It was 12 hours of smooth seas to Lerwick. Not a lot of sleep! I did it on the cheap and didn’t book a cabin – a seat supposedly like a plane seat. It was a bit larger and had more leg room but I didn’t find it any more comfortable. After not too long I did what other people were doing – stretching out on the long seats in the lounges and bars! Not a whole lot more comfortable but I did get a few snatches of shut eye.
Sleeping time was reduced anyway. In the evening, in spite of the cold, I was on the top deck watching and photographing the brilliant sunset, joined after a while by a local Scot who pointed out various land features. Then in the morning, it was sun-up about 3am!!

No trees – a feature of the isles.

But I did see ….
Puffins – magical! So cute and not as big as I expected

Shetland ponies, and foals …. also very cute

Sheep and lambs – some of the sheep of the type that shed their wool, looking very scraggy; and the lambs, cute again, bouncing around like puppy Boswell many years ago.

Jarlshof near Sumburgh …. a site of more or less continuous human habitation going back over 4,500 years
Sullom Voe oil terminal – one of the largest, apparently … only seen from the gates – they don’t do tours

Eshaness Lighthouse – the farthest from home I’m ever likely to be – rugged cliff and sea scenery

– a Crofter Cottage, as it would have been lived in …. they were made of stern stuff back then!

Boom gates – only one set on Shetland and I got caught, waiting for …. a plane to take off and a helicopter to land!!!!!! Yes, the road crosses the runway!

This was all possible because I hired a car …. planned, this time! The cost of petrol is ….. too high to think about – it would be too distressing ;-/ The roads were excellent. Quite a lot are single lane only but with plenty of passing points – the locals give a friendly wave of acknowledgement each time: driving was a pleasure.

My B&B was in the middle of the very small town of Lerwick. A tiny attic room above a butcher’s shop but very comfortable. The place had just had major renovations done, in fact not quite finished – a mirror was hung on my wall between my checking in and returning at the end of the first day!

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