Aug. 5th 2009 11:50am
Drove to Richmond to park my car at my friend James’ Mom’s house…secretly needing a Mom to send me off! And Judy did so in a loving fashion, recognizing this need in everyone to have someone wave them off, and wish them well.
OK, so I’m checking in on time at the Air transit desk, bound for Glasgow…and my cabin luggage is heavier than the 5 kg’s …(oops I thought it was 10kg)…so I had to pay $20 a lb for $80 for 4 lbs. Always check weight limits!!!
I think I should start this World Tour Blog by saying that it is mostly my costumes and show suitcase that cause the extra baggage costs, a Nun head can be a heavy item.
First stop Glasgow, then up to the Orkney Islands.
I am excited to visit my friend Jim Logie, my old neighbour from Homer St, who in his late ninties, returned to the 5 bedroom stone Farmhouse Lochend, where he was born to live out his days with his older brothers and sisters. His daughter Wendy has been emailing me (I will include some of her email,) directions and important information about arriving in Kirkwall on the Orkney’s. Once in Kirkwall I rent a car (try to fit in a visit to Skara Brae) and then drive onto a ferry for a hour and a half, that will take me to Jim’s home on Westray Island.
The following are some of Wendy’s emails….
When you are in Kirkwall the Kirkwall Hotel is a good place for lunch and is situated down by the harbour where you get your ferry, it’s a bit old fashioned but the food is good and it is where the locals eat, there are lots of other places including Trenabies coffee shop in the main street (Albert St) so I am sure you will find something that will be O.K.
When you get off the ferry on Westray just follow the road to the village of Pierowall, this is one long straight road about 5 or 6 miles long (most of the other cars will be going in the same direction)you will pass a turn on the right hand side for Cleaton House Hotel, carry on past this and also the big church on the same side until you get to the village, you will pass a small shop on your left hand side called Hume Sweet Hume, carry on past this and also pass the Pierwall Hotel until you come to the School (also on the left,) turn up to the left pass the school ( I think the sign post says Noup Head) go to the top of the hill and then turn left pass a house on your left and a bit further on a farmhouse on your right until you get to the top of a long narrow road with a farm at the bottom (left hand side)this is Lochend!! if you get lost knock on any door or ask anyone for Lochend and they will head you in the right direction.
Have a great stay
P.S The Pierowall Hotel do good take out or eat in food especially fish and chips!”
The road to Stromness is never really busy as it is very rural and not too many tourists about, we were there in June and it was very easy to get about. The weather in Orkney is a bit colder that the rest of the U.K so take some warm clothes and a waterproof jacket of some kind, some good walking boots or shoes are also a good idea, the house is very warm and the beds have electric blankets also lots of hot water for showers.I spoke to my Dad last night and he said to tell you that any shopping you need to get on Westray you can go to either of the local shops and charge it to Lochend, but you may still want to get a few things in Kirkwall if you have time.
I’m sure you will love Westray, there are so many things to see including Noltland Castle ( you get the key to the castle from the farm across the road )and Noup Head lighthouse, but the Orkney guides tell you all the best things to see, the Cross Kirk Medieval Parish Church is one of my favourites, you can drive part of the way and then walk the rest, it’s a bit of a trek but well worth it.
Have a great time
Love Wendy x”
Allan Grey says I must see Scara Brae, an ancient Stone Age village, predating the pyramids of Giza and Stonehenge. It has survived over 5,000 years.
Joy Coghill, who I bumped into at the most excellent Uta Lemper concert at “the Center”, downtown Vancouver…says “It’s very thin over there. Try to get to Iona.” Meaning the link between the visible and invisible is thin. I have been to Findhorn (The spiritual -gardening community in the North of Scotland) so I have heard about the fairies and garden spirits….but on Westray Island there is a Fairy museum, “Orkney Fairie Museum and Gallery, where a converted old crofthouse show cases Orcadian folklore and legend with tales of faeries, wee folk, trows and mermaids”. This will definitely be part of my research as an intern of the intangible!
More overweight luggage charges in Glasgow 20 lbs for an extra bag…Small plane about 20 seats to Kirkwall. Rented car, standard only and got used to quickly figuring out about driving on the left! Drive to Scara Brae.
“On the road to Skara Brae where the mermaid fishes play and the sun comes up on Westray and blue lobsters in the bay.” I’m humming this melange of Kipplings poem as I drive along on the wrong side of the road.