Saturday, May 27th, 2017

The “I Could Totally Live Here” List

Throughout the world, I’ve found places that I’ve fallen in love with — perfect beaches, isolated islands, wild and interesting cities of all sizes.  New places are constantly being added to my list of favorite places in the world. But could I live there?  That requires a whole different set of criteria.  In an ideal […]

Shetland: The Strangest Place I’ve Ever Been

This past summer, I visited Liechtenstein and declared it one of the weirdest places I’ve ever been.  But after visiting Shetland, I chucked that theory out the window. Liechtenstein is delightfully quirky — the Zooey Deschanel of principalities.  Shetland, by comparison, is Bjork laying an egg on the red carpet. I had the time of […]

Road Tripping Down Scotland’s East Coast

After an amazing time at Up Helly Aa — from the parades and bar singalongs to the festival of fire to the epic all-night party, it was time to head back to mainland Scotland with our Haggis Adventures crew. We finished our Up Helly Aa experience with a final hazy day in Shetland, exploring the […]

Up Helly Aa: The Epic After-Party

Up Helly Aa is all about the explosions of fire and burning torches, the parades and Viking songs. What is less known is that it’s ALSO about some legendary after-parties. After the burning of the galley, there are 10 official Up Helly Aa parties around town.  These parties last from 9:00 PM to roughly 9:00 […]

Up Helly Aa: The Viking Festival of Fire

After a day of Vikings, parades, and traditional music, it was time for the main event: Up Helly Aa, Shetland’s Viking Fire Festival!  Fire, torches, parades and glory! It began at 5:00 PM with the children’s Up Helly Aa.  Did you know that the kids get an Up Helly Aa of their own? Just like […]

Up Helly Aa: The Day Festivities

While the fire-filled festivities of Up Helly Aa take place in the evening, the festivities begin with parades during the day. Shortly after we arrived off the ferry in Shetland the day before, our Haggis Adventures guides Tony and Dougie took us to see the galley being built for Up Helly Aa 2012.  It would […]

The Raw Beauty of Shetland

If it weren’t for Up Helly Aa, never in a million years would I have gone to Shetland in January, of all months!  Between the cold and the darkness (Shetland is even further north than Stockholm!), I would have gladly waited for a summer visit. But by visiting in January, I was rewarded with a […]

The Wild Overland Journey to Shetland

When your end destination is somewhere as far-flung and strange as Shetland, you know the journey there will be interesting.  Our journey to Shetland began with a road trip from Edinburgh to Aberdeen.  Traveling with Haggis Adventures on our unmistakable WILD & SEXY bus, we made stops long the way: To Braemar, home of the […]

Up Helly Aa in Shetland — Possibly My Best Adventure Yet!

I just got back from a five-day trip that I will never forget — ever.  I traveled with Haggis Adventures to the remote Shetland Islands, northeast of Scotland, to experience Up Helly Aa, the Viking Fire Festival held in Shetland every January. This may have been my best trip…EVER. Seriously.  I am still reeling from […]

My Next Adventure: Fire, Vikings, and Wild and Sexy Shetland!

It all began with a pamphlet entitled WILD & SEXY SCOTLAND. It was last fall and I was about to leave Edinburgh and jump on a train back to Chester.  On my way out of Haggis Hostel, I grabbed several pamphlets to plan my return trip to Scotland.  On the way out, the WILD & SEXY […]