The Broch of Gurness and searching for Northern Lights

I guess most of Mainland was by now crossed off our must-see list. From Kirkwall, to Skara Brae, the Brough of Birsay, and walking along Skaill Beach, we had seen most of the island. But there was still a corner left on Mainland, the northwest side around Evie and just across from Rousay. There the Broch of Gurness, a village from the Iron Age, sat in stony silence and in pouring rain. At least there is always a rainbow when it rains.

entrance @Broch of Gurness

Not much is left of the broch, about three meters of a tower which could have been between 10-13 meters. The broch was a round tower with an entrance and no windows. Inside it had more than one floor (probably). Overall there are more than 500 brochs in the world, 50 alone in Scotland. So fairly common in this area. Around the broch here was a village and inside you can see that it had different areas. Even I can recognize this.

the Broch from outside @Broch of Gurness

a fireplace in the middle and different chambers @Broch of Gurness

straight ahead all the way to the end is a Viking grave @Broch of Gurness

On that evening we decided to hunt for the Northern Lights. Even before we left for Orkney I got in touch with an online group which documents these natural spectacles and updates its members on the conditions and where best to see them. Of course we didn’t check that but rather decided that tonight was the perfect time for us. It was actually the worst evening of the week. Every other evening would have been better, with less cloud coverage and earlier moon setting.

No matter though, we slept in the early evening and then got up at around 10:30pm to get something to drink (anti-alcoholic for the driver) before we started. Not sure how it works in normal times but Orkney in pandemic mode is down for the night by 11pm. So we drove out to the Standing Stones of Stennes, because I saw some amazing shots from there, and waited for the moon to go down. Which would have been around 3:15am, not really my time anymore without a party. So, these are the shots I came back with. All blurry and not spectacular. But overall it was kind of fun to sit in the car, wait for the rain to stop, and the moon to set. Yours, Pollybert

trying to see the Northern lights @Orkney

the night sky above @Orkney

Let me know what you think

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