Sunday, 12 September 2010

Monday - Yell ahoy!

I was woken early by the extremely noisy starling alarm clock!!! Couldn't believe how much noise they were making, and they were landing on the tent, squabbling, scrabbling about and sh*tting on it too!!!

Packed up and headed for the roundabout route to the ferry. Went a drive up to North Roe past Collafirth pier, which is one of the main landing ports for fish in Shetland (despite being miles along a single track road). There was a huge pelagic trawler in port, it dwarfed everything else that was there.

Interesting to see the area, North Roe School was well worth the visit, I loved the playground art. 

I then headed back to Brae (didn't think it looked much better in the sun really! lol) and across the road past Sullom Voe Terminal to Toft pier.

I timed it well, and only had about 25 mins to wait then got onto the ferry. I had read the tourist leaflet in the car and was a bit worried as it said the ferries got really busy in the summer and you had to book. I had assumed I would just turn up, and if I had to wait for a 2nd ferry it'd only be an hour. When I got to the terminal there were 2 lanes, one for booked cars and and one for unbooked. *Everyone* was in unbooked!!! Got on ok, car behind me was the last on and they made everyone move forward another couple of inches to get them fitted on! They're obviously well used to fitting on as many cars as possible. It made me remember the old Arran ferry where they used to get everyone out then 'bounce' the cars over to create room to fit another one on.
The Shetland ferries are amazing, *so* much nicer than Orkney ferries!! Comfy seats, with a view!! Very plush. And you can stay in the car if you prefer. Now a commute on those wouldn't be so bad.....

When I arrived at Yell I decided to drive up the east side, stopping off at various places - beaches (went a paddle), piers (went a walk, lovely coastline and some cliffs with seabirds), etc. I keep following paths and finding they're just sheep tracks though!

When I went this walk there was lots of evidence of otters everyone. No otters to be seen though.

The Heritage centre was closed, but I had a look at the gorgeous wee garden behind it.

Amazing to see what can be grown here with a little bit of shelter!

Had my lunch on this beach, and went for a paddle (my feet were in need of it after my walk earlier, the salt water seems to help stop blisters developing.)

Then I went to visit the 'white wife'. She's a figurehead from a shipwreck, the German barque 'Bohus' which foundered on rocks off Yell in April 1924. 5 months later the figurehead came ashore and was erected in memory of the sailors who were lost. 35 out of the 39 who were aboard were saved as the people of Yell reacted quickly to the ship in distress.

I drove up to "Gloup" and the fisherman's memorial - turned out Gloup is the name of the place (about 3 houses!) and not a gloup as I was expecting.....

I did get a spectacular view from the road there though (in the north of Yell) - my very first view of Muckle Flugga. That was it - the view enticed me on, decided I'd had enough of Yell for now and headed straight for the ferry to Unst, really really hoping that Unst lives up to my expectations!

Wouldn't this view entice you to want to get a closer look?

Waiting for the ferry at Gutcher.

Overall, Yell was ok but not as geared for tourists as the rest of Shetland seems to be, signposting of walks, etc. isn't very good and the road signs all seemed to be from one direction only so you have to try to remember which road it was if you want to visit things in a different order!!

I wasn't really overly impressed with Yell (though it had a good shop where you could buy *anything* just near Mid Yell.) The public toilets in Yell were also the worst I've seen here (in most of Shetland they're very clean).

Talking of Mid Yell, that reminds me of place names - most places have interesting names and have the derivation on the signs (generally norse) but Mid Yell - well that's boring!! It's the village in the middle of Yell.

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