The Orkneys – Pastel light and Neolithic heaven. Photograph.

We continued to make our way around the Orkneys – incredible low-lying landscapes, rolling hills, sweeping bays, nature and pastel colours – more burial chambers and Neolithic wonders.

The Orkney’s – The Churchill Barriers

During the 2nd World War the British Fleet was housed at Scapa Flow in the Orkneys. However, they were prone to attack from German Submarines. Boats were scuttled in the narrow straits between islands and torpedo nets were deployed but submarines still got through at high tide and sank a battle ship. Churchill ordered that causeways should be constructed to block the straits. These were controversially built using Italian POWs but solved the submarine problem. They became known as the Churchill Barriers and are now used as roads to connect the islands. The scuttled ships are still there and visible.

The Orkneys – The Broch of Gurness.

The Broch is an Iron Age tower that was ten metres high! It had religious significance, housed the clan leader and his family and served as a major defensive structure against attack. It dates back 2500 years.

Around the Broch was a whole Iron Village. It had a fantastic view out to sea and across to the land the other side.

The Orkneys – The Amazing Italian Chapel

During the 2nd World War a group of Italian POWs were stationed on the Orkneys.

They were given an old army Nissen hut to worship in and set about transforming it into a veritable cathedral.

They scrounged materials and paint and transformed the place into a work of Art.


It was the most amazing place. The beauty and colour was superb. What those POWs achieved was amazing. Every bit of it was made of old bits and pieces yet they made it look so wonderful. Going through the door was like entering Aladdin’s Cave.

One of the POWs fell in love with an Orkney girl and left his heart in the Orkneys forever.



The Orkneys – Scara Brae – a Neolithic Village

A storm exposed the Neolithic village of Scara Brae. It is the most perfect Neolithic village ever discovered. Walking around it one can imagine the life of the people who inhabited these houses. Their lives were simpler than ours yet quite sophisticated.

They lived off this landscape – grew their crops, gathered, hunted and fished. These were the people who created the Ring of Brodgar and the Stones of Stenness.

The Orkneys – The Standing Stones of Stenness

The Orkneys are covered with amazing Neolithic sites. The Standing Stones of Stenness was one of our first stops.

These large stones were all unique. Running your hands over them was like connecting yourself to the past. Looking out over the landscape with its delicate colours one could imagine those eyes from the past gazing over those same vistas.

The Orkneys – The Old Man of Hoy and the Orkeys

The ferry across to the Orkneys was interesting. The sea was quite calm and we went by the Old Man of Hoy. There were plenty of sea birds. Then the Town came in sight.

The sun was shining. We were full of anticipation. The Orkneys was a major Neolithic site. It was like the centre of Europe – a metropolis of ancient commerce and religion. We wanted to see the sights and the sites.