Orkney

Copinsay Lighthouse 1915 – Orkney, Scotland

Iceland Cruise March 2018 – After leaving Orkney on our way home, I did see one last lighthouse.  It was about 11.00 pm, and I was sitting in one of the lounges waiting for the midnight buffet to start, when I saw a light through the window.  It was dark, but I aimed the camera through the window in the direction of the light, and this is what I got, I did change it to mono to get a better image.  The island of Copinsay is to the east of the Orkney Mainland, and has itself in recent years has become a bird sanctuary, as well as home to a Stevenson Lighthouse.  The light was designed by Charles A Stevenson and was at the request of the Admiralty to mark an approach from the north to the naval base at Scapa Flow.  There is a wonderful story…..in the 1930’s it was farmed by Mr Groat who had 13 children and between them, and the light keepers children. they had a resident teacher on the island.  One of the rooms in the farm house was the class room……what an amazing place to have gone to school.  The Light was automated in 1991 and is now remotely monitored from the Northern Lighthouse Board’s offices in Edinburgh.  Another Stevenson Lighthouse for my ‘Lighthouse Category’

 

Iceland Cruise 27 – Scottish Dancing & Farewell to Orkney, Scotland

Iceland Cruise March 2018 – While we were waiting to sail off into the sunset, I wish we had, but unfortunately for us, it was the roughest of all the sailings, anyway we were treated to some Scottish dancing, by very brave young ladies.  It was freezing, I’m not sure how they danced without big furry coats & hats on, but they did and it was lovely to watch.

After they finished I stayed and watched a large crane move the gangplank away, and felt quite sad, it was nearly the end of the cruise.  Husband felt a little different, he just wanted it to end, he was so ill, and worst was to come.  

I did manage to take a photo of the Captain, well I think one of them is.

The next photo is to show you how rough it was starting to get, but you will notice someone wasn’t worried, look at the hot tub……although a little later on she was told to leave, as the weather was getting worse and they wanted to close the deck.

Highland Park Whisky Distillery, Orkney, Scotland

Iceland Cruise March 2018 – On our visit to Orkney, we didn’t go to the Highland Park Whisky Distillery, as we went to Scapa Whisky Distillery on a coach trip.  We were on the coach, when I noticed we were passing Highland Park and took some photos.  As we want to come back to the Islands under our own steam, I thought I would enter the Highland Park into my ‘Whisky Distillery Category’  so I will remember to visit…….just incase husband forgets.

For over 220 years, they smoked their barley over 4,000 year old peat cut from Hobbister Moor, just seven miles from their distillery.  Completely woodless, this dense heathery peat burns slowly and with an astonishing intensity to create a complex floral aroma in their kilns that delivers the intensely balanced smoky sweetness found only in Highland Park…….well thats enough to make Husband want to go back 🙂

West Pier Lighthouse 1854, Kirkwall, Orkney, Scotland

Iceland cruise March 2018 – When we were exploring Kirkwall, the chief town of Orkney, I found this small lighthouse down in the harbour.  The light was built in 1854, but creased working in 1994.  There is a new modern light, that has taken its place, but it nice to know the old one was kept, as it makes a nice focal point to the harbour.  Another one for the ‘Lighthouse Category’

 

 

Scapa Whisky Distillery, Orkney, Scotland

 

 

Iceland Cruise March 2018 – When we arrived on Orkney, one part of our coach trip was to see a whisky distillery, Scapa Whisky.  The weather was overcast and cold, also the windows of the coach were tinted and not that clean, so the photos I took out of the window were a bit hit and miss.  The tour was interesting and you got a wee dram and the glass to keep at the end of the tour, which pleased husband, and he was also pleased to add a new one to our ‘Whisky Distillery Category’

 

A little history……….Scapa has long been known as the ‘other distillery’ on Orkney, overshadowed in both reputation and popularity by the neighbouring Highland Park. This is hardly surprising, given Scapa’s relatively small annual capacity of just under 1 million litres. In recent years however, Scapa has enjoyed increasing popularity as a single malt.

The distillery was originally founded in 1885 by Macfarlane and Townsend, near the town of Kirkwall at the head of Scapa Bay. This location was significant during both World Wars, when it was used as a naval base for the British fleet. Following WWII the distillery was taken over by Hiram Walker & Sons, and then existed in relative anonymity for years before being mothballed in 1994. However, from 1997 until 2004 a small team of staff from Highland Park used the Scapa facility to distil small amounts of whisky and keep the equipment in use.

In 2004, Scapa underwent an extensive refurbishment worth over £2million and full-time production re-commenced. Ownership of the distillery transferred to Pernod Ricard in 2005, and they have helped to raise the profile of the Scapa brand considerably since then. Shortly after this takeover the traditional 12 year old Scapa was replaced with a new 14 year old expression. This was subsequently replaced again with the current 16 year old expression in 2008.