Saturday, September 21, 2013


After months of planning, dreaming, and wondering if such a thing could ever really happen, Kath, Jean and I boarded our flight to Shetland.

An hour later we had landed and began the search for our rental car. This might sound strange for anyone who hasn't been to Shetland. The procedure here is a bit different than most places. When I phoned to book the car they said they didn't have an office at the airport. I asked how we would then be able to get our car, and they said not to worry. They would have someone drop it off at the airport and it would be waiting for us. When I asked how we would get the key I was again told not to worry. They would leave the car unlocked, and the key under the floor mat.

We drove into Lerwick, the main city in Shetland. We walked around, looking at some shops and stopping at the very helpful tourist information centre. After a wonderful dinner at the restaurant at the museum we headed off to Burrastow House, the guesthouse we have booked for the first three nights of our stay.

This turned out to be quite the adventure. Burrastow is located about 30 miles out of Lerwick, and by the time we left the restaurant it was dark. Normally this wouldn't be a problem, but I was driving on the left side of the road for the first time in my life, we had very vague directions as to how to get there, and got a nasty surprise for the last few miles as the road turned to a single track.

It was an amazing experience to wake up the next morning and be greeted by this scene.

I love this picture of Jean modelling her Relax sweater. The colours in the sweater blend in perfectly with the background.

After breakfast we drove back to Lerwick and had a terrific day. We went to the museum, where we were greeted by staff wearing four different styles of vests, all incorporating the same Fair Isle design.

They were incredibly friendly, and the lady on the right took us on a tour of the textile portion of the museum. Here's Jean examining some Shetland lace.

We looked in shops, made a few purchases, had a terrific lunch, visited the Bod of Gremista, and looked around the harbour area.

This time the drive to the Burrastow seemed much shorter. Being able to see where we were going really helped. Just before we got to the guesthouse we encountered these sheep on the road.

Kath and I decided we had time to go out for a walk before dinner. The telephone booth out in the middle of nowhere had us laughing.

The French couple who own the guesthouse prepared a delicious dinner.

It was the perfect finish to a perfect day.



  1. Fascinating. A place I've always wanted to visit. I look forward to more tales of Shetland.

    Leanne xx

  2. Looks like an absolutely stunning place! I want to see those purchases though! ;)

  3. Oh how I would love to be there! Thanks for the lovely pictures - you do keep your standards up. Please tell Jean that I really like the colour of her new jacket.

  4. What a beautiful place is Shetland, and what a brave girl you are! Driving on the left for the first time, at night, in a strange area ... so impressed...
    Looking forward to seeing more Fair Isle, and whatever you purchase in the textile area.

  5. Thank you so much for posting, Kristie. It's great to see Jean wearing the Relax at last. It really suits her.
    You are certainly covering a lot of ground on this trip.

  6. There is nothing like arriving some where in the dark and waking up in the morning and seeing new surroundings. Shetland looks stunning. I'm glad you didn't meet any sheep on your first journey to the hotel!
    Sarah x

  7. Oh, I love these post!
    I dream of traveling to uk someday and visit these places like you do.

  8. Super photos, Kristie. The scenery and architecture is very like that of the Orkney Islands and the NE corner of Scotland - bleak and very beautiful. Single track roads are very familiar to us when we're in Scotland as the North-West Highlands hardly have anything else. Looking forward to seeing what else you've been up to. :-)

  9. Wonderful! Fanatastic photos of a beautiful place. All that beautiful knitting. Sigh.
    Enjoy your adventure.

  10. As in the end I was unable to come with you I am living the trip vicariously through your posts. You cannot know how disappointed I am that I am not living it with you as we'd planned.

    PS I did call Flybe to let them know I wouldn't be travelling but am most unconvinced that the left hand will have told the right hand as it were, I hope no confusion ensued x

  11. Did the museum have any patterns for the Shetland fine that you can pass them through a ring?

  12. Beautiful photos of a lovely adventure!

    Ans it was so nice to see Jean actually wearing the Relax2......please tell her it looks lovely and has inspired me.

    I hope you all continue to enjoy Shetland!

    Barbara M. In NH

  13. I have to echo everything Barbara M just said! How wonderful the weather cooperated. And please tell Jean that it was lovely to see a picture of her looking so young and fresh in her sweater. I just can't believe that she recently celebrated 'that' birthday. Her dates must be off by at least 10 years. :)

  14. Wow, what a beautiful area. I would love to visit that museum, it must have been fascinating.

  15. Thanks for the wonderful photos of your Shetland experience, Kristie! I'm enjoying every one of them. Jean looks so relaxed in her Relax2! I definitely must knit one for myself now. I know that Jean was probably very relieved when you three met up together for the flight to Shetland.

    I love how the museum employees all have different vest styles all in the same Shetland pattern design. That's another "must-knit" for me!

    Mary G. in Texas

  16. Thanks for the great report and photos! Yes I am another of Jean's fans enjoying seeing the Relax sweater being worn.
    Enjoy your trip!

  17. I am soooooo envious! It looks wonderful. The method of getting the car does not surprise me in the slightest. There used to be a similar arrangement when we lived on Kangaroo Island. What really worried intrepid tourists were the "roads" here - often more like tracks. Shetland is really very civilised compared with what KI was like then.
    Will be awaiting enthusiastic reports about the Shetland lace from Jean but do tell us more!

  18. Ruth in Ontario, CanadaSeptember 23, 2013 at 6:02 AM

    Colour me green like the Relax2 - with envy! I'm inspired to dig out one of my Fair Isle sweater kits from the stash, though. I think you were very brave to take on that drive in the dark. I've bookmarked the Burrastow House website, just in case we ever win a big lottery and get to make the Shetland pilgrimage...

  19. Thanks for sharing this with us Kristie and what lovely photos. I'd love to go there - maybe one day. Enjoy.
    Patricia x

  20. I LOVE that the museum staff have a fair isle uniform! That's amazing. I'm incredibly jealous! I didn't make it to Shetland when I was in Scotland. I absolutely need to go back so I can get there.

  21. I didn't know where Shetland was, but when I saw sheep, they reminded me. So, I guess you can buy quality yarn there. I think you bought some yarn, I bet.

  22. I am SOOOOOOOOO jealous! This is my dream destination! Have a wonderful, wonderful time! Cx

  23. Shetland! It's such a cool place (I hope it's still okay to use that expression :).

    Did you see any sheep dogs?