The infrastructure in Shetland is very good. The roads are kept in good order and they can afford to build a beautiful museum among other things. This is because they have built up a fund from the oil money they receive (in the style of Norway) and only use the interest to invest in the infrastructure of the islands. This is contrasted to Orkney which apparently has spent a lot of its oil money!
The main controversy that I came across was the proposal to build wind turbines down the middle of the Mainland. Shetland is narrow and so they would be a blot on the landscape from every direction. Seven years later this controversy may have played out... I will have to look it up or make another visit.
There was a sting in the tail of the trip because the relaxed day turned out to be a bit of a red herring. When I got to the ferry there was no one around but the ferry boat was still at anchor. I scratched my head and looked again at my ticket and it showed the boat would be leaving in an hour and I was there on the right date, then the penny dropped. I had somehow bought 2 tickets online leaving from Aberdeen, not a return. If I missed the ferry it would mean I would miss my train connection and miss seeing my daughter Zoe, who was leaving for an extended trip to Australia. I paced around the building which was all locked up until eventually a person came out and asked me what was up. After I explained my predicament she told me I was in luck because the ferry anchor had snagged on a chain and they were getting some divers out to fix it. In the meantime they took me and my bike over to the ferry and up a set of steps on the side of the boat. I was very relieved and pleased. Onboard it was party time. The passengers had taken the opportunity of the delay to have some drinks at the bar and I joined them :))
After all the drama we sailed on a mill pool sea towards Aberdeen and that allowed the captain to get up close to Fair Isle. A beautiful ending to the trip
This was the start of my love affair with the North Sea Cycle Route. I took in a lot more of Shetland than there is on the official route, and it was well worth it.
When I finished the route I contacted the official NSCR website and told them of my adventures. They sent me a certificate and some goodies including a buff and some shoe laces.... nice, as Jurgen would say.
Check out the route I took and the places I stopped on my Google Maps route record. Each tag is linked to my daily blog and photo posts.