Wednesday I was off to Kirkwall on the Orkney Mainland to do some last minute Christmas shopping and also to meet up with friends for lunch. It was a cold day but no frost, no wind and very little rain - so not a bad day really then!
Above you can see the sun catching the tower on St Magnus Cathedral. The building really dominates the town... in a good way
It has lots of lovely detail but I didn't have time on this visit to capture much. This is one of the side doors
The Christmas tree is well tethered down! It's a simple tree with white lights on at night. The fence around it is to protect the tree from the pack at the annual "Ba" game (a game of street football).
Two halberdiers guard the door to the town hall
While the shop windows are decorated ready for Christmas
Fortunately there isn't the crush or mad rush in the town at Christmas as there is in larger towns further South. Though on a visit to Tesco (maybe the 21st Century Cathedral to Mammon) I did very unusually have to queue at a checkout!
I got back to Stromness in plenty of time for the boat home so popped into the Pier Arts Centre to take a look at the Christmas Exhibition. Anyone in Orkney can submit work to this exhibition, which fills three large rooms. Other craft shops in the town also exhibit art-work so at the moment Stromness is full of art! These two photos were taken in the abstract art gallery (I have to say I do like abstract art).
There were lots of paintings of more representational art too in another gallery but I was running out of time and it was hard to get angles and photos. However I did take a quick snap of this wonderful Viking boat!
Then it was a quick walk along the street to the pier, the boat and home. Stromness has a Christmas tree too, and some street lights. But Orkney doesn't go in for large light displays (apart from the natural spectacle of the Northern Lights!), it's much more understated. Probably as a result of it's Presbyterian roots!