Where the silence begins… Shetland.

The sea was smooth and dark blue. I could see a faint line of the land on the horizon – a different sign than the emptiness of the sea we were looking at for the last 30 hours. The rain stopped whipping our faces and the wind lightened a bit. I felt too exhausted to hold my camera so I was staring at the horizon, praying inside we could get to the land faster. Still, even though we could see it, there was another 20 or so hours of sailing in front of us.

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I remembered the sailors from the old movies shouting: Land! Land on the horizon, dangling from the top of the mast, pure joy on their faces. I felt exactly the same.

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In the morning the sun painted the sky in red. Not a good sign for the sailors. The day will bring rain and uneven weather, strong winds, not necessary in our favor. But after almost 4 hours sleep and the seasickness being a distant memory, I felt good, ready to face the challenge.

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We arrived at Shetland at 1 pm. I managed to get my shower and we have sorted the marina stay with the harbour master. We got our electricity and an access to the marina facilities, did our laundry and shopping at local Tesco and enjoyed a peaceful evening in the marina pub, sharing some beer and watching Poland vs Portugal playing in the Euro 2016.

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The next day brought a completely different weather. The luck was on our side – the sun decided to shine and gave us a brilliant opportunity to explore Shetland. Kuba, Marcin and I rented a car and went on adventure. No plan, no forced sign seeing, surprises along the way all the time…

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Our first unplanned stop unfold a rare beauty – hidden beach, shielded by rocks growing out of the sea, enclosed in a small bay, with golden sand and smooth, emerald water. Hardly anyone there. We felt we could stay there forever, watching the sun playing with the clouds, bringing different shades of the water each time it decided to disappear.

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Our next stop made me the happiest person on the planet. We have climbed to the top of the hill to reach the lighthouse and discovered a quite big colony of my favourite birds – puffins! I quickly changed my lens and caught one of the birds resting on the rock below. I could not believe my luck!

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In a search for a decent meal we have landed, again, by pure chance, near the Scalloway Castle and wandered around its ruins, learning about the history of the town and the castle. The castle was built in 1600 by Patrick Steward, the Earl of Orkney and Lord of Shetland, who was executed 15 years later for treason. 

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After our meal we pulled a map and decided to go further, towards the other end of the main island. The coast line was beautiful but rare, the sea incredibly blue and the sun could not stop enjoying itself. The grass was greener and the emptiness on the roads encouraged us to go further and further.

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We have seen beautiful and remote places, came across a plane sitting in someone’s garden, crossed the airport runaway by car, listened to the birds arguing on the rocks, enjoyed nice meal and sun shining all day, just for us. We have listened to the wind and the waves crashing below, enriching the silence. I loved Shetlands – the silent oasis in the middle of the sea, offering unspoiled beauty and new definition of calmness. 

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Shetland Islands

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