Category: Shetland

Up Helly Aa in Lerwick had been on my bucket list for years, and at the end of January you have a chance to see it too. Here is everything you need to know!

It is almost that time of the year, when hundreds of Scottish men dress up as Vikings, carry torches through the black of the night and burn a purpose-build wooden Viking ship in honour of the past, when Shetland was not Scottish yet, but still Scandinavian. Up Helly Aa in Lerwick takes place on the last Tuesday of January and rings in a series of such processions across the Shetland Isles. Last year I fulfilled a life-long dream of mine and went to Shetland to be part of the spectacle, and thought I could tell you everything you need to know about attending Up Helly Aa in Lerwick.
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Shetland had been on my bucket list since I could say pony – yes, it’s not the hardest of words, so you can imagine that the islands north of mainland Scotland have been a dream destination of mine for a very long time. This past January I finally set out to visit the islands for a week during Up Helly Aa and came back with a suitcase full of impressions, and a feeling of awe that I initially could not quite describe. I was asked to contribute a story to the Spring/Summer edition of 60 Degrees North magazine which is published in Shetland and captures some of the greatest stories of the islands. In close encounter with the local traditions I started wondering what draws people up north and what the ‘essence’ of Shetland’s island life might be – here is what I found.
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Looking for the Essence of Shetland | Watch Me See

For many winter time is the prime holiday time to follow the sun and board a flight to the south – at least if you have grown up in a part of Europe where winters are long, cold and dark. And yet, to me going north in winter has its own very special appeal. It seemed just natural to make my way to Shetland for the first time in the end of January. If you plan a similar trip to Shetland off-season have a look at my quick guide!
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Studio Visit: Joanna Hunter, Ninian | WatchMeSee.com

May I introduce you to Joanna Hunter – founder and head designer of Joanna Hunter Knitwear (JHK) and Ninian, and also superwoman of Shetland.

I met Joanna Hunter at her store Ninian in Lerwick, Shetland on a cold and windy winter morning in January 2016. Not that a cold and windy morning is particularly special at this time of the year, but the encounter with the Shetlander designer and business woman made it so.

Joanna welcomed us in the little design studio attached to her shop in central Lerwick. There had been a water leak over the holidays, and it was still a little chaos, but then I guess that is what a studio is supposed to be anyways: creative chaos. We sat down with a cup of tea and started spilling the beans.
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15 Photos that make you want to go to Shetland | WatchMeSee.com

In late January I went to Shetland and lost my heart. To the rugged hills and white beaches. To the sunlight reflecting in the sea, like millions of golden marbles. To the forceful sea so turquoise and clear. To the friendly people and their lovely accents. To the grey stone houses of Lerwick and the dots of colour in between.

I will talk about the itinerary and highlights of our one-week trip in detail later on, but first – to convince you – 15 photos that will make you want to go to Shetland.

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