When is it, do you think, we realize that what we each independently experience isn’t so different than what others have experienced?
My, my…that was a deep thought. I began this post last night and I’ve no idea where I was going with all those Macrocosm vs. Microcosm notions…I’m certainly not in that headspace this morning.
This morning, I am sipping coffee in our stateroom watching us pull into Torshavn, Faroe Islands. It’s the first cozy, foggy morning we’ve had. Quite mild despite our being in the North Atlantic between Norway and Iceland. That Gulf Stream is amazing. Have I mentioned, yet, how much I adore this latitude? I love the lighting and the rugged shorelines.
Need to catch you up…
Since my last post, Mr. Al and I explored Bergen, sailed to the Shetland Islands and are now here, docking in Torshavn.
Bergen was busy with their world biking competition. In the Viking era, it was the hub of that nation and most likely just as busy. Now, it’s still very much a center, being the 2nd largest city of Norway. We took a boat ride around the fjord, getting an ocean view of Bergen which, due to the over population of bikers and their entourages, cancelled many tours. Then we strolled around the wharf area, bought some yarn for a friend, watched some of the biking time trials and then purchased reindeer sausage to bring home. Didn’t have the heart to buy whale sausage. Yes, there’s still whaling going on in all the countries we’re visiting. Rather controversial topic which I will leave alone.
From Bergen, we sailed south to the Shetland Islands where we visited Jarlshof, a fascinating archeological site at the southern tip of Mainland, the largest of the Shetlands. Jarlshof had been occupied for thousands of years before being abandoned in the 1600s. Layers of habitation were uncovered from Neolithic through the Bronze Age, Iron Age and Viking Age. It was also the setting for Sir Walter Scott’s book The Pirate. Vikings lived in long houses…people at one end and livestock at the other so that nobody needed to go outside in rough weather. The earlier inhabitants (Picts) lived in Brocks–stone circular buildings–double walled with a wooden staircase spiraling up between the walls. Here’s an artist’s rendition of the Brock:
Brocks were built during the Iron Age and the purpose of them is still being debated. They are always within site of one another and their ruins can be found through the Shetland Islands. It is speculated they were some kind of early warning lookout-type towers, as well as living quarters.
Wheel houses came later and were not as tall, had a common a cooking center and then rooms radiating out like wheel spokes (hence the name.) They were small and cramped and the peeps most likely slept sitting up. Seriously, people didn’t lay down at night to sleep. How archeologists know this fact, I have no idea.
Mr. Al and I’ve got another country to explore….I leave you now with pics from Bergen…
And the Shetland Islands…I loved it there. Didn’t really want to leave.
These pics are in no particular order. Had some problems uploading.
Off to play, now. Tomorrow is a Day At Sea. Can catch up up further…. Cheers!