Shetland's - untouched nature from horizon to horizon

  The busy harbour of the capital Lerwick with it's 8'000 inhabitants is influenced by the booming oil industry. Huge oil tanks, factories and uniform housing extend around the metropolis of the North Sea and mix with the nostalgic architecture of the past.

But as soon as we leave the city with it's oil traffic behind us, we find ourselves in pure, untouched nature. We are staggering from one highlight to the other, as we drive through blooming heather, colourful moorland, deep blue lakes and many branching Fjords. The untamed nature from horizon to horizon and the wild coast are fantastic in all directions. At the lighthouse at Cape Eshaness we find specially rugged scenery with bizarre cliffs and wild, deep gorges. Here, the force of nature is present everywhere, the sound of breaking waves particularly impressive.

  On the Southern part, the landscape is changing dramatically. The pink heather, which fascinated us endlessly, makes way for lucrative farming. The fertile farms are like little oases in a treeless surrounding. But most surprisingly is the exceptional view of the white sand beach in the turquoise blue sea, which connects the mainland with the tiny St. Ninian's Isle. We never expected here such a spectacular view, which reminds us of the warm South Pacific. Only the missing palm trees and the low temperature are signs that we are in the cold North Sea.

At the far South end of the islands, at the lighthouse of Sumburgh Head, we experience the culmination of our Shetland tour. The steep cliffs with gale force winds are full of breeding, chatting, flying and diving sea birds. Our eyes are watching out for a special one among the big variety of nesting birds - the Puffin - called also 'clown of the air'. As soon as we spot them, they find their way straight into our hearts. It is very difficult for us to understand the culture of the North Atlantic people who like to enrich their menus with these neat birds or even sell them abroad as a delicacy.

  We leave these islands with a feeling of happiness, having been able to explore such an abundance of untouched nature and unique birdlife.
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