Lighthouse Letters
By Sharma Krauskopf

This is an article by Sharma Krauskopf from Michigan who fell in love with Scotland - and decided to buy a lighthouse keepers' cottage at Eshaness, a remote location in Shetland, in the far north of Scotland and live there each winter. These pages were previously part of the "Scottish Radiance e-magazine Web site which was created by Sharma.

A Trip to Remember

People are always talking about how remote Eshaness is. I have never agreed since it usually is easy for me to travel there. A recent trip changed my mind - a little.

My plane from the US arrived in London early and my plane to Aberdeen was on time. This trip was really going fantastic. When I got to Aberdeen they had snow on the ground and it was Christmas card beautiful. My plane to Shetland was listed as on time but it soon changed to delayed. (graphic of Britidh |Airways Boeing 747 contrails via Wikimedia Commons )

Going to the desk I asked what the problem was and they said they were getting snow in Shetland. One of the other passengers had a mobile phone and called Shetland. It was not snowing but a beautiful day. So back to the check in desk we went and they still said the problem was snow in Shetland. (Graphic of Aberdeen check-in © Mike Pennington via Wikimedia Commons. Another passenger called the national number. They said it was mechanical trouble on the plane which was still in Glasgow. Waiting and getting all kinds of nonsense from the check in people we were all finally paged and offered the ferry.

Some crazy people took the offer, as they would be sure to get to Shetland. Eleven of us knew the weather forecast was for Force 10 winds later that night so we opted to wait on the plane. The ferry people did not get to Lerwick, as they had to turn back.

The plane from Glasgow finally arrived and we happily got on. We pulled out and got just a few feet before the pilot pulled back in again. It seems we had a generator problem. It had been a propeller problem in Glasgow. They asked us to all get off and wait in the lounge. I called Tom in Shetland and he informed me the flight had been cancelled. It was another 30 minutes until the people in Aberdeen told us this old news.

The airline's next hurdle was finding a place to put 26 people overnight. Well, it took a couple of hours but they finally found a place way on the other side of Aberdeen. Then they could not find anyone to take us there so we waited another long period of time. Just before getting on the bus (graphic is © Colin Smith via Wikimedia Commons) they told us we had to be up and ready to go at 6:45 as the plane would leave at 8:00 the next morning but by the time we got to the hotel it had changed to 6:30. So what else was new things had been changing from minute to minute all day I did get a few hours sleep after over 26 hours without any.

We got to the airport the next morning and no plane. It was suppose to be on its way from Glasgow. Here we go again! We all went to get breakfast and one of the people just happened to run into a reservation person who told us our plane was in final boarding. It had not been announced nor was on the board. We got on the plane and flew to Shetland without a problem.

Now that should have been the end of it but a blizzard had moved in on Shetland. (Graphic of snow at Nord, Shetland © Mike Pennington via Wikimedia Commons) Nothing was running north of Lerwick but I was able to get to Lerwick by bus. The tourist board helped to contact the bus company and I got special permission to ride out on the bus to Hillswick, which usually did not take passengers. I then checked into a B & B and was safe for the night. The snow stopped so the bus was able to go the next day. I got as far a Brae and Tom met me with his four-wheel drive truck.

With four wheeled drive we had no trouble until we got to the lighthouse road - and got stuck. We walked a mile through deep snow and drifts to reach the lighthouse. I think I forgot to mention while I was gone the water at the lighthouse had frozen so I was anxious to get here to try and fix it.

After writing this I realized the lighthouse remoteness was not the problem but the inefficiency of the airlines was the real culprit. You can have that no matter where you live so I am back to thinking Eshaness is not 'that' remote!

Glad to be home,


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