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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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..
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.
Saunter along the golden sanded beach as the sun rises. It can be cold, but the blinding clarity of light ensures your still alive. A proud city breeds proud people. Aberdonians are just that, opinionated, self assured and provincial. All the qualities of distinction that set it apart from the rest of Scottish cities.
Aberdeen is the heart of the Scottish National Party. This means that people are realy sensitive about the factt hat they are Scottish and not English. Some foreigners tend to call all people in Britain, English which is a realy sore point in Aberdeen.
A haggis is a small animal native to Scotland. Well when I say animal, actually it's a bird with vestigial wings - like the ostrich. Because the habitat of the haggis in exclusively mountainous, and because it is always found on the sides of Scottish mountains, it has evolved a rather strange gait. The poor thing has only three legs, and each leg is a different length - the result of this is that when hunting haggis, you must get them on to a flat plain - then they are very easy to catch - they can only run round in circles. After catching your haggis, and dispatching it in time honoured fashion, it is cooked in boiling water for a period of time, then served with tatties and neeps (and before you ask, that's potatoes and turnips). The haggis is considered a great delicacy in Scotland, and as many of your compatriots will tell you, it tastes great - many visitors from the US have been known to ask for second helpings of haggis! The noise haggis make during the mating season gave rise to that other great Scottish invention, the bagpipes. Many other countries have tried to establish breeding colonies of haggis, but to no avail - it's something about the air and water in Scotland, which once the haggis is removed from that environment, they just pine away. A little known fact about the haggis is its aquatic ability - you would think that with three legs of differing lengths, the poor wee beastie wouldn't be very good at swimming, but as some of the Scottish hillsides have rather spectacular lakes on them, over the years, the haggis has learned to swim very well. When in water, it uses its vestigial wings to propel itself forward, and this it can do at a very reasonable speed. Haggis are by nature very playful creatures, and when swimming, very often swim in a group - a bit like ducks - where the mother will swim ahead, and the youngsters follow in a line abreast. This is a very interesting phenomenon.The long neck of the mother keeping a watchful eye for predators. This does however confuse some people, who, not knowing about the haggis, can confuse it with the other great indigenous Scottish inhabitant, the Loch Ness Monster, or Nessie as she's affectionately known, I'm sure you'll agree, the tourist can easily mistake a family of haggis out for their daily swim, as Nessie, this of course gives rise to many more false sightings, but is inherently very good for the tourism industry in Scotland. The largest known recorded haggis (caught in 1893 by a crofter at the base of Ben Lomond), weighed 25 tons. In the water, haggis have been known to reach speeds of up to 35 knots, and therfore coupled with their amazing agility in this environment, are extremely difficult to catch, however, if the hunter can predict where the haggis will land, a good tip is to wait in hiding on the shore, beacuse when they come out of the water, they will inevitably run round in circles to dry themselves off. This process, especially with the larger haggis, gives rise to another phenomenon - circular indentations in the ground, and again, these have been mistaken by tourists as the landing sites of UFOs. I hope this clears up some of the misconceptions about the Haggis, that rare and very beautiful beastie of the Scottish Highlands (and very tasty too). I have included here as much factual material as possible, although there are many gaps in this subject, and some of the information has to be mere speculation. No-one has as yet been able to ascertain the sex of captured Haggis, and partially because of this, scientists assume the haggis is hermophroditic. This may also be a product of evolution, and does explain the logistic problems of bringing two haggis together - after all, sure footed though the beast is, if two were to mate on a Scottish hillside, it is a long fall down, and a slip at the wrong time may very well result in a reduction by two of the total haggis population. What is known about Haggis breeding is that, several days prior to giving birth, the Haggis make a droning sound - very much like a beginner playing the bagpipes for the first time - giving rise to the speculation that the bagpipes were indeed invented in Scotland, simply to lure unsuspecting haggis into a trap. At the onset of this noise, all other wildlife for a five mile radius can be seen exiting the area at an extremely high rate of knots (wouldn't you if your neighbour had just started to play the bagpipes?). The second purpose of the noise seems to be to attract other Haggis to the scene, in order to lend help with the birth. This also gives rise to the assumption that Haggis are tone deaf. Haggis normally give birth to two or more young Haggis, or 'wee yins', as they are called in Scotland, and from birth, their eyes are open, and they are immediately able to run around in circles, just like their parent. The wee yins are fiercely independant, and it is only a matter of weeks before they leave the parent, and go off foraging for food on their own, although it is perhaps a two or three year period before they are themselves mature enough to give birth. Most Haggis hunters will leave the wee yins, due simply to their size, but when attacked by other predators, they are still able to emit the bagpipe like sound, which again has the effect of very quickly clearing the surrounding area of all predators, and attracting other Haggis to the scene. This results in a very low infant mortality rate, with most wee yins actually making it to adulthood. The lifespan of the Haggis is again an unknown quantity, but from taggings done in the Victorian era, we know that some haggis live for well over 100 years.