5th Unlock the Past Cruise – Sightseeing Galore (and Genealogy)

5th Unlock the Past Cruise – Sightseeing Galore (and Genealogy)

The Unlock the Past cruise continues, but as we’ve not had internet, I’m rather late in reporting the happenings of it all. So picking up from the previous post, Sunday was a solid day of genealogy talks which was great, not to mention choc-full-of advice, but everyone was looking forward to some sightseeing in Scotland on Monday.

But firstly let me tell you something that makes this cruise different to every other one that I’ve been on to date, is the amount of land days included. Because of that it means less talks, and more touristing. So in reality it’s been quite a relaxing cruise in contrast to the previous ones. And as I’ve not been to any of the places our ship stops at, I’m making the most of it.

DAY 3 – INVERGORDON, ROSS & CROMARTY, SCOTLAND
Monday 21st July (aka day three) at Invergordon was a gorgeously warm and sunny (apparently not usual Scotland weather at all), and it was the first stop of eight stops that’ll be made on this cruise. The ship docked at the port at 7.30am, and I was up to see it pull in – so the photo up the top is my very first photo of Scotland.

The ship offers touristy tours, but I didn’t book any of them, so instead I simply went ashore and wandered the streets of the town for a couple of hours, then hopped back on and had a quiet afternoon on the ship until our one talk of the afternoon was on.

the welcome sign at Invergordon, Scotland

the welcome sign at Invergordon, Scotland

this flag looked gorgeous just flapping in the breeze on a sunny day

this flag looked gorgeous just flapping in the breeze on a sunny day

the Scots know how to colour things up, just add flowers!

the Scots know how to colour things up, just add flowers!

main street Invergordon, Scotland

main street Invergordon, Scotland

view of the Marco Polo from on shore at Invergordon

view of the Marco Polo from on shore at Invergordon

about to head back on board the Marco Polo

about to head back on board the Marco Polo

That talk was Eileen O Duill who was spoke on “Researching Ireland: planning is the key to success”, which will be useful information for when I do pick up my Irish branches. Once again I hope I can make sense of my notes then.

Eileen Ó Dúill talking on Irish

Eileen Ó Dúill talking on how planning is the key to success for Irish research

DAY 4 – KIRKWALL, ORKNEY ISLANDS, SCOTLAND
The Marco Polo ship did an early morning dock again, which gave people plenty of time to go off on tours for the day if they wished. Once again I just went ashore, was bus-ed to the town centre, and spent a couple of hours wandering around, and I have to say this is a gorgeous little place. I was completely amazed by the difference in architecture, as I’ve never see houses 9or other old buildings) like those on Kirkwall before … well apart from something kinda like it on Invergordon, but ever they were different.

Anyway my day was filled with lots of sunshine, cemeteries, craft shops and ice cream!

the shuttle bus from the cruise dock to Kirkwall

the shuttle bus from the cruise dock to Kirkwall

St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall, Orkney

St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall, Orkney

a small portion of hte beautiful old headstones at St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall, Orkney

a small portion of the beautiful old headstones at St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall, Orkney

it was a warm day, so ice cream was a nice treat

it was a warm day, so ice cream was a nice treat

Kirkwall, Orkney

main shopping street in Kirkwall, Orkney

the Kirkwall Hotel

the Kirkwall Hotel

letterbox at Kirkwall

letterbox at Kirkwall

houses at Kirkwall

houses at Kirkwall

There was 4 talks scheduled for the late afternoon. Of those I chose Lisa Louise Cooke’s How the genealogist can remember everything with Evernote. I am one of those people who had downloaded Evernote, then wondered “now what”. But I shall give it more of a go when I get home, as it looks very interesting.

Lisa Louise Cooke and Evernote

Lisa Louise Cooke and Evernote

The next talk in the main room was the Software Panel. Not done is usual panel style, where a convenor asks questions and panelist respond. But there was 4 people each talking about different genealogy software, and the key features of each. Purely to give people a taster of the various genealogy software programs available, and why you should have one, as opposed to simply having it online. That seemed to work and convey the message I believe.

DAY 5 – STORNOWAY, OUTER HEBRIDES, SCOTLAND
Stornoway was a pretty quick visit for me. We caught tenders (lifeboats) from the ship which docked out at sea, and they took us in to the shore – and ran a regular ferry service from the ship and back all day. Once again I didn’t go off on any organised tour, so I just wandered the streets of Stornoway to see  hat I could see. And while it was good to go, I didn’t find as much to see as I did in the previous two places. So once i headed back, I found a comfy spot, grabbed myself a drink, and started writing up blog posts offline.

welcome to Stornoway

welcome to Stornoway

checking out the architecture in Stornoway

checking out the architecture in Stornoway

the Harris Tweed shop

the Harris Tweed shop

Stornoway, Outer Hebrides

Stornoway, Outer Hebrides

the signposts in Stornoway are all in England and Gaelic

the signposts in Stornoway are all in England and Gaelic

Once again there was four talks scheduled for late afternoon (in two streams), and the two I chose to go to were Jackie Depelle’s “Digital photography, basic ideas, hints and tips for family historians”. From that I did learn how to tag my photos in my browser, as well as a few other tips.

Then I headed on over to the Marco Polo Lounge for Marie Dougan speaking on Resources and records at that National Archives of Scotland. Having not touched the Scottish side of Mr Lonetester’s family yet, all of this was useful information for me. I just hope that I can understand my notes when the time comes to use the information.

Marie Dougan speaking on the 5th Unlock the Past cruise

Marie Dougan speaking on the 5th Unlock the Past cruise

Once again there was four talks scheduled for late afternoon (in two streams), and the two I chose to go to were Jackie Depelle’s “Digital photography, basic ideas, hints and tips for family historians”. From that I did learn how to tag my photos in my browser, as well as a few other tips.

Then I headed on over to the Marco Polo Lounge for Marie Dougan speaking on Resources and records at that National Archives of Scotland. Having not touched the Scottish side of Mr Lonetester’s family yet, all of this was useful information for me. I just hope that I can understand my notes when the time comes to use the information.

The one thing I found from being so far up north, is that their sun rises at about 4.30am, and it sets at about 10.00pm. The photo below was taken from this ship deck at 9.45pm after our day at Stornoway.

sunset leaving Stornoway

sunset leaving Stornoway

So that takes us to the end of day 5 … with more sightseeing and more genealogy to come and I shall report on that when I get internet again!

 

 

 

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3 Responses to “5th Unlock the Past Cruise – Sightseeing Galore (and Genealogy)”

  1. Alex Daw says:

    I’m having a Rostered Day Off work today. How wonderful to be able to read your posts and imagine that I am on the cruise with you. I love the architecture in Stornoway. I may never have got out of that Harris Tweed Shop alive. How divine.

  2. Pauleen says:

    Sounds like you’re having a great time seeing new sights and picking up great genie tips Alona. Do try Evernote – I find it excellent.

  3. Everything sounds fantastic, wish I could have joined you. I am wondering how you find the smaller ship.

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