Armin's World Tour of Scotland

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Facts of the Day:
Date: 01/August/2002
From: Sumburgh
Via: Hamnavoe
To: Sumburgh
Miles: 75
Midges: none (probably much too windy)
Weather: fog lifting slowly, hazy sunshine later
Mood: Optimistic

Picture of ScallowayHaving arrived in Shetland the previous day I started to explore the southern part of Shetland. After a drive to Lerwick to upload the latest pages (GPRS is not available in Sumburgh) I drove past Scalloway to Trondra. Trondra as well as West Burra and East Burra further down the road are connected to the mainland via three bridges. The view south from the bridge to Trondra was very nice,Picture of the view from the bridge to TrondraPicture of the view of Hamnavoe lighthouse with the sun reflecting in the water and just the outline of the cliffs visible in the haze. I drove on to Hamnavoe on West Burra, where I had a nice view over the harbour to Hamnavoe Lighthouse on Fugla Ness. While it was still quite hazy the weather was improving steadily with the sun coming out more and more. Close to Hamnavoe are the beautiful Sands of Meal, a popular place that day.Picture of the Sands of Meal I spent a while here, just enjoying the sun after the bad weather during my last days on Orkney. My drive down West Burra continued to Papil,Picture of Banna Minn where I left the car to walk to Kettla Ness over the storm beach of Banna Minn. I spent a couple hours walking on Kettla Ness, admiring the various views. Kettla Ness has a lot of birds nesting on it, quite a few on this inaccessible cliff on the west coast.Picture of a cliff Sligthly further up the coast of Kettla Ness is this cave with its interesting entrance. I felt it looked like out of a James Bond movie and expected the ship of some villain to come out of it any minute. But nothing happened.Picture of a cave

By now it was late afternoon and I decided to slowly make my way back to Sumburgh. My last stop was St Ninian's Isle on the south west coast of the mainland. This island is linked to the mainland by what is called a tombolo, a beach built up by wave action from two opposing directions. This one is unique in Great Britain, as it only consist of shell sand, while other consist mainly of gravel or shingle.Picture of the tombolo from the mainlandPicture of the tombolo from the island

Picture of St Ninian's IslePicture of the chapel ruinsI walked over the tombolo to St Ninian's Isle and had a short walk around. Some of the views were very nice in the evening sun, although the fierce wind made it quite uncomfortable. I also had a quick look at the remains of the chapel, but there isn't much to see really. A treasure of silver bowls and and ornaments was found here during excavation in 1958, but they are kept in Edinburgh (replicas are displayed in the Shetland Museum in Lerwick). And with that my first full day on Shetland was over, I returned to the hotel for dinner and to get some rest after a nice but exhausting day.

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