease on the brakes to protect them for our salty air – and sometimes water, because it did indeed get a small salt-water car wash as a wave sent and small mountain of spray over it as I drove over No.2 Barrier.

This little trip resulted in me finding myself with some early-monring time to kill in Kirkwall as it was simpler to wait there for it to be ready and then drive back rather than take a bus home and then another bus to collect it.

It was just getting light and the day was grey and promising rain. I had my camera and went for a little walk. St Magnus Cathedral (building begun in 1137) was looking rather fine in the gloaming. Details here. Here is the main entrance.

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There was practically no-one about so I was able walk around the building in peace and quiet and admire it from all angles.

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It was my good luck that the cathedral's night-time illumination was still on and it was looking particularly good against the grey sky

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To see the rear and sides, I walked into the romantic graveyard the surrounds the cathedral and love this side door of red and white Orkney sandstone

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as I continued my walk around the place. I thought the cathedral looked particularly wonderful from this angle

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and then walked down a little to get a shot of its fourth side

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After that, I had to walk all the way back round because the main gates had been chained closed by the guardians of coviciousness. Actually, it was good luck too because I noticed this nice view of the Earl's Palace ruins which stand across the road from the cathedral

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At this point, it started to rain and I decided to call it a day for photography and escaped to a nice little café where I had coffee and scrambled eggs on toast as a treat while I waited.

At last, it was time to collect my car and – of course – the sun came out. Orkney was back in its brilliant mode for a few more hours. I had to stop on the way home to take this little picture of Echnaloch Bay.

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