Some messages from around the world

UK
Hi! Sitting here in the south of England, waiting with baited breath for the transmission to start. Going to be well worth it, I know. Watched every day last season, and have patiently waited since the end of this year’s transmission. Having been to Maes Howe last year, of course makes it much more real. Many thanks to all concerned. It is very moving to know that so many people from different parts of the world can share in this aspect of the wonder of nature and the link with ancient peoples. Love, HA, Basingstoke, Hampshire.

Canada
Was surfing your web site -- very very good !

Houston, Texas
My wife and I visited in mid June and thoroughly enjoyed the trip. I find that neolithic Orkney has captured my imagination and I think about what it must have been like several times a week. I can still close my eyes and see Deerness et al with no difficulty whatsoever. I cannot wait until the next trip!! Orkney is such a wonderful place !! The Maeshowe docent told us about this web site and I have impatiently been waiting for 6 months to check the progress of the sunset. I had no idea that the window of opportunity was as wide as it is. I will be checking in real time tomorrow (Saturday) morning my time, Saturday sunset your time. I noted the flashing phenomenon on the web site and have an interesting idea. It should be relatively easy to computer model the physical area in which the flashing can be observed, as long as the elevation data is available in sufficient horizontal and vertical resolution. On a flat surface I would think that the physical area would be elliptical in shape, and would of course be modified by on the ground elevation changes. Once the physical area is known, it would be interesting to look for marker stones at both edges of the ellipse that would align with the sun and with Maeshowe on Dec 21st. It would also be most interesting to learn if Maeshowe is in the center of the ellipse, or in some other logical orientation. The part that captures my imagination is the patience it would have taken to determine the exact spot. How many years must have gone by before it could have been determined. How many years went by when it was cloudy and no observations could be made? Thanks so much for your site. I will be there again, and will see it live for myself!

Buckingham, Virginia
Thank you so much for again providing the beautiful service from Maes Howe. My daughter and I were on Orkney for Summer Solstice 2000, and your webcam and stills make me long to be back again.

Montreal
Once again... I love your site. Every morning when I wake up, I turn on the computer to check what the weather is like at Maeshowe. The only problem that I see with it... it is live!!! If you are not in front of the screen at sunset, you miss the whole show, as I did this morning.

UK
We visited Orkney and Maeshowe last June, we found the whole experience most enchanting, your site has made it possible to revisit Orkney in the middle of winter and see your excellent images

UK
Hi, I used to live in Orkney but have since moved away through work. I've been lucky enough to have had the Maes Howe experience first hand when I was up there and I was really pleased to find a website a few years ago about the solstice event. Since then, I've logged on around this time of year and I think the new website is the best yet.

Iceland - on the meaning of "Maes"
The Maers bit is simply that Sigurd asked me what the word "maes" might mean in Icelandic, and told me that someone had told him of an old custom where maidens/virgins climbed up atop the howe and urinated on ashes there at summer solstice. And I said that that would make sense, since "maer" is Icelandic for maid or virgin, the possessive being "maers," and if you gloss the R it would sound like "maes" (mise or mice in sound) and howe is from the ON "haugr," which is the same as the current Icelandic "haugur," or "cairn, midden, sepulchral mound." Ergo, "maidens' cairn / sepulchral mound."

UK
just to say how much I have enjoyed looking at this website over the past few days - we visited orkney for the first time this summer and were fascinated by the history of maeshowe - this has been a great reminder and the quality is superb.

Virginia
I learned of this website while visiting Maeshowe this past July. I am fascinated by its antiquity and the obvious intellectual planning that went into the placement of this tomb during ancient days. ThIs is beyond my understanding but I am so glad to have the opportunity to see the events of the winter solstice and to share in the universal excitement of these winter days.

Wales
Excellent viewing on web by this very inexperienced surfer as very interested in all things archeological, geological & historical. Have visited Orkney 5times now, enchanted by it all & have some fantastic Photos taken with my simple camera of Summer Soltice sunsets. I live in Snowdonia surrounded by neolithic stone circles, iron age hillforts etc so empathise with Orkney landscapes & culture. Maes is Welsh (Celtic) for meadow, flat area from Latin eg Mesa - Spanish. A fascinated Ancient Briton

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