Sunday, 4 November 2012

Viking past

I thought I'd just post a few dodgy photos of a couple of 'Viking' places I've been lately while pining for my poorly camera.

The other weekend we took a trip out with friends to Catpunds near Cunningsburgh  which is the site of Viking steatite or soapstone workings along with settlement remains and a great series of waterfalls that lead up the hillside.

It's hard to see but the right-hand side of the falls has lots of cubes quarried out of it for the stone bowls...





The Shetland Museum archives have some great photos of the site that you can scroll through...


We even managed to get one of Beren's 50 things to do before you're 11 ticked off that we didn't think we'd manage in Shetland; to sit behind a waterfall...


He's only got a dozen or so to go so given he's not yet 5, I reckon we'll finish it!

As well as the archaeology and waterfalls there's also a pretty good view over Cunningsburgh and out to Bressay...


 Another place with links to the past I've been to recently is the Viking Unst site at Norwick where they've got the Skidbladner, a replica of a 9th century Viking longship...



Though I don't think Viking long ships had a fuel tank, did they? See the disk to the middle bottom of the picture! To be fair other than that and the odd bolt and screw you might notice it's pretty convincing. I'd love to see it sail again AND be on it!



Here's the full ship the first time I was there, but covered up...


Alongside the long ship is the now pretty much complete Viking Long House that the Shetland Amenity Trust have been working on. The site obviously still needs plenty of tidying up and I don't know what the plans are for the inside, but it looks pretty cool, even with it's hair net to protect the turf roof for the first winter. It'd be one big fly away comb-over if the wind caught that before it's settled!



 Once the whole project is finished and open to the public I'll definitely be along for a visit...




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