Autumn in Orkney – the land of the vikings (sort of)


For our honeymoon Gerry and I went to the Orkney islands north of Scotland. I’ve dreamed about travelling there since I was a teenager. There is something fascinating about these far-away islands. They belonged to Norway for a longer period of time than they’ve belonged to the UK. And the islands are full of magical little clues that ancient people left behind, old burial mounds, runes, stone circles and stone age settlements.

Being there was amazing. We spent our days walking and exploring and taking many, many photos of sea-birds. Sometimes I miss the smell of clean sea air, the sound of waves and sea-gulls outside the window. I start looking up houses to rent on Orkney and dream about writing in a little room in a house on one of the tiny streets in Stromness, wrapped up in many layers of sweaters and looking out over the harbour. Stromness with its cats in every corner and many little art galleries. Gerry could have a studio with lots of fantastic light. We could live cheaply and happily. Then I shake myself awake and remember how far away these islands are and how difficult it would be to live there. How the only way to get anywhere is either by taking a small and expensive bumpy flight or a slow ferry that takes you to the middle of nowhere in northern Scotland. Family would be far away, the food would be expensive because everything has to be shipped in and all the real Orcadians might not warm to new-comers straight away. The holiday glow would slowly fade and real life would face us on Orkney as well.

Yet. I read about Swedish photographer Gunnie Moberg who created a life for herself on Orkney and I day-dream.