Day 7 - Part 2: Mousa

After the Croft House Museum, it was off to Mousa, by boat. Mousa is on the east coast, about half way "down" to Sumburgh Head. Mousa is unpopulated -- it's a bird nesting area, and a seal colony makes it's home there.

A 15 minute trip -- time for knitting!

This is Gregory Courtney knitting away on a sock -- socks are so portable! His designs are in the Jamieson's, now Simply Shetland books. Terry is looking on in this photograph.

The Mousa Broch is the best preserved example of a Pictish Broch remaining in the UK.

These double-walled stone towers were built to protect the inhabitants from raiders. The Shetland coastline was at one time ringed with them - built in sight of each other to form a defensive network.

Mousa Broch is 13 meters (42 feet) high and dates from the Iron Age. It has been marked with sensors that are used to periodically monitor it -- to make sure that it isn't shifting.

It's amazing that they still let you climb up inside. It's quite a climb -- they must have been much shorter and had tiny feet to climb those stairs. There are flashlights available to use in the scary dark bit!

But we made it! Terry took this photograph at the top -- that's Martha (with the camera) and Coeta too! The Storm Petrels like to nest in the stones of the Broch, and in evening trips to Mousa can be made to watch them return to their nests -- I'd like to see that next time!

This is the Mousa lighthouse -- I much prefer the big lighthouses that had lighthouse keepers -- a great job for people who like their solitude! You can now rent lighthouses to stay in on your vacation in Shetland. Visit Shetland Lighthouse Holidays if you're interested!

There is a Mousa flock of sheep. They co-exist with the birds . We didn't get close enough to the seals for a photograph. Our tour was guided by a Ranger, with a great telescope, and she set it up for us to see the seals, and specific bird species. At one point, we were walking through a nesting area and were dive-bombed by a territorial bird -- very exciting!
Back to Busta House for dinner and an early night for us!


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