D. had been obsessed with finding a Shetland wool hat for the entire trip so the last morning we had in Shetland we decided to go through the shops in Lerwick to find one.
But nothing seemed to suit him. They were either too thin or didn’t fit over his ears or weren’t the right fabric. I bought a few souvenirs but since we only took two carryons had very little room to buy anything.
We bobbed in and out of shops in the commercial district looking for the perfect hat for D. and the smallest souvenirs for me. The city shopping district was crowded because a cruise ship came in that morning and 5000 tourists had the day to explore what they could.
Finally after going back and forth we gave up and went for coffee at the Peerie Coffee Shop. D. resigned himself to not finding one and I took out our postcards and we finished writing them and looking up addresses.
When we got to the post office the stamps were enormous. About three times the size of a US stamp and cut off a good portion of what we wrote.
“Oh well,” I said to D. “It’ll be like a puzzle for them to figure out. Fill in the blank or something.”
It felt bittersweet to leave Lerwick, this little city of 7000 people that captured our hearts. We drove south to the airport and I got to say, “Turn right, stay left” for one of the last times to D.
About halfway to Sumburgh Airport we saw a shop that said designer knitwear in a small village just off the road.
“Turn there,” I told D. “Let’s give it one more try.”
The little shop of sweaters, hats, and other knitwear had two other tourists and the delightful owners of Wilma and Irene who designed all of the knitwear.
I gasped when I saw a signed photo to Irene from Douglas Henshall, the Scottish actor who plays Jimmy Perez in the television series Shetland.
“Irene designed his jumpers,” Wilma told me. I nearly jumped up and down with excitement and right there and then I decided no matter what else I would have to chuck out of my pack I was going to buy a sweater from Irene.
Meanwhile D. had found the perfect hat and Wilma brought out the inspiration for the design - a painting of a brown trout with lots of blues and browns. So perfect for D. who used to fly fish all the time.
We left with our packages wrapped up and enough time to do one final walk near the airport before our flight.
The Ness of Burgi was a short walk out across a peninsula south of the airport to an Iron Age settlement of rocks and turf that sat at the end.
We clambered over boulders and took the last of our photos of this beautiful island.
“How much do you think we’ll miss this place on a scale of 1-10?” D. asked me.