After Shetland, Orkney was a complete shock - it seemed so busy! Beautiful islands, though, and just like my last trip, we weren't there long enough to see much of it - we'll have to go back sometime when it's not just part of another trip. Highlights included the Churchill Barriers at Scapa flow, now used as causeways. On the surface they're not that impressive, until you realise the sea is 30m deep in places.
Another interesting place was the Neolithic settlement of Skara Brae, a very well preserved site of ancient housing. We also visited the Italian Chapel on Lamb Holm, built by Italian prisoners of war in their time off from building the Churchill Barriers. Starting with a Nissen hut, they added a fake chapel front, then painted the inside so skilfully that it looks just like a normal chapel, with ornate scenes, marble and tiles. Photographing it was pointless, as it looked just like any other chapel - job well done! Back at the B&B, a couple were complaining that they'd been there a week and hadn't seen any puffins yet. We couldn't help but boast that we'd seen so many in Shetland that they seemed like pigeons to us!
The final night was spent camping at the very exposed and windy campsite at Stromness. The next morning, we caught the ferry to Scrabster on the north coast of mainland Scotland, and watched the northern islands of Scotland disappear. The drive back was increasingly stressful as traffic density increased, and by the time we got to Yorkshire we were wishing we were back in Shetland! We will be of course.