59. Day 27 in Shetland: Lunda Wick/St. Olaf’s Kirk, Meeting Mila, Simmer Dim Sunset, Kirk Ruins

These first two photos are of the ruins of the House of Lund, a laird’s house built in the early 1800’s, and he was apparently quite a piece of work. Here’s the story of John Scott, “a hard man and an unbeliever.” Give it a listen, 5:30 of some beautiful Shetlander dialect.

The fireplace stones are repurposed grave markers. I will say the place felt rather haunted. Or maybe it was the weather.
Spot the ghost!!
The manse still standing, but well after the demise of the Bad Laird.
There is a ritualistic look to these stones ‘n’ bones. Hard to say for sure, but it was a bit creepy.
Lunda Wick.

I usually get a bit pissy about people who build their little “I wuz here” cairns, but after getting closer to these, I saw they were definitely considered sculptural pieces.

The stone wall at the top right also intrigued us. More on that in a few photos. Embiggen this to see the beautiful variety of stones on this beach.
The bones above may well have been arranged by whomever build this cairn art on the beach.
Here you can see the stone wall stretching along the top of the beach.
Stone wall, beach side.
Back of the stone wall.

I suppose the wall may have originally been a boundary of a field that got encroached upon by the sea. Like this whole area, it felt old, and it was unclear what its purpose was. There was a great deal of Viking activity here (brochs and longhouses nearby), but it’s doubtful the wall was *that* old.

St. Olaf’s, also known as Lund Kirk, in the mist.

Following are a bunch of photos inside the kirk proper, some of the most lovely ruins I’ve ever seen, made more lovely by the soft overcast lighting and the wild flowers. The kirk dates from the 12th century, but is on a much older foundation, and was likely built for the nearby Viking settlement. Here’s some more info.

Far from the madding crowd’s ignoble strife.

Just messed around with some filters for the following photos. They was askin’ for it, with all that gothy atmosphere.

“New” graves.
Old stone.
Much older stone.
The Lund Stone, tallest standing stone in Shetland, and possibly the northernmost standing stone in the UK.
Not-great public art. Sort of sweet, though this will not last through the ages, I fear.
Don’t drive a red car in Unst.
Nature making its own art.

When I was staying with my hosts Debbie and Dave in Hillswick, they mentioned that a friend of theirs had rented a house to a woman from Berkeley for several months, and that she was in the town of Uyeasound in Unst. We managed to finally get all the correct numbers, so I gave her a call and went to see her! Her name is Mila, and she’s a gem. Mila was in Unst after a couple of years researching her Shetland roots, in order to write up her findings in semi-memoir form. (At least that’s what I gathered. The story of her family, and her life thus far, is really fascinating, and I hope to read it when it’s done.) We made plans to get together a couple of days after this for trip to Hermaness, as she hadn’t been there and didn’t have a car. A month in Shetland and she hadn’t seen a puffin! I couldn’t imagine anything better than heading out to Hermaness again, and introducing her to my little friends.

Chez Simone Petit Cafe! Honesty boxes full of French delicacies! (Pix to come in a future post.)
Mila’s croft house was a very similar layout to ours! And right on the water.
Quiche and wine for dinner!

We decided to wander out for the sunset, and went farther afield that originally planned. And it was a good thing. This sunset just kept on giving. Just a few days after the summer solstice, the simmer dim was full-on. On towards midnight, still enough light to read by outside.

10:24 PM
Burn of Baliasta running into the Loch of Cliff.
Loch of Cliff
10:52 PM. The Saxa Vord RAF station is on the land mass to the right. On “our” side of the loch in the distance is Hermaness.
A map-phic presentation.
He wears his sunglasses at night.
Mist rising from Loch of Cliff
Mist settling in the little valley near our croft.
The kirk ruins by our croft house. I couldn’t find much info about it. I think it is not as old as St. Olaf, maybe 16th century?
11:34 PM
Just wow.

The sky cleared off considerably as the day progressed, so it felt like two completely different days in one. The simmer dim is a little eerie.

25 June, 2022


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