After having a friend that I've known for many years who comes from Shetland, I finally managed to find the time to go to Shetland with her early on this year and I've got to say I wasn't disappointed. Living in Aberdeen means that it is quite easy to get to Shetland: you can either fly direct or take the ferry. I chose to fly as it is a lot quicker than the ferry.
As I went at the end of January it was pretty cold and wet but that didn't stop me exploring the beautiful landscape. It was so breathtakingly pretty that I couldn't get enough of it! I even got to see some authentic Shetland ponies!
The main reason that I chose to go to Shetland in January is that they have a viking fire festival, called Up Helly Aa, at that time. Which makes it one of the best times to go to Shetland. Especially if you are really interested in the culture and history of the island.
Up Helly Aa started in the 1880s and it is an annual event that celebrates Shetland's heritage. What amazed me was the craft that goes into the event as each year the Jarl and his squad (the main viking squad) is different and they have to make all their viking outfits and the Galley (their viking ship) from scratch. Everything is handcrafted and it is so interesting to see how these skills have been passed down through generations. The festival is a full day of celebrations and processions that start from 9am in the morning and carry on through the night until around 8am the next day. I have a more detailed look what goes on throughout the day on my blog (here
) if you are interested in seeing all of the day's events.
Shetland is somewhere that I thought I'd never visit but I am so glad I got the opportunity to and I can't wait to go back there again! I'd highly recommend anyone who is thinking of going to Shetland to do it as the landscape is just incredible and something that everyone should witness.
Have you ever been to Shetland? What did you think of it? If not, would you ever consider going to Shetland?