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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Tuesday 9 July 2024

Burial chambers, archaeological digs and henges

 6.30 am I opened the curtains and watched as the Hares and Curlews scattered in all directions. This place was a haven for wildlife. I even saw a grouse in the distance. Of course, there are no photos. I was not going to go outside in my PJs even though no one was around. Just my luck a fisherman would turn up at the very same moment. There were a few fly fishing on the Loch until quite late last night. For once I enjoyed the scene before me without a camera at my face.

I was right to have stayed inside because not 30 minutes later a car pulled up with rods attached to the cars bonnet. I quickly closed the curtains again, we were still in bed! It did make us decide to get up.

 The one thing said when Ian tried booking at Maeshowe was for him to turn up at 9.30 am in the hope there maybe a cancellation had come in. The car park wasn't huge and really not suitable for motorhomes apart from a small section where we could overhang the grass. Getting there early, considering how busy it gets, was a must. When we turned up at 8.45 am there was no problem parking so we obviously got it right.

Ian got lucky. They could fit him in at the 11 am tour, I would stay in MB and await his return. Gave me an opportunity to clean the windows and vacuum inside with our handheld Kercher.

An hour later he was back with these two photos. There was no photography allowed inside the cairn but a great U Tube video can be seen HERE which shows the inside and explains a bit about the place.

An archaeological dig was going on at Ness of Brodgar  a little further along the road. This from their web site.

 In 2002  a geophysical survey revealed a huge prehistoric complex, indicating many buildings beneath the Ness. The dense concentration of structures astonished the worldwide archaeological community.

Since then, archaeological excavations on the Ness have been revealing a large complex of monumental Neolithic buildings along with decorated masonry, pottery, stone tools, evidence of stone tiled roofing and much more.

Tours at 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm were free to join and considering this was the last year of the dig, it was due to be buried again in August, so we were lucky to be on the island to see it. The stones would deteriorate if left to the elements and this dig, which was started in 2004, had run its course and could go no further.  Another generation of archaeologists, in future years, may well continue the work. There was even a time capsule box to be placed amongst the stones with many messages from the visitors for any future generation to read.


Our excellent guide

 And still in the same area was the Ring of Brodgar. Gosh we packed a lot in today. There was another short walk to see the stones. Visitors and locals alike had always wondered why the stones were placed in a circle and old folklore stories told of dancing giants.

We stayed at this car park over night. The view was lovely looking at the stones and Stenness Loch was nearby too. 

 I finally took a photo of a moth. Lacking since we left Scotland were insects of any kind. Well not strictly true as flies never seem to disappear. So I was thrilled to see the Magpie Moth. Hopefully, if the warmer weather does arrive, more butterflies and dragonflies will come.



Caroline and Martin said...

Looks like you are enjoying Orkney, and were right to relocate. loving the information in the blog, I'm taking notes for our visit next year. Caroline

Anonymous said...

I have found your last couple of illustrated blogs very interesting, thank you bothe.
Ann xx

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