On day 7 of our Big Adventure, we decided to stay close to “home” and do a walking tour of Kirkwall. We started with a visit to the lovely little local museum, which does a nice job of documenting life on the islands over the past several thousand years.
Then it was time for a coffee, of course. Holly was most anxious to visit the Reel, the coffee house and music venue run by the Wrigley Sisters. Holly was not too proud to fawn over a Sister and have her picture taken.
The Reel was just down the street from St. Magnus Cathedral, and we were looking forward to getting a peek inside. Construction on the cathedral began in 1137, and it evolved in stages over the next 300 years. (Surprising fact: Orkney was ruled by the Norse Earls of Orkney when the cathedral was built, and the first bishops were under the authority of the Archbishop of Nidaros in Norway.) Some sections of the cathedral have changed very little since the 12th century, which always gives us thrill, and the red sandstone was striking throughout. As an extra bonus, John Rae (the arctic explorer and one of Brad’s heroes) is buried in the cathedral.
There was still enough of the day left to do a little wandering and shopping on Kirkwall before retiring to our self-catering apartment for a lovely meal.