Saturday, October 26, 2019

Today's Place to Daydream about: Aberdeen, Scotland

Aberdeen is a city of about 200,000 people on the northeast coast of Scotland. To the right in this picture is the Mercat Cross, which marked the site of the medieval market.

It has fared better than most small, remote European cities because it serves as the hub for Britain's North Sea oil and gas operations, and the influx of money has kept it thriving. It regularly shows up on lists of the best places to live in Britain.

Many of the older buildings are built of the local gray granite, and one of Aberdeen's names is The Granite City.

There are several charming old neighborhoods; this is Footdee.

As the regional center for north-east Scotland, Aberdeen has numerous attractions: museums, a botanical garden, and so on, as well as plenty of restaurants and pubs.

The interior of St. Machar's Cathedral, built in the 1200s but extensively modified after it became a Protestant Kirk.

The university has many lovely old buildings.

Drive a few miles north to Balmedie Beach, a delightful stretch of sand and surf. Too bad it's usually freezing, but you can't have everything.

Aberdeenshire is full of ruins, such as the spectacular Dunnottar Castle, about 10 miles south of Aberdeen. This site has been fortified since the early middle ages, but most of what you see here dates to the 1400s and 1500s. This is where the Scottish crown jewels were hidden from Oliver Cromwell's men. When he found out the jewels were at Dunnottar he besieged the castle, but they were somehow smuggled out; under a lady's clothes is one version, in a basket of seaweed is another.

It would be a pleasant place to wander around on a day like today.

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