AS SCOTLAND debates independence and writing its first constitution, Norway is celebrating the 200th anniversary of its constitution with a sea voyage that visits Shetland next week.
The restored 1961 Norwegian fishing boat Nybakk will dock in Lerwick next Tuesday ahead of a day of events celebrating the islands’ connections with its Nordic neighbours.
The Nybakk left Norway on 6 June sailing in the wake of the Vikings on a tour of ancient parliament “thing” sites in Scotland and the Isle of Man, before returning to Norway for the national celebrations at Gulatinget on 28 June.
The vessel will be open to the public at Victoria Pier on Wednesday morning from 10 to 12am to find out more about the vessel and the THING project, which has been funded by the European Union.
The mayor of Sogn og Fjordane, Åshild Kjelsnes, will attend a civic reception at Lerwick Town Hall before heading for Scalloway and the ancient parliament site at Tingaholm where she will exchange gifts with Shetland Islands Council convener Malcolm Bell.
In the afternoon the party will tour the Scalloway Museum and hear three presentations about the THING project ahead of “a peerie foy” back in Lerwick.
Meanwhile the Nybakk crew will receive a signed oar from Shetland to become part of an installation of 200 oars for the Forbundet Kysten Project at the Oslo Maritime Festival next month.
Convener Bell and Shetland’s THING project coordinator Eileen Brooke-Freeman will represent Shetland at Norway’s national constitutional celebrations in Bergen on 29 June.
The Nybakk’s journey can be followed on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/thingsites