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Friday, 6 August 2010

"The Wheels on the Bus go round and round..."

... to quote a well known children's song and by way of introduction to... A Bus. You have to bear with me on this - I live on a small island (with no buses) and although the Orkney Mainland has buses, they are mere single decker models - therefore no fun at all! However for one month only, the bus company have brought a "double-decker" bus to the Orkney Mainland which runs the regular bus route from Stromness, through Kirkwall to St Margaret's Hope in South Ronaldsay.

And today I went on it *and* sat upstairs in the front seat! That was always a treat when I was a kid on the bus to the local town, and on journeys around London (except when commuting - too much effort required to get up and down stairs in a hurry!).

It was great seeing the countryside from the "top deck" - quite a different perspective than from "down below". It also gave me a chance to look at the scenery properly, which when driving I'm not able to do. Interesting seeing the topography and more detail of the settlements along the way.

The best bit was going over the Churchill Barriers which were built during WWII as protection for the naval fleet that was anchored in Scapa Flow. These barriers now link up what were then small islands and are know known as "the linked South isles". From the top of the bus it was possible to see the road snaking from one barrier to the next and getting a feel for the connections between the islands. The barriers also felt much narrower than usual. The sea was flat calm today but imagine crossing these in a winter gale (in really bad weather they are closed, once again making the "linked isles" wee islands again).

As you can see, "double-deckers" aren't really suited the the narrow streets of the towns!

All together now "You canna push yer granny off the bus....."


  1. We've been home less than 24 hours, so are still pretty much in jet-lag-shock. But had to share that we got to right in your favorite seat in a double-decker bus from the center of Bath (UK) back to the park-and-ride. It's definitely a treat!

  2. ...for she's yer mammy's mammy!!

    I once, in Glasgow, fell out of a bus while descending the stairs just as the bus went round a corner.

  3. We share your excitement! (And I share your mixed feelings about crossing the barriers in a double-decker.) I'm taking elder son to Edinburgh next week and the thing he's most excited about is getting to ride on the top of the bus.

    I have to say, in response to Violet Sky, that this anecdote reminds me of another song I learned as a child on the west coast. (To the tune of Mendelssohn's Wedding March, sung with a Glaswegian accent): 'Here comes the bride, forty inches wide, slid doon the banisters and fell in the Clyde.' :)

  4. I am just a "stand-by" at this for me a very interesting blog where I can really find a totally unkown world with people also unkown with their words and different life the way I know about.
    Thank you for giving this opportunity to be able to read these interesting stories I enjoy them very much.
    Julia/Blue bird from the other side of the Pond. :-)

  5. MaryZ - OOh glad you got a ride in the front top seat of a "double-decker! I love Bath - used to visit often as had an Auntie that lived there many many years ago. Love the photos of your hols!

    VioletSky - OOoh you know the song! Hope you didn't hurt yourself in your fall from the bus?!

    DancingBeastie - you got to ride on trains *and* buses I see - double excitement. Hadn't heard that version of the Wedding Song! Must remember that for future reference ;-)

    BlueBird - glad you are enjoying the stories - it's lovely to be able to share our different worlds with folk isn't it??