As it was a Sunday I intended to do a 'reccie' of the Victoria Pier carpark in the centre of Lerwick, with a view to stopping over on the following Thursday night ready for the bird and seal trip that Sally had arranged for us round the Island of Noss. Plus Phoebe was getting a bit short of minced beef and I knew there was a Tesco at Lerwick.
We found Victoria Pier and the parking was easy, so I decided to take a bit of a look round Lerwick, and if it wasn't too long a walk maybe try the Fish and Chips at the Fort, which many of the locals had told me were very good. My "Black Pudding Tour" of Great Britain seems to have turned into a "Fish and Chips" tour of the north!
The town of Lerwick is a really old and picturesque, and almost unspoilt, other than the few usual chain store offenders who seem to specialize in destroying the individuality of our towns and cities. I was very taken with Lerwick and I would have loved to explore it more, particularly the narrow passageways and through cuts leading up and down the steep slope above the harbour area. And there is a fascinating hotel there. Looking enormous, called The Grand, and looking very grand, in a real Victorian way, but totally jammed in amongst the other buildings. To such an extent that it was impossible to get a good photo. I am trying to improve my video skills and when I have I may be able to photograph these trickier items. Until then you will just have to take my word for it and use your imagination until I return to Shetland!!! But I did take some photos of the old passageways and steps.
Then asking directions from some well-lubricated, but very helpful and polite locals, I made it up to The Fort, and I have to say their fish and chips were excellent.
Everything was freshly fried. A large portion involved two good sized pieced of beautifully fresh, firm and delicately tasty haddock. The batter was light and crispy with no greasy taste, and the chips were nice. Full marks to The Fort. I took them back to Thebus to enjoy whilst sitting on the pier in the middle of the harbour, and having eaten took Thebus' photo next to 'The Stripy Barge' which is one of the many ships anchored round Shetland providing accommodation for the influx of workers who are constructing the new installations at Sullom Voe. I was half tempted to stay on Victoria Pier until the day of the boat trip as the parking was only three pound for twenty four hours, and even if I had paid for two spaces it would have only been six pounds a day. But I still needed to stock up on minced beef for Phoebe, so we made tracks for the supermarket.
Steep Passageway Uphill
with wonderful old Wrought Iron Handrail
Narrow steps and passageway to the harbour
definitely a Closs!
Some more of the various old steps and passageways which abound in Lerwick
As with the Lidl at Wick on the Scottish mainland just before we left for Orkney, it was interesting to see that the different branches in these big chains do cater to local tastes, and also source locally. The fish was wonderful compared to that which would be found in my Worcestershire or Herefordshire branches, and I couldn’t resist buying the fresh shell fish mix, with gigantic, fresh, sweet tender prawns, as well as cockles, mussels and squid. All wonderfully fresh and delicious. Plus huge portions of tender, delicately smoked trout. Yummy. I had to hold myself back, as there is only me to eat it and I no longer have six huge freezers to hold it all.
At the checkout I asked the cashier how far it was to South Nesting - it was part of Shetland I had missed it on my way south, and in one of the brochures I had been given it said there was a camp-site at the community hall there. She thought it was about thirty miles, which panicked me slightly as it was beginning to get dark and had started to rain. I had long ago totally given up on Strict Lady, and finding your way around unknown areas on single track roads in the dark and rain, driving something the size of Thebus, is really no fun. So piling the shopping in we set off for South Nesting as swiftly as safety would allow
Victoria Pier Lerwick,
and in case you can't see Thebus, here is another from a different angle
Striped and Stripier!