In the last 4 years, we’ve visited so many sites in Europe. Many of these were top touristy cities like Paris, Rome, Berlin and Barcelona. But this time, we went somewhere a little unusual – the northern-most part of the United Kingdom. We visited the beautiful Shetland Islands.
And the key reason? Puffins.
Google told me that the Shetland Islands was one of the few places in the UK you could see Puffins without getting on an hour long boat trip. Indeed, for our first Puffin sighting with family friends, we drove 5 mins from the airport and walked 2 minutes from the car park. And the puffins were perfect. And so close!
I loved these little guys talking to their friend (or maybe chick?) hiding in the log. You can see the beak of a third puffin just sticking up.
Half of our weekend was spent in the great outdoors walking the countryside and spotting some birds (like puffins) and the other half was museums, archaeology and exploring the main township of Lerwick. Shetland is a beautiful and under populated part of the world. For one day, we shared a whole nature reserve island with just 4 other people. Brilliant.
The main reason to visit this nature reserve is for the Gannet colony – 40,000 pairs of nesting Gannets. In this picture, everything on the cliff that is white is a bird. It was so loud we had to shout to talk to each other because of all the Gannets squawking. Now, I’m not bird watcher, but this was pretty impressive.
And then, there were more puffins! We weren’t as close to these ones as the others the day before, but there were some great little characters. Chittering and chatting to each other. Flying in mouthfuls of sardines then dashing into their little burrows. Adorable.
Fantastic stuff. Puffins are seriously so cute they could be a little toy. And they toddle around looking completely top heavy. They were just perfect and worth every penny for the trip!
But that wasn’t all we saw in the Shetland Islands – there was a bunch of prehistoric archaeological sites that we wandered around too.
Until next time…