Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Traveling Tuesday: The Shetland Islands

Traveling Tuesday: The Shetland Islands

Pixabay/Aline Dassel
I became enamored by the Shetland Islands since stumbling on the BBC television show Shetland based on Ann Cleeves’ mysteries. One of the episodes referenced the Shetland Bus and I was even more intrigued. For those of you not familiar with the name, the Shetland Bus is the name of a special operations group that ferried refugees out of and weaponry into German-occupied Norway from 1941 through the German surrender on May 8, 1945 using Norwegian fishermen and fishing boats. My upcoming release Shetland Sunset is inspired by these men. Take a virtual visit with me to this beautiful and fascinating area.

Shetland is an archipelago (island chain) in Scotland that lies between Orkney, the Faroe Islands, and Norway, and separates the North Sea from the Atlantic Ocean. Interestingly, the islands are closer to Norway than they are to mainland Scotland. The largest island is known as Mainland and is approximately 373 square miles in size. It is one of the sixteen inhabited islands of Shetland.

The climate is referred to as oceanic temperate maritime which means short summers and long cool
Pixabay/Doris Pecka
winters with average daytime temperatures of low forties (Fahrenheit) and mid-fifties respectively. The year-round climate is moderate because of the surrounding seas. According to one source, the frost-free period may be as little as three months. Wind and clouds are common on most days as is rain, falling on more than 250 days each year. Snowfall does occur, but it typically disappears after a day. Fog is very common during the summer.

The coastline is rugged, and there are an estimated 275 sea stacks, a geological landform consisting of a steep and often vertical column or columns of rock in the sea near a coast formed by wave erosion. The highest spot on the islands is Ronas Hill which rises to 1,480 feet above sea level. A Neolithic chambered cairn (burial monument) is located near the summit where much of Shetland can be seen on a sunny day. As an interesting aside, Shetland has very few trees (although there is an organization working to change that.)

History of the islands goes back to 2500 BC, and Picts are considered to have been the original inhabitants. The Vikings conquered the islands during an era of expansion and from the 10th through 15th centuries were part of the Kingdom of Norway (which included Denmark after 1388). As part of the dowry from Princess Margaret of Denmark, the islands were given to James III of Scotland when they married. He officially annexed the islands in 1472. To this day, the islands are a mixture of Norse and Scottish cultures.


The Mechanic & The MD

All’s fair in love and war. Or so they say.

High school and college were a nightmare for Doris Strealer and being an adult isn’t much better. Men won’t date a woman of her height, and they don’t understand her desire to repair car engines rather than work as a nurse or a teacher. When her father’s garage closes, and no one will hire a female mechanic, she joins the Red Cross Motor Corps, finally feeling at home. Until she comes face to face with her past in the form of Ronald McCann, the most popular boy in school.

On the brink of a successful career as a surgeon, Ron's plans crumble when he’s drafted and assigned to an evacuation hospital in England, the last place he expects to run into a former schoolmate. The gangly tomboy who was four years behind him in high school has transformed into a statuesque beauty, but a broken engagement in college leaves him with no desire to risk his heart ever again.

Will the hazards of war make or break a romance between this unlikely couple?

Purchase Link: https://books2read.com/u/3RNpjY

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