Monday, October 23, 2017

Shetland Islands

Lerwick, Shetland Islands
(Filler, from a 2016 vacation. For a great cycling film, see Van Horn's film at the end of the below Mt Locke Race)
I was a little surprised at the "drabness" of Lerwick. Most port towns have brightly painted houses and buildings. The buildings for us set the tone of the climate. We, as Texans, are used to mild winters and hot summers. Shetland has a subpolar climate with a year round average of 45 °F and temperatures of over 77 °F are rare. In the wintertime one can see the northern lights in the sky. Translation, we were cold even in the latter part of June.
We boarded a bus and followed the coastline (following pictures) toward Jarlshof.
        So on our journey, I will mention a little more on the weather.
The general character of the climate is windy and cloudy.
It rains more than 250 days a year. (We found the whole trip to be very wet and for us--cold.)
Lest we sound depressing, we were treated by a harem of seals.
Pasture fences.
Finally we saw some Shetland ponies. No surprise as we were on Shetland Island.
Castle entrance building to Jarlshof.

The castle, now known as Jarlshof House, was built during the Scottish period. Originally a medieval stone farmhouse, it was converted into a fortified house during the 16th century.
Jarlshof is a famous archaeological site containing remains dating from 2500 BC up to the 17th century AD.
More Shetland ponies on the Jarlshof grounds.
Leaving the castle headed toward the old structures and villages.
Excavated rooms of an old house.
The Old House of Sumburgh was "modernized" in the early 17th century. dating from the early 17th century.

The Jarlshof site represents thousands of years of occupation. Except for the Old House of Sumburgh, the site was hidden until a storm in the late 19th century washed away part of the shore and revealed evidence of ancient buildings. 
Buildings on the site include the remains of a Bronze Age smithy, an Iron Age broch (round house), wheelhouses, a Viking longhouse, and a mediaeval farmhouse. 
(I forgot what this was but thought it was a neat picture)
Mediaeval farmhouse.

Thought to be a Bronze Age smithy workshop.
View from Jarlshof cliff. 

Iron Age broch.

Entrance to one of the dwellings. 

Another entrance. Although I am rather short, I still had to stoop to go through their entrances.

One of the wheelhouses.
Shots of the surroundings as we were preparing to leave.

Lonely lighthouse but a nice ending photo.

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