Am back in Myanmar and now have my own internet connection, which is a true miracle! I can finish putting all the pictures online now. Here are the rest from the Orkneys.
When we walked out to the island Brough of Birsay, I just had to stop and take a picture of the beautiful rock formations.
Also on the Brough of Birsay, this was one of the amazing cliff holes that had been carved out of the rock face.
Dad on the top of the cliffs near the lighthouse on the Brough of Birsay.
Here's my cute bird chick photo. This is a pretty fat old chick though, so the cuteness factor is much reduced. I wished I'd brought my big 200mm lens so I could take some really neat photos, but alas it was in London. Just imagine how close I had to be to take this one, though, and also imagine how mad the mum bird was... am very glad it didn't chase me!
Overall, the most famous thing on the Orkneys: Skara Brae. This is a completely intact neolithic village, the most complete ever found in Europe. It came to the surface after a really bad storm in the 19th Century.
This is a postcard of Skara Brae from the air--isn't it amazing!
The Broch of Gurness is another village of ruins. Mum was amazed by its similarity to the stone age, despite it being nearly 2000 years older!
This is on Hoy Island at the beach on the Western side near Rackwick (which was really just a village of 2 or 3 houses!).
Another picture on Hoy - look at the majestic windswept mountains with moor plants. The peat digs were pretty amazing too.
On Hoy, there is also a stone tomb carved out of rock. Here we are standing in front of it. One of the interesting things about this one, though, is that it had grafiti in Arabic by some showoff Englishman in the 19th C.
Downtown Kirkwall on our last night, when we had a truly spectacular sunset and such calm waters that the mirror effect was incredible. That's the lovely Kirkwall Hotel in the center--a super restaurant, though completely filled with a grey-haired tour group that M&D said made them feel quite young!