Hey what happened? Summer is almost over and I haven’t posted a single post about it. Bad, bad Sára. I’ll take it a bit by bit starting at the end of the summer. Like a week ago. Just cause I know where the pictures from this trip are. The most unorganized person you could meet is probably me. My folks and I decided that spending summer vacation somewhere hot would be a waste of time we went up north. And not just a bit north. We travelled from the heart of Europe across most of northern Europe and stopped at the Orkney Islands, the North tip of Scotland. And what a trip this was.
Getting this far from Prague is not always easy, well more like it’s never easy. Getting all the way to Kirkwall, the capital of Orkneys, took us three flights and about half a day. That wouldn’t be so bad, nowadays flights are quite comfortable, well at least for me they are. Thanks to the fact I can fall asleep wherever I am, planes are no different, I can find myself sleeping before we even take off. So what was so horrible about getting there you’re asking? Once we finally got to land at the Kirkwall airport, which resembles more someone’s living room than an actual airport, we learned that we might have gotten there but our bags didn’t and the fact that the last bus left an hour ago. Call a taxi, right, that would be what every sane person would do, well not us. We walked, we walked six miles, thank God we didn’t have our bags, then it would be truly insufferable. The whole trip was in the same tempo, always walking.
But we managed to see quite a few extraordinary things. Let me tell you, if you want to see a breathtaking sunset that just looks photoshopped, go somewhere where there’s no city in reachable distance, trust me you’ll see wonders. Imagine the sky all red and pink, with dramatic clouds, all running around. Sounds like a fantasy well not at Orkneys, there guys, it’s real. The locals don’t even notice. How can they not notice? But I guess people get accustomed to beauty quickly. So the sunsets were one thing that was very, very out of the ordinary. The other thing I saw that I thought I would never see was seals, actual live seals, and not in a ZOO, of course I saw seals at least once in my life, actually seals were my favorite animal to watch once in the ZOO, but no, these were out in the open ocean, and not only there were seals, there was a baby seal (read in an extremely high pitched scream). They’re just so cute, you gotta love them. Seeing the seals was worth the average daily distance of about twenty kilometers that I was forced to walk. But it was a vacation of a lifetime.
Orkneys were so different from other places I have visited; it was so calm, yet wild at the same time. Most of the time we stayed there it rained, or at least there was a strong wind. But for once in my life the not so loveable weather was totally part of the atmosphere. It was like we were in the middle of a dramatic novel, hanging on the cliffs for dear life. The whole set up gives you time to think, it lets you calm down and sort out your priorities yet it challenges you at every step. Personally, I love vacations like this one. Vacations where you get to walk up and down, hills and lakes, you stumble, you get up. At the end of the day you feel like you have accomplished something, I feel like I know understand why people risk their lives to conquer mountain tops, at that point somewhere in the middle of nowhere, where the nature is the king, you feel so small, yet you feel like you have done something, you matter. I guess I have been feeling worthless for so long that feeling like you have accomplished something, as small as climbing a small mountain, feels like something life changing.
The scenery at the Orkneys was so spectacular that taking pictures was so easy. My photography professor once told us the story of a lucky monkey: If you give a camera to a monkey, he/she will go around pressing the button, randomly taking pictures. When you look at the pictures for sure there will be one good shot. The monkey was lucky because for the 50 pictures that suck, there is one that is amazing, and if not amazing then at least good. A photographer doesn’t want to be a lucky monkey, we as photographers want every picture to be good, and yes there are times when some of the pictures suck, but you have to know why and you have to be in control of the camera and the picture. At Orkneys even a monkey would have a majority of good pictures. The scenery is beautiful; there are cows nearly everywhere, too lazy to move most of the time, so you are basically guaranteed to get a good shot of them. And once in a while there is a nice mailbox or telephone booth, you know those typical British telephone booths, yeah you can find those even in the middle of nowhere at the Orkney Islands. Some of the signs are cute, ok maybe I just have a thing for signs and mailboxes and telephone booths, but trust me the pictures are sick. It is said that pictures are worth a thousand words well here are some from Orkneys. See you soon peeps.