An adventure back in time

Yesterday we arrived back at Garybuie after a week-long adventure in the Orkney Isles, a ferry ride off the northerly point of Scotland. I think that one or two days is enough to share with you at any one time, so today I shall tell you of our first two days.
After breakfast was served and guest rooms were turned around, we departed on our northern excursion. Five hours travelling took us to the ferry terminal for Orkney. Now these islands are very fertile and were much favoured by pre-historic man as well as those Vicious Vikings! Orkney is crammed with pre-historic archaeology, so be prepared to spend a lot of time with us underground! Our first sight of Orkney consisted of bleak headlands…

Orkney, first sight

…and wartime look-out towers necessary to keep an eye out for German U-boats.

look-out posts

A lazy start to the day, with no animals to tend to, followed by a quiet stroll around Stromness. ‘Peedie Hoose’ (small house), the one with the tulips outside, was our home for the week. And very cosy it was too!

Peedie Hoose

The main street is not much more than the width of a car and has wonderful narrow passages either leading up to higher parts of the town or downwards to the shore.




Next came our introduction to the first archaeology of our adventure; Skara Brae.

Sign, Skara Brae

Neo-lithic (stone-age) people lived here, long before the pyramids were built in Egypt. They were more sophisticated than you would think. The very thick walls of the dwellings were built in part using material from an earlier, disused midden, (rubbish-dump), enabling the construction of ‘cells’ within them, probably used for storage. However, one cell in each house was higher than the rest and appears to be connected to drains that run under the houses. These are likely to be the earliest indoor toilets in Britain!

Skara Brae

Skara Brae

In order to preserve the site, there is a reconstruction of one of the houses which visitors can explore. We could clearly see the central hearth, a ‘dresser’ on the far wall, perhaps for displaying treasured items as we might today and box beds on either side of the room. All the houses were built to the same design.

skara Brea

And how about this nifty water-tight stone box for storing your freshly caught crustaceans!

Skara Brae

There were even some simple designs scratched into one of the edges of a bed box.

Skara Brae

It was a humbling experience to be able to walk around the dwellings of these ancient people. People who were completely self-sufficient; hunting game, fishing, gathering fruit and the eggs of sea-birds as well as cultivating cereal crops.


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4 Responses to “An adventure back in time”

  1. Le Petit Potager Says:

    Christine, what a wonderful adventure; such a joy to be taken on your journey. Elaine

  2. garybuie01 Says:

    ‘Stay Tuned’ as they say Elaine, there’s more to come over the next few days!

  3. RecyclerSA Says:

    What an interesting find/adventure! I had no idea this dig existed in Scotland. reminds me of Pompeii in Italy. Looking forward to the rest of your tour, Christine. Laura

    • garybuie01 Says:

      I’ve never been to Pompeii Laura but I can see what you mean. Fortunately, these stone-age sites on Orkney had a less catastrophic end! Hope you enjoy today’s post.

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