After watching The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society for the 10th time it made me think about the time I spent in Orkney this past summer, and how similar Stromness, Orkney is to Guernsey, THEN, I got thinking about how I never posted a proper blog post about Stromness, Orkney (and I have been seriously missing travelling, so this is the perfect occasion to write about something travel related!!!)
First of all, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is now in my top five favourite movies. I first saw it in theatres when I was living in London. I just love the story, I love Lily James, and it was just so neat that when I walked out of the theatre I was actually in England.. and half of the story took place in London!! It was just such a neat feeling. It was also the first film I ever went to see by myself and I rather enjoyed sitting in a theatre by myself with popcorn and a glass of wine (they sell alcohol in the theatres in the UK!!) The film is about a group of people who were living on Guernsey during World War II when the island was occupied by the Germans, and how these Brits get through the occupation thanks to books. If you like period dramas, in particular Downton Abbey, you will enjoy this film.
Okay so back to Orkney and Guernsey. Both these islands are off the coast of mainland Britain and are so incredibly charming. Orkney of course, is extremely north, and Guernsey is south. Both are of Norse descent, so they share a similar history. They are both a more remote location, no overly inhabited which creates a specific charm for both places. I for one fell in love with the quaintness and beauty of Stromness.
SO here is a little bit about Stromness.
First of all, I had to take a ferry to get there, and I arrived in the evening, this was the view of the beautiful town when I first pulled into the harbour. Stromness is the capital of mainland Orkney, and has a population of 2 200 people.
The majority of the town sits right on the water front and goes up over the hill. From the top of the hill there is an incredible view of the entire harbour at the island. Unfortunately, when I went up to see the view it was at dusk… so none of my photographs give it justice. But check out this video below that shows the town and stunning it is.
Despite not getting a good photograph from the lookout, I did manage to get a photograph with a scarecrow version of Harry and Meghan!
The people I met in this town were so lovely, since I was visiting a friend I got to meet some of the locals. It was funny because just going into the grocery store somebody was questioning who I was! That is how small this little town is. The quaintness of the town is one of the reason Guernsey, reminded me of Stromness, because when the main character Juliet Ashton goes to Guernsey people instantly are aware that she is a mainlander. For me though, all I have to do is open my mouth at people instantly realized I was not Scottish. To be honest, I really miss that.
The main part of the town is just one stone road that goes right along the water front. This is where all the shops, pubs, and The Stromness Hotel are located. The Stromness Hotel was lit up when I arrived and it reminded me of something out of a Wes Anderson film. The hotel was built in 1901 and has 42 bedrooms. Attatched to the right side of the hotel is the “Flattie” the local bar, where I got to visit a couple of times. It was funny because each time I went in there it was the same crowd.
I will honestly say that Orkney was my favourite place I visited in all of Scotland, and I am day dreaming about visiting Guernsey (especially since I have watched the film at least ten times and have read the book!). One of the many things I have learned about myself while traveling is that I like the small towns the best, over big cities, even though I do love big cities too. There is a just a real charm to small towns that I absolutely love. Fingers crossed I will be back to Orkney someday and that I will also make it to Guernesy too.