Stromness in Orkney is the first port of call when arriving by ferry from mainland Scotland, i.e. if you come from Scrabster on the north coast.
It has a charming town centre of winding narrow streets and sea views and is well served with shops, banks, supermarkets and bus services.
John took these photos as we spent an afternoon enjoying the town with its nooks and crannies, its history and stone buildings including rooftops. The harbour has fishing boats, the big Northland ferry, and a variety of other sailing, rowing and motor craft.
When the boats set off for Canada in the early days of exploration their last stop before leaving UK waters was here in Stromness in order to take on fresh water.
The source was here (above photo): a well on the "High Street". If you look into the glassed up front, you can see ferns and other plant life.
Many Orcadians went out on these voyages to Canada and to this day there are a lot of descendents of these men who married (or not) into the local aboriginal and immigrant population.
The excellent Stromness Museum has masses of material to do with Orcadians in Canada including a lot relating to the history of the establishment of the Hudson Bay Company in Canada.