Fair Isle is a small island situated half way between the Shetlands and the Orkney Isles, sitting on the border of the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea. It is a very prosperous island with a population of about 70 people.

As we arrived in early morning, islanders were out to greet us, leading us to one of the highlights to the island, the puffin colony. Just to sit for a while an enjoy these "parrots" of the ocean is marvelous. There is constant activity. As the great skua, which also nests on Fair Isle, patrols, all the other birds take flight. At times, the bay was literally covered with puffins.

Staff from the bird observatory described the bird life on the island and wherever you looked, you saw birds. As we walked out to the puffins, parasitic jaegers and great skuas dove at those who stepped too close to their ground nests.

The island fleet of cars was ready to take us to the community hall, or anywhere else on the island that we wanted to go. We enjoyed a welcome cup of hot tea with all types of delicious pastries; Scottish pancakes with lemon curd went especially quickly. Locals also showed us how they make the famous Fair Isle sweaters. It was hard to withstand the temptation and not buy one!

The island also houses a lot of history, from Bronze Age graves to World War II. As the Spanish Armada was driven north through the rough North Sea by Francis Drake, one of the Spanish ships went aground on one of the many rocks around Fair Isle. Some of the crew were taken ashore and kept as prisoners and later sent to Scotland. Viking ships have been here. We wished that we had more time to explore this splendid island. It is hard not to love this island, which houses so much of interest.