Thursday, 5 March 2015

Days 1-2: Aberdeen, Scotland - 28 February-1 March

As it had been a while since I last visited the 'real' Scotland, as I call it, and I had had a desire for some time to revisit some of my old favourite haunts from when I studied in Aberdeen from 2011-12, I decided to take a week off work to have time out and some quiet time in northern Scotland. My first port of call would be Aberdeen for old time's sake and to catch up with friends, followed by a 2 day sojourn in Inverness, then a couple of days in Fort William before returning back home via Edinburgh, where we would spend the final night before heading back 'south' to England.

Close-up view of Marischal College in Aberdeen.
I had decided to invite my Mum along, as I had shown Dad most of the places we were going before, but had never ventured beyond Aberdeen with my Mum. We arrived in Aberdeen to windy and rainy, but otherwise mild, conditions. We were to stay in the Ibis on Shiprow, not the most cultural choice, but well located, clean and friendly. As we didn't arrive until 4pm, having stopped for lunch in Edinburgh, we got a few goodies/supplies from Sainsburys and ate dinner in the hotel restaurant before settling in for the night.

The Lemon Tree cultural and arts centre in Aberdeen.
The following day we did a spot of shopping on Union street following a better than expected hotel breakfast and took a pleasant walk via the soon to be obscured Marischal College. This building unfortunately is soon to be the sight of a new commercial development comprising hotels, shops and eating facilities, and is largely against the wishes of Aberdeen residents, who would prefer a civic space, and it has to be said that the building is well suited to such a development.

View of Castle Gate in Aberdeen.
As it was Sunday not much seemed to be happening in Aberdeen, and we didn't really have time to go to Old Aberdeen or the beach. Still, I had a very pleasant catchup with some badminton buddies at our old haunt The Bobbin in the evening, where we failed heroically at the pub quiz as The Three Racketeers - scoring 1/10 in the last round after one of our number deserted us. Still we didn't hang around too long afterwards before I headed back to pack for our train to Inverness the following morning, and my friend to study (probably) ;).

Link to days 3-4:

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