Queen Anne Day 26

Written by Safarigal
May 30, 2024


May 28th, 2024

You know you are in Scotland when the first thing you hear in the morning is the sound of bagpipes.

It sounded like the man was on our balcony when he woke me up, but no there he was on the quayside, but he certainly made a lot of noise.

I looked out and saw that they were busy getting the gangway in place.

There was a random assortment of flags fluttering away in the strong breeze, looking like they were about to take flight at any moment.

Also there were huge puddles everywhere, but blue skies were gradually appearing, and by the time we were ready to head ashore, it was looking beautiful. Chilly, but pretty.

There was a shuttle bus from the pier in to town, which is about a 45 minute walk away.

My main goal was to have a pub lunch, and I studied hard to find what I thought would be a great little pub away from the crowds.

The Nieuw Statendam was also in town, and with 6000 passengers and untold crew members descending on the island, I thought it could get crowded.

My search turned up a pub called Skippers.

After we got off the shuttle bus we made our way there, not stopping at the shops as we were quite hungry by then.

Well the pub certainly was a long walk from the bus, but it was also right where the Nieuw Statendam passengers were getting off their tenders. So much for being away from it all.

Anyway, we were able to find a table and ordered our lunch. Yay, they had Strongbow on tap so I was in my element.

Deirdre had a huge portion of fish and chips,

And I had a more reasonably sized meal of scampi and chips.

The food was good, but really very expensive for what it was.

What’s more, the pub was not a quaint old establishment, but a very modern place with no atmosphere at all.

Still we did have a good meal and chatted to a lovely couple from the Nieuw Amsterdam who shared our table, so all in all I would call it a successful lunch.

After lunch we wondered around town. I would have loved to buy another jersey, but I don’t really need one. If they had had a cardigan with puffins on it I would have bought it any way, but fortunately for our bank balance they didn’t, so I failed to buy anything except for replenishing my chocolate supply.

We met up with friends and Deirdre decided to go back to the ship with them, and I continued with my serious window shopping and ice cream consumption.

I stopped by the beautiful St Magnus cathedral, Britain’s most northerly cathedral.

I was there with what felt like 6000 other people. The cathedral was beautiful, but totally overrun.

Next to the cathedral there is a cemetery. No one else was there. It was wonderful and peaceful, and great to get away from the crowds.

After spending a while in the cemetery, I walked to the waterfront. That is where the tender dock for the Nieuw Statendam was situated. The queue of passengers wishing to return to the ship snaked all along the waterfront. I was so glad we were not having to use tenders today.

I walked along the waterfront to take a photo of the 2 ships. They are both Pinnacle class ships, and are very similar. I must say that as much as I love our iconic Cunard red funnel, the Nieuw Amsterdam is the better looking ship, although neither is particularly attractive.

I was thinking about walking back to the shuttle bus, but then I realized, it was such a sunny day, why not walk back to the ship?

It was a lovely 45 minute walk along the waterfront,  and I stopped to admire the livestock, friendly sheep and distant cows.

When I returned to the ship I noticed we were still not flying the Blue Peter. Is this an oversight, or do people just not care about flags anymore? I do hope it’s not the latter.

I also had a good look at the funnel. Despite what Brian says, I don’t think the funnel is untidy. It is functional and quite beautiful.

As we prepared to depart from our berth, we were serenaded by a wonderful pipe and drum band. We blew our whistle in appreciation and off we went.

It had been a great day in Kirkwall; the sun shone, I had delicious scampi and chips, I walked over 20,000 steps. And I got to hear bagpipes.

There were no bagpipes at this evenings show but the very talented duo of Warbey and Farrell treated us to a wonderful performance. It has been a good day.

Post Discussion


  1. Janice MacGregor

    Our neice plays in the pipe band. So glad the weather was kind.

    • Safarigal

      You must be so proud of her! The band was an absolute joy to listen to. We were so grateful for their send off 🙂

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