Lands of Ice and Fire

by Mary Jo

Islands of Ice and Fire

Faroes 2

 Our North Atlantic cruise was so interesting that I'm breaking it into three parts.  (I could go on much longer, but I'll spare you. <G>)  I've already written about Norway, and now I'm writing about some of the other wonderful places we visited.  

 

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What we’re watching!

Mary Jo Killing Eve

We Wenches are creatures of The Book, but we also enjoy stories in other formats.  Here's a selection of what we've been watching and enjoying on TV/streaming/movies lately. 

From Nicola:

I’ve been glomming on Killing Eve, which is a British spy thriller TV series where a female intelligence officer tracks down a female psychopathic assassin. It’s based on the Villanelle books by Luke Jennings which I haven’t read so I’m not sure how close the show mirrors the books, whether the book or the TV series is better, or whether it matters! The series has won multiple awards and been highly praised, not least because all the major characters are women and it’s written by women. It certainly has a different sort of take on the spy genre. It’s quirky and comical at times and the dialogue is funny and sharp. The obsession that both Eve and Villanelle develop for each other is fascinating to watch Apollo 11

I also went to the cinema to see Apollo 11 on the big screen as it’s that sort of film! I thought it was an amazing piece of documentary film making and was completely riveted by it. The way it’s put together with never-before-seen footage and audio is very immediate and the rocket launch quite nerve-wracking! It left me speechless and overwhelmed – stirring stuff.

As a follow up I watched a new documentary series about the solar system, The Planets, with Professor Brian Cox which was also fascinating.  Since they couldn’t go on location to Jupiter and Mars they filmed a lot of it in places like Jordan and Iceland, which I’ve visited, so that was even more fun!

 

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Northern Isles: Shetland

Shetland relief mapby Mary Jo

I've already blogged about the RNA conference in Leeds and our wonderful visit to Orkney. Now it's time for the last chapter of our journey: Shetland, the island group that is the farthest northern reach of the archipelago that is Great Britain. The islands are due west of Norway, and the ties between Norway and Shetland are ancient and deep. Shetland has over 100 islands, about 15 of which are inhabited.

Like Orkney, Shetland was never a Celtic land, and the ancient language was Norn, which influences the present day dialect. Our fine driver/guide, Grant Redfern, said that when he had Norwegian customers, they could understand him, but to his annoyance, he couldn't understand when they spoke in Norwegian. <G>

IMG_3384Shetland is the farthest northern splash of the archipelago that is the British Isles, and Shetland is closer to Bergen, Norway than it is to Edinburgh. Smack dab in the middle of the sea routes from Norway, it was a jumping off place for Viking western explorations.

 

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Viking Scotland

Farm
Pat here:

PuffinsAs our regular readers know, I traveled with Mary Jo into the wilds of Scotland—Orkney and Shetland, (map) not the Highlands. Mary Jo wanted to see ponies, puffins, seals, and farm crofts. I wanted to see Neolithic ruins and castles. Both of us did our best to sample the culture, the Croft housedialects, and the distinct differences in landscape. I’m not sure what that says about us, but we’ll never completely cover all that northern Scotland has to offer.

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Islands of Ice and Fire

Faroes 2
In the Wake of the Vikings Part 2

by Mary Jo

 Our North Atlantic cruise was so interesting that I'm breaking it into three parts.  (I could go on much longer, but I'll spare you. <G>)  I've already written about Norway, and now I'm writing about some of the wonderful places we visited.  

Faroese waterfallThe Mayhem Consultant and I both selected the same cruise from a fat Viking Ocean catalog, and the reason was the itinerary. In the Wake of the Vikings was scheduled to go to all kinds of fascinating places that are hard to get to. I mean, really, how many people do you know who have gone to Greenland who aren't military? Irresistible!

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