The Marischal College is the second largest granite building in the world, the largest is the Escorial in Madrid. The students have moved out of this historic and beautiful building to pastures modern and new.
Marischal College with its attatched Church will now be the new home of Aberdeen Council, their present building at St. Nicholas house will be demolished, a good thing for Aberdeen. I only hope they will not advertise in windows or on the beautiful building. The Church at the end of the college has long been a favourite with graduates weddings and I do hope this tradition continues. On a recent visit this building turned from its silver grey granite to a nice shade of pink to warm up the winter here
It is very hard to believe and relive the Piper Alpha Disaster which happened at 22.00 hours on 6th. July 1988, Twenty years have gone by but memories remain here of the world worst off shore disaster. One Hundred and sixty seven men were lost to this tragedy with only 62 men pulled from the sea with horrific burns injuries. A service was held in the Auld Kirk of Saint Nicholas near Aberdeen's Union Street to commemorate this sad anniversary. This momument lies in Hazelhead Park a tribute from Sue Jane Taylor. Many people in the North East will remember Piper Alpha. I for one sat on the beach in Cruden Bay watching as the many helicopters flew by in such futile search of the living. The monument to ordinary working men is a lasting memorial to their soul.
When in scotland you'll notice right away that everyone has an accent and it can be difficult to understand us. In aberdeen it can be especially bad as we speak a local dialect called "doric" this combined with us speaking quickly makes it difficult for people to understand. I have a thick accent and I notice it when I'm away as people often struggle to understand me when I get into full flow especially if i am talking to another aberdonian.
So my tip would be to listen hard and just ask politely if you don't understand
Tiny streets with old seafarers cottages and houses on one side with the pretty gardens with what were summer houses in days long gone on the other. Each one is different and they provide lots of interest. The houses in the tiny streets are mostly single story fishermen's cottages, only one has three stories, this was a Merchant's House and the additional stories were to show his position and wealth. In one of the photos you can see how small the houses are at the rear, this was because they were build backing onto the sea and the low height offered protection from the damaging effects of the sea.
The summer houses are now used as sheds but still retain their quaint charm
The old water stand pipes still exsist in rural Aberdeenshire, Usually found near a beach - to wash off the sand from your feet or give your dog a drink. They are made of cast iron and usually very decrotive
This one is in the fishing village of Footdee, locally known as the Fitties near the end of the beach esplanade
Bingo is very popular in the UK - Some of my friends are into this, but not me, if I ever play, which is always under duress, from peer pressure and I am waiting for the last number, I am at a loss for words to say -HOUSE - BINGO - AYE or indeed - RIGHT, I would be most probably wrong
Footdee (The Fitties) is a great place to watch the ships enter via the small port on route to Aberdeen Harbour.
The ships are met by a pilot boat before entry - the pilot then takes control of the ship and steers her safely through the port and continues onwards to the main harbour which is in the city.
The legend is kept alive in Banff, by a cafe of the same name. They have a huge mural depicting the events of the hanging. It is said that that the people in the mural change, to depict local people and famous Scottish celebrities. Isla St Clair takes centre stage and Billy Connelly is in there somewhere.
Cafe is on Strait Path, Banff
The Borken Fiddle is a tale of a latter day Robin Hood, played out around Baff, of a vagabond called MacPherson.
MacPherson was convicted of being "repute an Egyptian and Vagabond, and oppressor of his majesty's free lieges, in a bangstree manner, and going up and down the country around and keeping markets in a hostile manner." Only eight days intervened between the dates of his trial and execution, and the magistrates, tradition asserts, hurried the hanging early in the morning, so that the condemned man suffered several hours before the specified time, the motive of this indecent haste being a desire to defeat a reprieve which they knew or suspected to be on the way. When brought to the place of execution, on the Gallows Hill of Banff (16th November), the bold outlaw played on his violin the stirring tune he had so recently composed in the condemned cell, and then asked if any friend was present who would accept the instrument as a gift at his hand. No one coming forward, he indignantly broke the violin on his knee, and threw away the fragments, after which he submitted to his fate. The traditionary accounts of MacPherson's immense prowess are justified by his sword, which is still preserved in Duff House, at Banff, and is an implement of great length and weight - as well as by his bones, which were found not very many years ago, and were allowed by all who saw them to be much stronger than the bones of ordinary men. He was assuredly no ordinary man that could so disport himself on the morning of his execution. Death, we presume, has rarely been faced with such perfect contempt. Sir Walter Scott says that he offered the violin to any of his clan who would undertake to play the tune over his body at his lykewake, and none answering, he dashed it to pieces on the executioner's head, and flung himself from the ladder.
The Aberdeen Tartan was designed for the City and the rural hinterland. The city was granted a Royal Charter by William the Lion in 1179. There is a kilt hire shop MaCaull's in Aberdeen but they don't have this tartan but the Kilt Makers Alexander Scott will make up this tartan for you.
Robert Burns - Scotland's National Bard & famous poet came to Aberdeen on Sunday the 9th. September 1787 as part of his Highland tour. Aberdeen is not in the highlands but in those days roads were few so he would have had to travel up from Ayr on the old coast road then west towards Inverness. Robert, a man of many words recorded in his journal that Aberdeen was a lazy town - he must have only visited the Rosemount & Union Terrace area & missed the textile mills & busy harbour docks! The statue you see today in Aberdeen was designed by a local sculptor Henry Bain Smith and was unveiled on the 15th. September 1892.
Aberdeen, as a university city has many campuses spread throughout the city. Robert Gordon University or to use its local name RGU has its campus on the aptly named Schoolhill.
On this campus you will find the Students' Union & the International Office ( where overseas students receive help in settling in, grants & language help.
The students study in the School of Pharmacy & School of Engineering.
I have passed by the statue of William Wallace in Aberdeen's Rosemount district many times & often wondered why this passionate patriot , who accured neither wealth or land, would be remembered in a city far North of his haunting grounds of Stirling. A visit to a web site electricscotland.com held the answer. After Wallace's trial in London for treason he was hung, drawn & quartered, his head was placed on London Bridge, his right arm was sent to Newcastle upon Tyne, his left arm was sent to Berwick, his right leg was sent to Perth & finally his left leg arrived in Aberdeen. This was done as a warning to Scots but had the opposite effect, making Wallace's famous cry FREEDOM ring round Scotland to this day.
Aberdeen is not called the Granite City for no reason - a lot of it's important buildings & houses (old) are built using silver/grey granite.
Peterhead granite has a lovely pink hue to it's colour but sadly most of it has been & still is exported abroad.
When you hang around this country long enough, you will start to notice that the Scotish speaks some kind of language... well.. they call it Scotish, not English...
In actual facts, it is English, spoken in a faster matter and replaced with some local words...
"Fit like?" means "How are you?" and you should reply by saying "Nee Baaah... " means "Not bad."
Interesting.... I will add more as we go along..