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Located on the Orkney Islands in the remote northern reaches of Scotland, Kirkwall's history dates from 1046 and includes such characters as Sigurd the Powerful, St. Earl Magnus the Martyr, and Sigurd the Stout. Step back in time 5000 years and discover the stone village of Skara Brae, the Standing Stones of Stenness, and the Ring of Brodgar. Sample shore excursions: Skara Brae & Skaill House; Orkney Crafts; Southern Panorama & Highland Park Distillery.
More than 600 miles (nearly 1,000 kilometres) from Denmark’s west coast lie the Faroes, a triangle of eighteen windswept islands, seventeen of which are inhabited. Only 48,500 people plus some 70,000 sheep roam these remote lands. Much of the islands’ heritage reflects a medieval past, beginning with the arrival of farmers from western Norway who settled here in the 9th century. Evidence of this Scandinavian heritage is preserved through centuries of isolation; ancient structures can still be seen in villages clustered around old churches.
Seydisfjordur,, a beautiful 19th-century Norwegian village on the east coast of Iceland, is regarded by many as one of Iceland's most picturesque towns, not only due to its impressive environment, but also because nowhere in Iceland has a community of old wooden buildings been preserved so well as here. Poet Matthías Johannessen called Seydisfjordur a 'pearl enclosed in a shell'.
The town of Ísafjördur is the municipal centre of the West Fjords peninsula. The West Fjords are Iceland's least populated region, with 9,600 inhabitants in the area of nearly 6,000 square miles (9,520 sq km). Ísafjörður, with a present population of approximately 3,500, was formerly one of Iceland's main trading posts and as such, was granted municipal status in 1886. Some of Iceland's oldest and best-preserved buildings, dating from the 18th century, are located in Ísafjördur. The town is still predominantly a fishing centre. A vigorous and varied cultural and artistic scene flourishes as well. Mountains surround Ísafjördur on the three sides and the sea on the other. The ancient settlement site of Eyri downtown is enclosed by the narrow Skutulsfjordur fjord, which shelters the harbour in all weathers.
A mass of brightly coloured corrugated iron roofs is a familiar sight here in the world's most northern capital city. Golden waterfall and the wonder at the spouting geysers. Fascinating!
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