Shetland Islands

Follow MV Northern Exposure on  Follow MV Northern Exposure on Twitter or  Instagram @NorthrnExpo

We'll post whenever the website changes.

In Da Shetland House

Da Waterfront

Sometimes you just can't tell whether Shetlanders are being ironic. One of the features of Shetland-speak is the use of "da" for "the", obviously derived from ancient Viking hip-hop. So we've already seen a bar called "Da Wheel" and a store called "Da Store" and then there's this sign at the harbor, which tells you absolutely nothing that you didn't already know.

Place the cursor on any thumbnail
to view each photo and its description.
Click a thumbnail to lock the photo for a longer look.
Northernmost Barber
Lots of Key West visitors take their photos in front of "southernmost point". Shetland is the northernmost part of Great Britain, at the 60th parallel. There's something symmetrical about going to the northernmost barber to tend to your own northernmost area.
Shetland Bus
The Shetland Bus wasn't a bus at all; it was a covert operation in World War II based in Scalloway. While Norway was occupied by the Germans, some Norwegian fishermen shuttled agents, supplies, and radio equipment and shuttled out refugees, at tremendous personal risk. This operation continued until the end of the war and claimed the lives of 44 of these brave men.
Shetland knits
The Norse settlers brought the sheep to Shetland in the ninth century, but soon realized that the wool was more suited to knitting than to weaving. This became a trading good in the Hanseatic merchant economy. The Bishop Holar of Iceland even received part of his rents in knitted stockings. These traditional sweaters and patterns are displayed in the museum in Lerwick.
Mousa Broch
A broch is a round tower from the Iron Age. This example, on Mousa, is the tallest still standing and the best-preserved. It maintains its role as fortification and residence, as some enterprising storm petrels have made their nests inside its nooks and crannies.
Scalloway Castle
This castle was built in 1600 by the indisputably evil Earl Patrick Stewart. There's something endearing about this poor castle, built by a madman, ignored for centuries, unimportant and grand at the same time.
The Closs
Tiny alleys in Lerwick and Scalloway were identified as someone-or-other's Closs, so we had to find out what a closs was. A local explained that it's a shortcut. So you might see "Baker's Closs" as the way to the bakery, or a closs to someone's home. The problem with naming streets after the occupants of buildings is that the street name grows every time the building is used for a new purpose.