We woke at 5 a.m. Inverness time to meet our taxi to the Inverness airport. I didn’t feel too bad. Possibly because my body felt like it was 11 p.m. instead of early morning.
Our taxi driver, like the one the night before, chatted us up all the way to the airport. I learned that the movie Braveheart and the series Outlander were filmed at Inverness, and that children can go to all Gaelic speaking schools to keep up their heritage.
We took Loganair to the Orkney Islands and then to Shetland. It was a beautiful day for flying. Our flight attendant wore a red tartan dress and shiny black flats with tassels. Perfect!
At the airport I learned that Iron Brew, which is a type of orange soda, is illegal in the U.S. and you can’t get enough Haggis around here.
When we arrived at Sumburgh I found this poem in the bathroom. We rented a car and D. spent 15 minutes trying to figure out all the manual speeds. A friendly woman who worked at the airport got in the car and showed him what was what.
Our hotel is a 5 minute drive from the airport and they let us check in early and served us a full Scottish breakfast complete with sausage, ham, a fried hash brown wedge, beans, tomatoes, and poached egg. We both felt so good after eating that we promptly took a 6 hour nap. No kidding!
We woke up in the afternoon ready to go see some puffins at Sumburgh Lighthouse. And we did! These rare birds waddle a bit like penguins, could fit in your hand, and can fly like the wind. We watched for several hours and explored the light house area.
Dinner at the hotel was a divine assortment of seafood and the best gluten-free bread I have ever had. We had an Elton Mess for dessert which our server struggled to define for us, but I would call it berries in a mess of cream and meringue. Delicious!
We drove in the rain north to Sandsyre Pier to take a trip to see the Mousa Broch, on Mousa isle. It was wet. The people on board looked miserable but we had a great time walking to the Broch to see the storm petrel birds return at night to their nests after 2-5 days feeding at sea to sit on their egg while their mate takes its turn feeding as well.
It was 2 am by the time we returned and had a hot bath to warm up. I cracked up when I saw this photo of us at the 60 degree north latitude that our Scottish guide took of us. So funny!