28 March 2011

Lara Croft...

The Gorgeous Pentalina
 A short ferry ride from Gill's Bay to St Margarets Hope - lots of history and lots to see - and a full 3G signal the whole way!

Churchill's Barrier (No more sneaky U-boat attacks) - cross at your own risk though
Outside - its a WW2 prison camp hut

but inside
and from the other end
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_Chapel

Looking West - 3180 BC

Skara Brae - they have a reconstructed house that you can go into - and the internal arrangement/furniture/division is just like in the traditional Mongolian Ger.  My abiding memory is the intensely cold westerly wind, bearing the strong sent of "lemon pine disinfectant" - all was explained when the warden approached me wearing surgical gloves - in response to my raised eyebrow I was reassured that the (modern) toilets were being cleaned and that intimate or body cavity searches were not part of the Brae experience.

Looking the East - dour, bleak and isolated - Skaill House
Ring of Brogdar - windy, cold and bleak
Standing Stones of Stenness guarded by three stoic rams (by now the wind is so strong walking is difficult)
Orkney folk seem to go in for permanent monuments - perhaps it's the lack of trees and the surfeit of stones just under the thin soil - there is even a Kitchener Memorial. Today I have 'done' 7 sites - ranging from 3000 BC to 1944AD and finally...

...Tomb Raider?  I am in Orkney - working my way through the list of Neolithic Highlights provided by Cousin Chris.

Just as the sun was setting I crawled into the last for the day: Cuween Hill Chambered Tomb from about 5000 years ago - and still in very good nick.  The access is a crawl and a squeeze through a long narrow passage and the side chambers even tighter and pitch black - It then dawned on me "this is about the point in where I step the balanced stone and the way out is sealed by toppling slabs of rock.  I admit I was spooked - the tomb is isolated and no one knew I was there - instant end of tourism for the day and head for the hotel (and bar)

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