I didn't know much about Aberdeen before we arrived. I knew it was the birthplace of Annie Lennox. That was about it.
Our visit had a mixed start. K had come down with a cold during that day. And we had reached dirty clothes desperation point and needed a laudromat urgently. Luckily there was one pretty close to the hotel. We were thrilled with our huge and incredibly reasonably priced hotel room. It was pretty great after the awful guest house in Inverness.
In the morning K found us a nice place for breakfast at the beachfront. It was a reasonable walking distance away ...but worth it. I was pretty hungry/desperate for coffee by the time we got there and ordered. Breakfast was good, and it was nice to sit in the sun for a while.
While we sat at the cafe, we watched as a half marathon ran right past us. We had learned before we left the hotel that morning that the inaugural Great Aberdeen Run was being held that day. I just had to check the website to see if entries on the day were possible (no) (probably for the best! But I might have given it a go! I think my sneakers had just finished drying out after a muddy walk/run on Skye). So I resigned myself to a tiny bit of run envy, and also a very enjoyable day exploring the city on foot while lots of roads were closed to traffic.
After we were done with breakfast and also finished drying out all the contents of my bag (yep, lid improperly closed on water bottle during that walk), we wandered along the beachfront for a while.
Seeing a line of ships waiting out on the horizon always reminds me of visiting Newcastle (NSW) back when my parents were living there.
It wasn't hot but it was a nice summer weekend day and I was surprised to see so few people at the beach. We couldn't work out if the traffic closures kept people away or if the beach just really isn't that popular. Probably there are nicer beaches not far away. But I have a soft spot for a semi-industrial city beach!
We enjoyed a bit of dog-spotting and also made sure to get our shoes off and stick our feet in the North Sea. On the way back along the promenade we came across this work of sand art, already being gradually eaten by the sea, and the artist himself sitting on a bench overlooking the beach and watching the waves come in. He said he does this often.
We walked back into town through Castlegate.
I got laughed at by a couple for taking photos of this seagull. Or maybe just for taking so many photos and looking like a clueless tourist? I forget each time until I go back, the gulls in the UK are much bigger than ours in Australia. Sneering people are much the same anywhere though.
The statue of Ceres on top of an old bank building (now a pub) seemed to have some extra decoration.
We spent a while sampling the options at the Brewdog pub. They have many delicious beers which I have been buying back home whenever I find them. Apparently they are coming to Australia and I'm really looking forward to it.
It's easy to see why Aberdeen is called the Granite City or the Silver City.
And we were fascinated by the Triplekirks site with its sole surviving spire. We wondered if it was going to be enveloped by a shopping mall like the Shot Tower at Melbourne Central.
Turns out there have been various development plans for the site and church remains since at least the mid-90's, ranging from offices to an art centre, to flats (including demolition of the spire!). The latest, pictured below, seems to be fancy student/academic accomodation. Pics I've seen on instagram suggest construction might have actually started since we were there.