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Aberdeen, or City Fatigue

UNITED KINGDOM | Wednesday, 3 September 2014 | Views [352]

There's a point in any whirlwind tour where the whirlwind becomes tiring. I don't want to wander around a city for a couple of hours as I try and figure out what makes it unique and special. I don't want to have to check out of a hotel in the morning and check into a different one in the afternoon. I just want to settle down and explore thoroughly. The same feelings that made otherwise fine shows applied to cities as well.

Aberdeen came right after I hit my whirlwind limit. My impressions of the city were not helped by the hours (half a day) we needed to spend on the train to get there and our arrival time just a little before sunset. Or by the location of the hotel, which wasn't exactly in the nicest neighborhood.

We did have seats on both trains (Thurso to Inverness, then Inverness to Aberdeen.) That was certainly nice. Even with that, we arrived at Aberdeen without much energy. We found our hotel, checked in, went out again, saw a chipper right across the street, got food there, and retreated back to our room.

This time, “chips with garlic mayonnaise” produced a very strange look. They wanted me to say “chips with garlic sauce.” It almost made sense, because their mayonnaise was not nearly as good as it had been in Edinburgh.

In the hotel, we finalized our plans with our parents. They had a car, and were staying nearby Aberdeen. Rather than stick with our original plan (that plan being formed when we assumed the ferries were strong enough to be able to handle some wind. Bad assumption, it turned out.) we arranged to meet at a restaurant in Stonehaven, and they could drive us to Dunrottar Castle after. We figured out what train we'd need to catch. 12:03. That left us a bit more time in Stonehaven then strictly speaking necessary, but stopped us from wandering around Aberdeen with our luggage between our 11:00 checkhout and the next train.

So the next morning, with our luggage still in our room, we set off to wander Aberdeen and look for something interesting.

Old Building

Better Together in the UK Store

My sister with a statue

I'm not quite sure we succeeded. We were back in our hotel checking out before 11. Long enough that we could have caught an earlier train, but that would have given us too much time in Ston haven. So instead we sat down at a cafe called Pumpkin. They did not have a pumpkin latte, or anything pumpkin flavored on their men, but when we ordered their Deluxe hot chocolate, it came with marshmallows and pumpkin spice.

It's seldom a good sign when one of your fondest memories of a city is the hot chocolate you drank while waiting to leave.

Tags: hot chocolate, statues, trains

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