Pictures like this – with the beermats and the scratchy fabric chairs – take me right back to my childhood. There’s a particular smell in ferry bars (a combination of bar smell and sea smell?) that still exists today, but the chairs are more comfortable these days.
Tables with lips to stop your drink sliding about in rough seas are still a thing too!
I have been really late with catching up with all my blogging since I got back from holiday. I’m very busy with the day job at the moment and haven’t had much time. However, I finally have a chance now to post all about my travels – better late than never!
Geth and I drove up to Mum and Dad’s in Edinburgh on the Sunday to meet up with the family – my brother and sister-in-law Malcolm and Steff had arrived from Canada on the Saturday – before we all travelled north. On the Monday, it was another long drive up to Aberdeen, with a brief lunch stop in Arbroath for some chippy goodness – separate post to follow at some point!
It was a bit of a wait to get onto the ferry but I was pleased to find that the small cars were loaded first – this meant that once my wee Skoda was in place on the car deck, Geth and I were able to grab a good space for the family in the lounge bar for the evening.
It was a fairly pleasant ferry journey north to Shetland, although first-time sailor Steff found it a bit nausea-inducing. In the morning, as soon as I’d driven to the B&B, I found a space to get on with some work – August has been busy from the off this year!
That afternoon, Geth and I found a nice café called the Dowry for lunch – it was so good that we ended up eating there five days in a row! – and then went for a walk around Lerwick to plot out where we were going to do our long runs the next day. I hadn’t slept well on the ferry so I got a fairly early night before the run.
It was nice running around Lerwick – a good way to see the town again after twelve years, especially as we had to do three laps to make the scheduled 14k we were both running that week! It was back to the Dowry for breakfast, as I’d been eyeing up the waffles the day before, and decided I’d earned them after my run.
I had a fairly quiet Wednesday afternoon – I had a bit of work to do again – before meeting up with the family for a meal at an Indian restaurant where we’d eaten when we were last in Shetland twelve years ago.
On the Thursday, Geth and I drove down to Sumburgh so that we could visit the excavation at Old Scatness. It wasn’t really open when we were last in Shetland as it had only recently been excavated, but they’ve got a nice wee visitor centre nowadays. Geth loved the site and could probably have stayed there for another hour!
Geth and I met up with Malcolm and Steff for breakfast (at the Dowry again, you’ll be amazed to learn) on the Friday morning, and then went to the Shetland Museum. The museum hasn’t really changed since we visited in 2007, but it’s always worth a poke around.
In the evening, we met up with relatives Joyce and Douglas at the Waterfront restaurant. There was a lot of fish eaten by everyone else, but I was pleased to find that the veggie option was my old favourite, pasta and pesto. Cheesecake too, which is always welcome (see forthcoming cheesecake roundup post).
On the Saturday morning, Geth and I packed all of our remaining stuff into the car and then went on foot on the Bressay ferry to get to the start line of Bressay parkrun. After parkrun, we visited Joyce and Douglas for lunch and a brief tour of Bressay in the mist, before heading back to Lerwick so that I could get some work admin sorted out courtesy of the Dowry’s wifi.
Later that afternoon, we all drove back to the ferry terminal, and Geth and I and the Skoda got onboard nice and promptly again! It was a slightly bumpier ride than going up, and again I found it difficult to sleep on the boat, but we arrived nice and early in Aberdeen and the Sunday morning traffic was so quiet that we were back in Edinburgh by ten o’clock.
We had a couple more days in Edinburgh – I had to spend all of Sunday and Monday working, but Geth and I were able to meet up with our friend Kieran on the Monday night, and then we went to the City Cafe with Malcolm and Steff to have breakfast with my cousin Freya and her boyfriend Ryan on the Tuesday morning, before Geth and I headed back to Newcastle in the afternoon.
Hopefully it won’t be another twelve years before I make it back to Shetland again!
On the Wednesday, Mum and Dad came to meet me and Geth outside our hotel, and we all walked down to the lakefront to meet Malcolm and catch the ferry to the Toronto Islands.
The ferry itself is a really nice journey – I always love being out on the water, and it was a gorgeous day for it. Once we got across to the islands, we stopped at a bar for a drink (yet another new cider that I will log soon!), and then went for a walk around the islands. We found a small, pretty beach where Dad went for a quick swim, and then walked along the boardwalk to the next island (they’re very easy to walk between). At the far side of the island, we could see right across the lake to the United States. I think Geth was more interested in a nice sit down though.
We then walked back towards the ferry terminal, through a lovely park full of fountains and trees. At the north side of the island by the terminal, you get a gorgeous view of downtown Toronto:
I could have stayed on the islands all day – it’s such a beautiful atmosphere.
Instead, though, we decided to get back on the ferry, and headed back to Toronto for a drink. The bar we went to had run out of cider, so I had a tasty cocktail – then Geth went off to pick up a boardgame he’d ordered from a shop earlier in the week, and I headed back to the hotel to relax with a book.