Facts about Orkney

Sorry, no links in this post, but I am sticking to the local sources that sound credible:

1. The richest man in Orkney is (was?) a fisherman. His large net turned out to violate EU regulations, so he received $20 million from the British government to stop fishing. He is now building a house that overlooks the entire town of Stromness from above. The townspeople are not happy.

2. One-third of the employment in Orkney stems from an NHS hospital on the main island. Waiting times are significantly lower here than elsewhere in Britain and the service is correspondingly better.

3. Much of the labor force switches jobs over the course of the year. They serve tourists for three months in the summer, and pick up odd jobs the rest of the year. Work is easy to come by, careers are almost impossible to develop.

4. There have been only two murders in Orkney in the last two hundred years. One happened about two hundred years ago. The other is about ten years old; a waiter was shot and killed in Kirkwall’s Indian restaurant. Neither crime has been solved yet.

5. Orcadians eat pickled herring in oatmeal, smoked fish with scrambled eggs, and fried haddock with chips. For dessert they have Orkney fudge or Orkney ice cream. Haggis is nowhere to be found.

Here is a a tourist introduction to Orkney. Here is historical information. The islands are among the most beautiful spots in Europe and remain largely unspoilt, go if you can.


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