I was sad to leave Edinburgh. It's such a magical city and I loved both the people and the sights. I really feel like I could dig deep into the city and be content for quite a long time. I will definitely be going back.
But, the time had come to hop on a tiny tiny plane to head north to the Orkney islands. As excited as I was to go to Edinburgh, I was off the charts ready for Kirkwall. There's something extra special about going somewhere that probably no one I know has been. There's nothing rustic about Kirkwall, but we also headed there without too much of a plan. The guide books tells you a few sights to hit and I checked out instagram to get a feel for the town, but much of our three days there was kind of up in the air.
Getting to the Edinburgh Airport was, of course, an adventure in itself. Our hotel called out cab, so that was easy, but the 20 or so minute trip was spent trying to understand our driver and giving up half the time and just laughing in the hope that it was an appropriate response.
Our flight was on a tiny plane that we walked on the tarmac to get to and had one flight attendant. It was also filled with people who obviously were just going home so we stuck out like sore thumbs as tourists. It was a quick flight with a lot of great views. (I couldn't get any photos since I had lost my little camera and didn't want to cause the plane to crash by turning on my iphone.) I got the following shots before taking off:
So, I didn't take the following picture, but imagine the grass being greener and the cliffs being cliffier and just feeling like you're about to land on Venus:
And check out this airport!
Once we had the plane portion of the day over, we realized we had another bus situation on our hands, but this time it went much smoother and we were on our way to town.
We stayed at the West End Hotel, which was super cute and had a Dragonfly Inn* feel to it.
Our room wasn't quite ready so we set off for town in the drizzle and found The Reel, which turned out to be one of our favorite places! A coffee shop/music store/bar/cafe, it had everything we needed, which at this moment was FOOD.
After doing a bit more exploring we went back to our room to relax and get ready for dinner, which we ended up having at our hotel that night. Our hotel pretty much had everything we needed: beds, shower, teddy bears, a bar, and a restaurant. My meal that night was a delicious scotch pie:
Oh, and Nessie joined us!
After dinner we made our way back to the church for traditional scottish dancing! Unfortunately, I don't have those pictures online just yet, but I'm sure you can imagine how hilarious it was for me and Ali to hit up the local dance night. It was epic.
I really liked Kirkwall. It was like nowhere I had ever been before and while, of course, the same could be said for Edinburgh, there was something special about Kirkwall. Maybe it was the stone buildings and cobblestone streets or the fact that we were on a tiny island, but being in Kirkwall felt really special and different.
* Gilmore Girls