We love Orkney! We were there in September enjoying their week long Science Festival based in Kirkwall organized by Howie Firth. Iain gave a talk on 'Bridges'. Lots of (other!) interesting speakers and mostly retired people who made up the audience.
The final event was topped off by this chap, Peter Higgs (of Higgs-Bosun particles), who was interviewed on the stage by Dennis Canavan, one of his old physics students*. A legend in his own lifetime. Photo: CERN.
We stay in a cottage on a farm (Tenston Farm) on Mainland Orkney, near the Stones of Stenness. Extensive new archaeological work going on there this summer.
These photos show the landscape... fertile soil, healthy animals, not many trees. Fields of barley were being cropped that week.
Eynhallow Sound on the east side of Mainland Orkney. In the past we sailed through this narrow stretch of water between two islands. Or rather we didn't sail but 'stood still' while caught in the 5 knot tide going against us. The engine showed us going nowhere fast at 5 knots! Finally after about 40 minutes the tide turned and we were able to make out way forward!
On the west side of Mainland Orkney at Yesnaby it is possible to study the geology. When quarried the rock slabs can be: laid on the horizontal for roads and pavements, paths, stone walls, burial chambers; sloped as roof tiles; lastly, upright as 'fences', gate 'posts' and, of course, stone circles or monoliths.
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* Prof. Higgs shared the 2013 Nobel Prize for Physics after the discovery of the particle he predicted mathematically. Dennis Canavan [Scottish politcal figure], graduated in mathematical physics from Edinburgh University in 1967.