Sunday, 8 September 2019

Day Six - Lerwick and back to Aberdeen

Our last day and since we weren't sure of what we'd be doing we left the Lerwick museums and so on until now.  We had until 5:00, when checkin at the ferry terminal opened.  A leisurely breakfast, allowing ourselves the treat of a full, cooked Scottish breakfast which was wonderful, then the quite onerous job of packing everything up and checking out of the hotel.

We started our final tour of Lerwick at the Clickimin Broch.  This is in the loch next to Tesco - very handy.  They've done it really well - at last a broch that you can go into, look around and really see how these amazing structures work.





There's a helpful notice explaining what is where and a little of the history of the place, but then you're left to your own imagination.

On the way back to the car, we saw this blast from the past ... only people our age would remember this petrol station sign, so it was great to see one still in place.  

Clearly, "National Petroleum" don't sell petrol in the UK any more - not under that name anyway, but maybe they still exist somewhere.  

The distictive logo was state of the art at the time!




Then on to the Shetland Museum and Archives.  An amazing, amazing place and we wondered if we should have come here first since it answered many questions that we'd come up with during the week ... but then again, at the beginning of our week we hadn't the questions!  The museum is free, beautifully presented and hugely informative.  The history of the islands from their geological past, through the social and cultural history of the various groups of people who have made their home here, to the oil and the wealth it has brought here are all covered in depth.  All the exhibits are great, but one "stand out" is the display and video explaining the Sullom Voe Oil and Gas Terminal, which explains clearly and objectively the building of the terminal and its impact (both positive and negative) on the islands (this video is available on-line herehttps://www.bpvideolibrary.com/record/477). There's too much here in the museum to take in during one visit!  It would need a good couple of days ... and that's before you get to the archive!  They also have a fabulous cafe who do really good lunches.  Well worth a visit ... or two!


https://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/06/d0/5b/13/shetland-textile-museum.jpgThen onward again to the Shetland Textile Museum.  When we got there, we weren't impressed by the building - unprepossessing I think would be the right word.  But don't let that put you off - once inside it's a kind of wonderland of stuff about Shetland textiles, including Fair Isle, of course.  They have a full-size loom in there!  Best of all were a couple of ladies doing knitting and spinning.  Both were very nice people (with wonderful Shetland accents) who were happy to explain what they were doing in detail.  Lois was more interested in the knitting and Ian was fascinated by the spinning - helped by the fact that the lady doing it was a trained engineer who knew what she was talking about technically as well as culturally.  Who knew that there's a slipping clutch arrangement between the flier and the bobbin (through which, of course, passes the orifice) - Ian didn't, that's for sure!  What we thought would be a few minutes' visit turned out to be well over an hour!Then ... after a bite to eat ... it was back to the Northlink terminal for the ferry.  Once again, a really efficient operation.


Looking back to Lerwick
Passing Lerwick Victoria Pier
As we went south, we passed Fair Isle - the southernmost of the Shetland Islands.