Shetlands Road Show

This is Part 2 of our series on a vacation in the Shetland Islands in August 2013. Check out Part 1 too, if you missed it.

We found driving around the Shetlands to be quite pleasant. The roads are in good shape. They’re not overly large, but there are plenty of useful “passing places” for cars to scootch around each other where necessary. As such, it’s pretty easy to pull over, get out, take a look around, and appreciate your vacation. Click any picture for a larger view.

Sometimes you’ll come across a boat along the road. Sometimes you need a much bigger boat to continue your journey. That’s what we did, to get from the Shetland Mainland up onto Yell and then Unst from there. We stopped off at the Final Checkout — the U.K.’s most northerly general store. We were hoping to use their cash machine to collect the funds to pay for dinner at the Baltasound Hotel (thanks TQE for the recommendation), but found out that our Maestro EC cards weren’t working there. Fortunately, paying by debit card at the Final Checkout entitles you up to 50 GBP cash back with your purchase, if you like. So that saved our bacon. If you have some time to kill at the ferry station, break out your Wi-Fi enabled devices. Shetland Islands Council provides free Wi-Fi under the SSID SICGUEST in the ferry areas, and many other areas on the islands.

It’s not quite as bleak and barren as it might seem along those roads. You’ll find places to mail those postcards periodically. If you are waiting around for a bus, you might be lucky enough to find a curated bus shelter. This one was on Unst, not far from the Final Checkout. We were very surprised to see the prominence of public facilities for um, pit stops, particularly near Voe.

At first we were startled by the presence of livestock outside of their fenced-in pastures, but we quickly got over that. If you do manage to lose your way, one of your friendly fellow travellers will surely point you in the right direction.

Next: Shetlands — The North

4 thoughts on “Shetlands Road Show”

  1. shoreacres

    Honestly. Sometimes I can be so slow. Shetland ponies. Of course. That’s one of those phrases I’ve always heard, but given no thought. Now I know they originated in these islands. They’re wonderful.I’ll take that white house nestled into the hills, thank you. I’ll take a nest egg to go with it, so I don’t have to bother with questions like, “How in the world would I support myself out there?” It doesn’t look like they need a varnisher for their boats.Speaking of those boats – my gosh. They look like Viking ships. Now I’m going to have to go learn some history, too. Wonderful post and photos!

    1. cliff1976

      Thanks for the kind words, shoreacres!

      There is wordy “a-ha!” moment for me in the next post in this series. For you, too?

  2. […] is Part 3 of our series on a vacation in the Shetland Islands in August 2013. Check out Part 1 and Part 2 too, if you missed […]

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    […] fourth part in our series of posts about our trip to the Shetland Islands in August 2013. Parts 1, 2, and 3 are available if you need to catch […]

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