Saturday, 4 June 2011

Ring of Brogar, 22 stones, 300 orchids and 2 kilts - why not?

Heading home after a bit of garden work today - thought I'd swing past on the way home to the Ring of Brogar - a neolithic stone circle (a world heritage site)  here with 22 stones (alot missing) each about 6-10 ft tall - which is lovely for a walk and I think I take it for granted (a couple miles from the house), but we see it so much you kind of forget how utterly amazing it is and its free to enjoy.  Its a bit uncertain what it means but its lovely to be able to walk in and around the stones and enjoy them - I'll let you do that too!
Its full of wild flowers too at the moment - and of course the old faithful peedie pup who loves it here - how happy does he look?
 I love the stones - all that lichen - all that history - who knows what they've seen and they are there in all weathers - have been for a very long time.
 You might get a bit of perspective from the folk there - these are quite tall stones. The circle itslelf is surrounded by grass and the other bits are heather and a mix of wild flowers.

 In the peace and quiet - a bus arrived - time to go we think - nice to enjoy it in relative peace - but as a coach arrives - I think I'll head home and let them enjoy it. I get to come here whenever I want to - let them enjoy it.
 Its very tranquil - looking over to the loch - (lake) where there is lovely fishing.
 Heres a stone hit by lightening - I just can't imagine that - being struck by lightening!
 My favourite stone of the 22 standing - I don't know why I like that particular stone - but I do like this one very much.
 And, as I turned around what did  see but a piper in full highland dress - how utterly bizarre is that? It would be quite like going on a walk and seeing someone in thier finest clothes walking as if nothing was different. Then the pipes began - turned out the bus was a wedding party and the piper here to pipe the party to the ceremony.
How bizarre to see a kilted piper at the ring of brogar - amazing but very unexpected - what a way to end my tea time walk! 
Kilts aren't part of traditional dress here on the island - they are elsewhere in scotland - but not in Orkney - folk do wear them - but rather than it being traditional - its a more modern thing (so I've been told anyway). Orkney use to belong to Norway until 1468 when it was pledged for the dowry from the King of Norway for his daughter's marriage to King James III of scotland which was never paid and then the islands became part of scotland. Amazing what you find out when you wonder why the kilt aint common here!
And of course the flowers - orchids everywhere - got to over 300 and stopped counting (I'm not joking!) lovely to see such an abundance of them this year - maybe it was the cold winter?
Time for home - we're lucky we're only a few miles as the crow flies from this lovely site - we go regularly for a tea time walk here - but being on the doorstep I guess we do take it a bit for granted. We shouldn't really though!


  1. I'm not surprised kilts aren't common with all that wind!!! I can just imagine - eek!

    How lovely to have a wedding party there :) We walked there and back from our cottage in Stromness one Christmas - absolutely frozen to the bone by the time we got back in the dark...

    (love your new wellies photo by the way!) :)


  2. Ooh, and my ex boyfriend was actually struck by lightning!! Apparently it hurts rather a lot....

    (fortunately he wasn't struck in two like that stone - but has large burn on his shoulder, and burnt undies and a scarred backside...)

    Apparently it's a good job he was wearing a cycle helmet otherwise it would have gone in through his head rather than shoulder, and he probably would have died...

  3. I love all the pictures of the stones. I didn't realize there were a group on Orkney, and I did not know that Orkney was originally part of Norway. I like your new header photo, it's perfect!

  4. Glad to see the new purple wellies are in pride of place at the top! Your stones are also stunning - I love standing stones and those like yours or Calanais are so much more impressive and atmospheric than Stonehenge!

  5. Love the purple wellies pic.
    I love the Ring of Brogar.I think I could spend hours and hours there. Then on to Skara Brae and the eeriness of Mae's Howe?
    Ok, I sure would love to be there again tomorrow!!!!

  6. i like your new picture too! I like things with a bit of atmosphere and so would have loved to join you on your walk to the stones and to hear the pipes. thanks for sharing with us.

  7. I'm curious - the grass vs the heather? Is that mown, or grazed by sheep, or just happened, or so much foot traffic???

    I had that prehistoric feeling at the temple of Gigantija on Malta.

  8. No, you shouldn't take it for granted. What a beautifully rugged place! Yes, imagine what those stones have seen! Thanks for the history lesson. Lovely pictures-especially the ones with the piper.

  9. What kind of orchards are in the photos?

    We have 2 types grow near to us: bee orchards and pyrammidical orchards.

    They are such beautiful wild flowers.

    A walk is always special when you see wild flowers in bloom.

    Love the Piper turning up..that certainly will be a wedding people won't forget.

    Sft x

  10. Thank you for taking us along on your walk.

  11. Jenny - wow to ex being struck by lightening and brrto walking from stromness to the ring, brr brr brr!

    Lisa and rob I'm glad you came along!

    Sft - my poor deranged brain can't tell you at the mo, but I'll look it up :) the wildflowers here are gorgeous! I counted a dozen types od flowers without trying gorgeous!

  12. Sandpiper I try not too I think it's such a privilege o be here. Thanks for popping past.
    Elephants eye, gpfoot traffic has ground the Heather down to grass. You can walk by the stones but not over the middle Heather to help that keep growing.

  13. It must have been too late in the day for the usual buses and crowds of tourists....

    The orchids are delightful. I took photos of the same ones growing here.

    Do you ever come across mertensia maritima?

  14. Janet, we do have mertensia down on the 4th barrier and in a few other places. Gorgeous plant, must get some photos this year!

  15. Robyn, I'd love to go to stonehenge but I've heard you can't touch/walk in the stones anymore. Glad u like the wellies!

    Jenni glad you enjoyed!! I learnt something too.

  16. What a wonderful site. It's easy to take anywhere for granted if you live close to it - human nature I guess. Love your new banner pic.

  17. Lovely to see the Ring of Brodgar. We had it all to ourselves one evening last summer, and my small boys had a great time chasing each other around the stones. Can't help feeling that piper looks a bit of a numpty in full kit! Too shortbread-tin for my taste!

    Your reader Saving for Travel might like to know that I looked up the orchids at the Ring after photographing them myself, and apparently they are marsh orchids. I'm afraid I don't know the Latin name though. I got very excited about them thinking they might be rare, but apparently not. All the wild flowers around the ring are just lovely, though.