62. Day 30 in Shetland: The Isle of Fetlar

A short ferry ride from Unst is the little “garden” island of Fetlar. With a population of only about 60 people, it is sparsely inhabited, but rich in beauty. We only had a day, but if I go back to Shetland, I plan to spend several days. There are loads of Viking ruins I didn’t get to see, but we did find these remains of …something… right by the ferry station. As you can see, we had a stunningly gorgeous day to do our hike.

Brough Lodge is currently being renovated, a project that’s been going on for a few years and didn’t seem to be very active the day we were there. It’s the ancestral home of the Nicholsons, and built by Arthur who was a real piece of work (as many of the English-born lairds were). He decimated the local population in favor of…….sheep.

Looking lairdly.
Built in 1820, the tower was used as an astronomical observatory.
There is a trust attempting to renovate the lodge for use as an educational center. That would be nice! And a slap in the dead face of Arthur.
It was built on the site of an iron-age broch, which explains it’s excellent location, location, location.
Tresta Beach.
Papil Water, a freshwater loch just across a landbridge from the beach.
The North Sea.
The salty and the fresh. With lots of green between.
Papil Water. Apparently there’s good fishing there.
Fetlar Kirk, built 1790 on the stones of an ancient Viking structure.
RIP Gardners. All traces of your name will be gone, soon.
Walking The Snap
Looking back at the beginning of the walk near the farmhouse and beach.
Sea caves.
Lots of really interesting geos along this coast.
Watcher on the hill.
Lunchtime! There were a lot of unrecorded bonxies doing their divebombing thing along this bit of the walk.
Say cheese!
Marsh Orchid.

The last part of the loop was on paved roads. We started the walk at the Loch of Funzie because I had hoped to spot the summering red-necked phalarope. But alas, it was not to be. I heard later they had been hanging out in the PARKING LOT. Grrrrrrrr.

Back home and packing up, I took a couple of last photos of our croft house.

This was the second bedroom.
This is the main room, with the skylight shade drawn. There’s another little window by the bed. I’m sorry for not getting a better photo of the art in this room. It fit our aesthetic very well.
This beautiful sonnet captured how I felt about being in this place.

Our last sleep in Unst. We were pleasantly pooped from our walk, packed up, and ready to leave for Aberdeen on the 5:30 ferry out of Lerwick the next day.

But was I ready? This was the end of my full month in Shetland, and I felt very sad to leave. These islands had welcomed me, I met many wonderful folks along the way, but also spent many, many solitary hours on my walkabouts and relaxing in my various comfy digs. Each place I stayed was so different. Who would have thought such a relatively small geographical area could hold so many different landscapes and treasures?

You should all try to get to Shetland. It is like no other place on Earth.

28 June 2022


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